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How to Sanitize Dishes With Vinegar

by Yaya Maria |

How to Sanitize Dishes With Vinegar

Need to get your dishes microbe-free without harsh chemicals? Wondering how to sanitize dishes with vinegar? We’ll tell you all you need to know.

Here are the 7 simple steps to follow.

Sanitize dishes with vinegar

1. Remove all food residue

First thing’s first: you need to get rid of any food residue on your dishes.

Scrape off what can easily be scraped. Rinse off what can easily be rinsed. For all other residues, give it a good soak.

This will make the job easier and save time.

2. Lather up the dishes

Now it’s time to get out your natural dish soap! Work up some suds and lather up those dishes.

Why natural dish soap instead of the conventional stuff?

Find out in this short video:


3. Rinse

Next you’re going to rinse off the suds.

But at what temperature?

A controversy swirls around the question of whether it’s necessary to use hot water when rinsing your dishes.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends washing dishes with water that is 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, researchers at Ohio State University found that water at room temperature achieved similar results.

Rinsing the dishes in room-temperature water not only saves energy; it also reduces your energy bill.

4. How to sanitize dishes with vinegar

Now your dishes are squeaky clean, but we get it. You want to go the extra mile.

Time to get out the vinegar.

A British research team found vinegar to be an effective natural disinfectant.

They found that after 30 minutes of soaking, vinegar successfully eliminated E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans, some of the most common disease-causing microbes found in people’s kitchens.

So go ahead and pop open that bottle of vinegar.

Fill a wash-and-drain basin (like this one) with equal parts water and vinegar.

Let your clean dishes soak in the vinegar-and-water solution for at least 30 minutes to ensure the microbes can’t survive.

Then rinse the dishes with water.

And that’s how you sanitize dishes with vinegar.

5. Air-dry the dishes

You could get out a dish towel and start drying the freshly washed and sanitized dishes by hand, but that’s not what you’re going to do.

You have done your research, and you know better.

Most dish towels are breeding grounds for microbes.


Because every time someone touches a towel, the natural oils, moisture, and bacteria on their skin rubs off onto the towel.

Once there, the towel’s moist weave provides the perfect environment for bacteria to multiply – and fast.

When that same towel is used to dry dishes, many of the bacteria end up on the dishes.

That’s the last thing you want after you’ve just gone to the trouble of sanitizing the dishes with vinegar.

So what’s the best thing to do?

Luckily, this is one situation where the most sanitary solution is also the one that requires the least effort.

Simply let your dishes air dry on a clean drying rack.

6. Sanitize the drying rack

You’ve just placed your sanitized dishes on the drying rack to avoid contaminating them with the contents of your kitchen towel.

But how clean is your drying rack?

If you are sanitizing the dishes for a medical reason (such as to protect someone who is immunocompromised), it’s probably a good idea to sanitize your drying rack with vinegar a few times a month.

That will help to prevent disease-causing microbes from making their way back onto your freshly-sanitized dishes.

7. And the kitchen sink too

Did you know that your kitchen sink is the most unsanitary area in your home?

Most people don’t realize this, simply because the sink is a place we associate with cleanliness.

However, the sink happens to have a lot of attractive qualities for bacteria and fungi to flourish.

It’s moist most of the time.

And when you wash food off of your plate and it comes into contact with the kitchen sink, that provides bacteria on those surfaces with a feast of nutrients to chow down on.

That helps them to grow at an exceptional pace.

But since you have vinegar, you can constrain those unwanted guests in your kitchen.

Simply clean your sink with some natural dish soap, rinse with water, and then use plenty of vinegar to wipe down the sink.

That way, the next time you place your dirty dishes inside the sink, there’ll be fewer microbes to make their way onto those dishes.

That, in turn, will make it easier for your vinegar solution to do its job when it’s time to sanitize the dishes.

That's how to sanitize dishes with vinegar!

Since you care about keeping your dishes free from toxic chemicals, here’s one more tip before you go.

Don’t use conventional dish soap.

Conventional dish soaps (even most supposedly “natural” brands) are all packed with synthetic chemicals that end up on your dishes and mix in with your next meal.

Instead, wash your dishes with the only dish soap that is made from 100% natural ingredients, with no harsh toxins.

We recommend this one because it has an ingredient list that even your great-grandmother would recognize. And the best part: it really works.

Find out more right here.

(When you make a purchase from links in this post we might receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.)


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