The woman, who goes by the username Smilelop, shared a video which showed her dishwasher stacked full of colorful fruits, vegetables and bins of smaller fruit (which I assume has holes in the bottom).
Instead of placing harsh detergents or a tablet in the dishwasher, Smilelop recommends using a capful of distilled white vinegar.
While this not a new hack (remember steaming salmon in a dishwasher?), a new generation is asking if it is safe.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 Health Crisis, health agencies have specifically recommended cleaning kitchen surfaces that come in contact with food. The CDC notes the safest produce is cooked; the next safest is washed.
The main recommendations I can locate along with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is to rinse produce under cold running water before eating it and not to use commercial cleaners.
The Best Way to Wash Fruits and Vegetables
The CDC gives even more detail regarding washing fresh produce. They recommend cleaning fruits and vegetables before eating, cutting or cooking unless the package says the produce have been washed (like packaged triple washed baby spinach).
How to rinse: You should hold your produce under cold running water for 30 to 60 seconds.
How to scrub: Gently rub soft fruits or vegetables with the palms of your hands. Don’t rub so hard you cause bruising. For firm produce, you can use a vegetable brush.
Pro Tip: Scrub the outside of pineapples, oranges, and melons – when you cut into these foods with a knife, bacteria on the outside can gets transferred to the inside.
Most fruits and vegetables don’t need to soak. This step is for leafy greens such as kale, chard, and spinach that can have a lot of dirt clinging to the leaves.
How to soak: Soak the bunch of leaves in a bowl of clean water for several minutes and then dry it with a salad spinner to remove the gritty water.
So back to the TikTok video. While many were excited by the unlikely hack, I would not recommend it because you could ruin your produce if any rinse agent is left in the machine and the water pressure may be too much for delicate fruit.
If you are going to try this, make sure no soap or rinse agents are in your dishwasher. Select a cold cycle and skip the drying cycle for sure!