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Chef reveals super simple hack for cleaning produce: '[It helps] remove pesticides and bacteria'

"Any tips to make it smell better?"

“Any tips to make it smell better?”

Photo Credit: TikTok

Forget store-bought produce washes, one TikToker shared a hack that's cheaper, easier, and safer for the environment. 

The scoop 

Tessa Smith (@thetessasmith), a chef on TikTok, shared the hack on her page. 

All it requires is filtered water, distilled white vinegar, and a glass, reusable spray bottle. 

To make the solution, fill your bottle one-third of the way with distilled white vinegar and then fill up the rest with filtered water. Spray and clean your produce with the mixture, and then rinse it off. 

"You can spray this on all produce to help remove pesticides and bacteria," Smith confirmed in her video. 

@thetessasmith Homemade Natural Produce Cleaner 🍓🍋 I keep this right by my sink to clean ALL my produce. 👏🏻 Of course sometimes I opt for a more intense clean, but most of the time I'm reaching for this. Just add 1/3 part white distilled vinegar and 2/3 parts filtered water to a reusable spray bottle (glass is always preferred) and that's it! Just make sure it give it a good rinse with water and you're good to go!! It helps remove: ⚠️ Pesticides 🦠 Bacteria 🌎 Dirt Other benefits: 💸 you're saving money by making your own! 🤔 you know EXACTLY what ingredients you're using! ♻️ you're eliminating single use plastic bottles from the landfill #natural #naturalcleaning #health #wellness #sustainability ♬ original sound - thetessasmith

And once you're done cleaning your produce, there are plenty of other tips for storing it. These tips prioritize longevity — keeping your veggies and berries good for as long as possible. 

How it's helping 

During flu season, you want everything that you're going to eat to be as clean as possible — who knows how many hands touched your produce in the store? This hack cleans your fruits and veggies at just a fraction of the price of store-bought produce wash. 

The Jewel grocery store sells produce wash that costs $7 per bottle. A large bottle of distilled vinegar, however, costs just $2.50 (and remember, you don't need a lot of distilled vinegar in the mixture.) And not to mention, distilled vinegar is commonly kept in kitchens, so you'll likely be buying it anyway. 

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If for some reason you don't have a need for distilled vinegar outside of this produce wash — which is almost impossible because vinegar is good for many things — there are equally as effective, all-natural options to wash your produce using baking soda

Plus, the Center for Food Safety notes on its website: "[The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)] advises against commercial produce washes because the safety of their residues has not been evaluated." This means that we're not even sure these produce washes are effective, but we have confirmed that vinegar can destroy germs. 

This also means that there isn't a clear answer as to whether the ingredients are safe to be washed down the drain — as they may seep into local soil and water, potentially causing harm to local wildlife. 

What everyone's saying 

One TikTok commenter asked an important question for those who don't like the smell of vinegar: "Any tips to make it smell better?" 

Luckily, the TikToker had a great, all-natural ingredient to add at the ready, "You can always add in citrus rinds for an added scent," Smith advised. 

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