Chemical-Free Fruit Washing

June 10th, 2013

A friend sent me the following picture on Facebook:



Cleaning Fruit – Chemical-free and EASY!

Fill sink with water, add 1 Cup of Vinegar, and Stir. Add all fruit, and Soak for 10 minutes. Water will be dirty, and fruit will sparkle with no wax, or dirty film. Great for Berries too, as it keeps them from molding. Do this with strawberries, and they last for weeks!

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Oh, I will share this post with my friends all right…

No chemicals, you say? Fantastic! I am glad you’ve managed to remove the acetic acid impurity from your vinegar. 😐

Of course, you’ve seen this on ChemBark already. What I find more interesting are the comments attached to the post:


Oh, you think vinegar works well? Have you tried mixing vinegar and baking soda? It’s magic!

What a discovery!  “Magic” = sodium acetate + bubbles of carbon dioxide.

I bet these people would be frightened to learn how baking soda is made. It’s not exactly the most “natural” of processes.

H/T: M.E. for the link. Thanks!

8 Responses to “Chemical-Free Fruit Washing”

  1. qvxb Says:

    I’ll be that most commenters never took a chemistry course. Don’t mock them, inform them. Tell them that vinegar is a solution of acetic acid in water and that acetic acid + baking soda (sodium carbonate) produces sodium acetate and carbon dioxide (the bubbles), then write the equation.

  2. Paul Says:

    That is one approach. Another is to ask where I can find vinegar that is free of acetic acid, then make them do some research. Perhaps they will make a personal discovery that will carry more weight than my simply telling them that “‘chemical-free’ is nonsensical.”

  3. andre Says:

    I respect qvxb’s opinion, but I will counter by saying please keep mocking these people. At least here.

    I’m pretty sure the problem isn’t that most people haven’t taken a chemistry course (they most likely have, in high school, plus this reaction is often taught before high school), the problem is that even if you tried to teach/inform them, they wouldn’t put in the effort to learn. We can teach AT people as much as we want, but we can’t make it stick. A large number of people just want to know what works without understanding the true reason why (it’s the engineer/scientist divide).

  4. Hap Says:

    What about the water? What would dihydrogen monoxide-free and acetic acid-free vinegar look like?

    I don’t know that it’s a matter of not being willing to learn, but that finding a comfortable worldview and a place where people feel happy trumps almost everything. Think of politics, or penny stock investors, or creationists: everything fits into good and evil (where good = the side I’m on – evil = the other side or any other side) and facts that don’t fit that view are rejected. The adherence to observable phenomena or facts as the determinants of truth in an argument get overwhelmed by lots of things, not all of which are conscious, and most of which are difficult to subvert (either for others or for oneself).

    The dumbness bothers me, but only when alloyed with arrogance (to form stupidity) does it really seem worthy of bile. Laughing at people being stupid will probably make me feel better, but ultimately it won’t change them ([the world/those liberals/choose your poison] already hate them, and the contempt will be used as evidence of correctness) and I don’t need any more contempt in me anyway.

  5. name Says:

    that baking soda comment has got to be a joke, it’s just too good

  6. dvizard Says:

    While I, of course, object to the label “chemical-free”, I am still favorable towards “expensive and unnecessary cleaning product-free” approaches. In fact, the use of vinegar and baking soda in place of cleaning agents is to be commended, and it would be a great opportunity to educate people about everyday chemistry. (Plus, it doesn’t contain triclosan and triclocarban, so it’s at least free of two very common cleaning product chemicals :) )

  7. DW Says:

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Acetic acid /əˈsiːtɨk/ (systematically named ethanoic acid /ˌɛθəˈnoʊɨk/) is an organic compound with the chemical formula CH3COOH (also written as CH3CO2H or C2H4O2). It is a colourless liquid that when undiluted is also called glacial acetic acid. Vinegar is roughly 4%-8% acetic acid by volume, making acetic acid the main component of vinegar apart from water.

  8. amara Says:

    amazing, that’s a great method to get chemical free fruits. I will try it and will share here if works.

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