Now that ‘pandemic’ has become part of our regular vernaculars, we’re hypervigilant about bugs and germs. People are very into new ways to strengthen their hygiene practices and TikTok is serving all the hacks.
The latest is from user smilelop, who shared an unusual way to clean her fresh produce: by popping it inside the dishwasher for a cheeky cycle with vinegar instead of detergent.
Why would you do this?
Vinegar is added to water as a common natural cleaning agent because it helps kill bacteria and make food safe for consumption.
If you think a rinse under the tap does the trick, please submerge a head of kale in a big bowl of vinegar and water for a few minutes and gaze in horror upon the tiny little worms and bugs that lay in eternal rest at the bottom. Ditto for wax on apples, which comes off in little white flakes.
Unfortunately, both the bugs and the wax don’t wash down the drain with a flash under the tap. And this isn’t even taking into account the countless hands and surfaces that have touched the produce on its journey from farm to supermarket. That shit is seasoned.
Smilelop’s TikTok hack uses distilled vinegar where you’d usually put detergent. The video has been viewed one million times and shows an array of colourful fruit and veg on the two levels of her dishwasher.
She has grapes, apples, celery, avocado, tomatoes, limes and more on the top drawer, with punnets of berries, cucumbers, a rockmelon and a whole pineapple on the lower — then puts it on a gentle cold wash cycle.
This is the thing, though.
I’m all for cleaning your food, but not all dishwashers have a cold setting and unless yours does, I’d avoid putting fresh produce in. If it does have a cold setting, you’ll need to research if the drying element is also turned off for the cycle, because if not, the heat could mess up your more delicate fruit and veg.
Dishwashers also usually recommend placing more delicate items on the top shelf as most use stronger water pressure on the bottom. It’s also where the heating elements are found. And the TikTok user not only put fragile little berries – but berries in soft plastic punnets – on the lower shelf, which is bananas.
You’d also want to check your dishwasher’s filter before attempting anything like this, especially if you were today year’s old when you found out your dishwasher has a filter that needs cleaning.
Here’s a viral TikTok hack for that, too.
What can you do instead of the dishwasher?
Most blogs recommend a wash of one part water to four parts vinegar in a spray bottle. Spritzing your veggies and fruit, letting them sit for 30 seconds and then rinsing under water is enough to zap bacteria.
Personally, we have a big stainless steel bowl of water and vinegar that sits on the bench. We use a clean-as-you-need method, giving whatever produce we’re planning on eating for the next meal a little bath for a few minutes.
(Lead Image: TikTok / @smilelop)