Ultimate Guide to Sanitizing & Cleaning Different Groceries
How long should we keep groceries out? How to wash fresh produce? Can I wipe clean milk pouches? Find answers to your questions about cleaning and disinfecting groceries that you’ve just bought online.
For most of us, being able to order groceries online is probably better than any birthday present. No shuffling through shelves, no waiting in queues, no carrying heavy bags. Everything is now done by clicking buttons.
The advantages of online grocery shopping have never been as evident as now. With the Covid-19 pandemic impacting all of us, stepping out of the house is the last thing you want to do. And even though there is absolutely no proof that the virus that causes covid-19 can be transmitted through packaging, it is important to take preventive measures. In this post, we will discuss all about sanitizing and cleaning different groceries and products that you have bought online.
Having said that, if you are not shopping for groceries online and simply have to step out, ensure that you are wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing.
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Tips On How To Clean And Sanitize Groceries
Washing vegetables as soon as they arrive from a store is not uncommon. We do it almost by default. But our current circumstances call for something extra. Know how to sanitize them properly before putting them away. You also get extra brownie points if you are opting for contactless delivery and online payments.
Wear gloves and mask at first. If you do not have gloves, it’s okay, just wash your hands rigorously at regular intervals and do not touch your face. Once you have picked up the groceries from outside your house, keep it on one kitchen counter top. Spray the bags with a disinfectant or leave it for a day. Then, start segregating them into the following sections.
1. Fresh Produce
Fresh produce includes fruits and vegetables. According to Mayo Clinic, it IS possible that the novel coronavirus might linger on fresh produce like fruits and vegetables if they have been handled by a person with the virus.
5 Simple Ways to Sanitize Fresh Produce
It is of prime importance to wash and clean all fruits and vegetables using one of these following methods:
Method 1: Washing with Brush
- Wash with lots of water and clean anything that has a hard, thick skin thoroughly with a fresh-produce washing brush. Soap is not necessarily required. You will get these brushes online.
Method 2: Liquid Fruit and Vegetable wash
- Wash thoroughly with a liquid fruit and vegetable wash.
Method 3: With Vinegar
- In a bucket, add 1/2 cup vinegar and fill the rest with water, soak all your vegetables in this for 30 minutes. Rinse with plain water, dry, and store.
Method 4: Use Baking Soda
- Add baking soda (meetha soda) in a bucket. Fill it halfway with water and place all fresh produce in it. Keep aside for 30 minutes and rinse with plain water. Dry and store.
Method 5: Wash Thoroughly just before using it
- For vegetables like potatoes, onions, and garlic, which cannot be washed before storage, let them stay untouched for 24 hours at least and wash thoroughly just before using.
What You Shouldn’t Do?
We can use the above method to keep our fresh produce fresh and clean. Here’s the thing that you shouldn’t do.
#1 Don’t use Soaps
- Never use soaps for cleaning your veggies and fruits. It can be harmful to the body as there can be toxicity issues while using normal soaps in cleaning our fresh produce. It is always the best thing to wash our veggies and fruits in the pandemic, and even after it.
#2 Don’t boil
- We all know boiling kills bacteria but when we boil our fresh produce, it will remove bacteria but not the pesticide. So, it is recommended to put the fresh produce in lukewarm water and then wash it thoroughly to remove the additional foreign substance from it.
2. Milk And Curd Packets
Cleaning plastic milk and curd packets are easy. Spray them with a disinfectant before you lay it down on the counter. Leave them for 10 minutes and wash with water and soap. Dry the packs and empty the contents into your home utensils to boil/store.
3. Boxes And Cartons
Cardboard boxes, tetra packs, and cartons that contain cereal, purees, or premixes, etc need to be cleaned with a disinfectant. You can use a disinfectant spray or wipe and let it stay on the counter for 45-60 minutes.
4. Cans and bottles
Tin cans containing purees or carbonated beverages need to be washed thoroughly with water and soap. Spray some disinfectant and dry them before storing them away.
5. Grocery Bags
If the groceries were delivered in a single-use plastic bag, and you wish to reuse them as dustbin liners, clean and sanitize them before storing them. Spray it with a disinfectant or wash with soapy water.
Are you using reusable grocery bags? You can read a detailed article on how to clean and disinfect different types of reusable grocery bags.
6. Clean The Surfaces
Once you are done segregating and organizing your groceries, clean and disinfect the surface they’ve been sitting on, as well. Surfaces like countertops or handles that are touched often need to be cleaned regularly with a disinfectant spray or a wipe.
According to a study conducted by The New England Journal Of Medicine, the virus is detectable on plastic and stainless steel surfaces for up to 72 hours, and for about 24 hours on cardboard.
Disinfectants For Your Home
Sprays, wipes, and surface cleaning liquids are available in abundance in the market. Here are some that are easily available online. Trust us, you will need these.
#1 Dettol Liquid Disinfectant Cleaner
- Surface cleaning product
- Anti-bacterial disinfectant liquid cleaner with a lime fragrance
- Can be used to mop floors as well
#2 Savlon Surface Disinfectant Spray
- Can be used on keys, toys and door handles
- Can be used to disinfect delivery packages too
- This disinfects and deodorizes
- No need to wipe after spraying
#3 Lifebuoy Antibacterial Germ Kill Spray
- No wiping required
- Safe to use on skin
- Safe to use on surfaces and mobile phones too
#4 Tri-Activ Disinfectant Spray
- There is no need to wipe.
- It can be used on hard and soft surfaces
The Bottom Line
As we are dealing with this pandemic situation, we know how harmful it is. The bacteria and virus can get into our bodies by any means. We don’t want to get them while using our essentials. So, it is highly recommended to wash our groceries.
Which grocery cleaning procedure are you following during the pandemic? Let us know in the comment box below.