vinegar and peroxide

In most cases, natural cleaners like vinegar, bicarb and lemon juice do a great job for everyday messes but what about the seriously grimey stuff? Do you have to resort to commercial chlorine bleach? Thankfully no because there is a magic combo of natural ingredients that knocks the socks off of any toxic chemical preparation for disinfecting your home.

When used together, these two very ordinary kitchen staples are 10 times more effective than anything you can buy at the supermarket and much, much safer. They can take care of even salmonella, shigella and E. coli bacteria that might be lingering on cutting boards, counters and on food.

What is this powerful duo? Ordinary white vinegar and 3% hydrogen peroxide. Ta da!

What you need:

  • 2 spray bottles, one light, one dark and opaque
  • 3% H2O2 (preferably food grade if you can get it)
  • White vinegar

What you do:

  • Fill dark bottle with 3% H2O2 (peroxide degrades when exposed to light)
  • Fill light bottle with vinegar (so you know it’s the vinegar)
  • Spray surface to be sanitized with one, then the other, covering with a fine mist
  • Rinse with water (not absolutely necessary because the H2O2 breaks down to water and oxygen and the vinegar smell does not linger)
  • Can be used on fresh produce like lettuce, tomatoes and fruit

It doesn’t matter in which order you spray – peroxide first and vinegar second or vinegar first and peroxide second. What does matter is that you don’t mix the two in the same container. If you were to do this, it would not be more efficient, it would be ineffective. This is because the vinegar would cancel out the peroxide and you would land up with paracetic acid.