DNC News: Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide Spray
Subject: Recipe for a safe kitchen sanitizer
You can make your kitchen a cleaner, safer place and fight bacteria, without
exposing yourself and your family to toxic chemicals that also damage
the environment. You can use a simple safe disinfecting spray that is
more effective than any of the commercial cleaners in killing bacteria.
As a bonus, it is inexpensive!
Susan Sumner, a food scientist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State
University, worked out the recipe for just such a sanitizing combo. All
you need is three percent hydrogen peroxide, the same strength available
at the drug store for gargling or disinfecting wounds, and plain white
or apple cider vinegar, and a pair of brand new clean sprayers, like the
kind you use to dampen laundry before ironing.
If you're cleaning vegetables or fruit, just spritz them well first with
both the vinegar and the hydrogen peroxide, and then rinse them off under
It doesn't matter which you use first - you can spray with the vinegar
then the hydrogen peroxide, or with the hydrogen peroxide followed by
the vinegar. You won't get any lingering taste of vinegar or hydrogen
peroxide, and neither is toxic to you if a small amount remains on the
As a bonus: The paired sprays work exceptionally well in sanitizing counters
and other food preparation surfaces -- including wood cutting boards.
In tests run at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, pairing
the two mists killed virtually all Salmonella, Shigella, or E. coli bacteria
on heavily contaminated food and surfaces when used in this fashion, making
this spray combination more effective at killing these potentially lethal
bacteria than chlorine bleach or any commercially available kitchen cleaner.
The best results came from using one mist right after the other - it is
10 times more effective than using either spray by itself and more effective
than mixing the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide in one sprayer.
Science News August 8, 1998; Vol. 154, Issue. 6; pg. 83-85
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