I used to lament the price of those expensive veggie washes and just use soap and water instead, but was never quite confident I was really disinfecting adequately. Then our chiropractor told me that his wife washed their fruits and vegetables in a 3% peroxide/water solution. Bingo! I thought I would try that.
Then, I was reading that white vinegar is good for washing your fruits and vegetables as well. In fact, if you do a part vinegar, part peroxide solution it is even more affective than either used alone!
I picked up a small spray bottle at the $1 store and use that as my vinegar spray. I use that if I want to quickly disinfect an apple, orange, cantalope, etc. If you want to then spray your produce with peroxide make sure the peroxide is in a dark bottle. Otherwise, the light will break down the chemical properties of the peroxide, rendering it ineffective.
If I have berries that need to be cleaned I only soak them briefly in a peroxide or vinegar/water solution right before we are going to eat them. Otherwise, they will go bad more quickly.
If I'm doing a larger batch of produce I'll take the time to use peroxide and vinegar. Otherwise, I'm content to just spray it with vinegar. I have yet to find a small dark colored spray bottle. If I do, then it will be much easier to use the vinegar spray and the peroxide spray.
According to http://www.avianweb.com/hydrogenperoxide2.html, "In tests run at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, pairing Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide mists, kills virtually all Salmonella, Shigella, or E. coli bacteria on heavily contaminated food and surfaces."
That makes me feel pretty happy about my choice for disinfecting produce. And, it is much cheaper than the pre-made washes!
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