Sanitize With Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide

This non-toxic method was developed by Susan Sumner, from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, as a way of sanitizing food. Not only does it work great for that but I have found it useful elsewhere around the home.



  • hydrogen peroxide
  • vinegar
  • 2 spray bottles
  • cleaning cloth

The trick is to keep the two substances in separate bottles.

WARNING: If you mix them together beforehand, not only does it lose its effectiveness as a sanitizer, but it produces peracetic acid which is not something you want around. Therefore, DO NOT mix them together in the same bottle.


  1. Fill spray bottles with hydrogen peroxide and vinegar, separately.
  2. Spray the surface you want to clean with a light coating of hydrogen peroxide. Let it bubble for a moment.
  3. Note: You can actually do steps 1 & 2 in any order. However, I like spraying the hydrogen peroxide first because it can help me spot the worst places when it bubbles.


  4. Now spray the surface with the vinegar. Again, let it sit a moment.
  5. Wipe down with your cloth and toss the cloth in the washing machine when you are done.

This works great in the bathroom and is totally non-toxic. I have even killed mold with it successfully.

Source: The Urban Homestead by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen

By Jess from Hillsboro, OR


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April 7, 20121 found this helpful

Wow! I looked this stuff up. It is more powerful than straight bleach, but breaks down in water to benign chemicals in the environment. I will definately keep this in my arsenal.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
April 12, 20160 found this helpful

Please be very careful with Hydrogen peroxide and vinegar........If mixed,they DO NOT play well together.There
are a lot of products on the market that will clean without the danger.......

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June 28, 20120 found this helpful

Thank you! This is new, and deeply appreciated cleaning wisdom to me. Heretofore, I had been using both fluids, but separately, for different cleaning purposes.


Henceforth, I shall use both fluids as you have suggested, expecting great results. Again, thank you!

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November 21, 20141 found this helpful

Frankly, this feels dangerous with TOO little complete information and I decided to not think about this anymore. I do not need half-complete information that may inadvertently lead me to do something that could be very dangerous to me or to someone beloved in my home. There are just too many unanswered questions to list here.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
November 21, 20140 found this helpful

I've used vinegar and dishsoap mixed in a spray bottle with Lemon oil added as my husband cannot stand the smell of vinegar. I use this for my kitchen countertops. The info about mixing peroxide and vinegar in the same bottle is scary. Separate, they are a knockout for germs though. Thanks for info.

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November 21, 20140 found this helpful

Please, please know what sterilizing is before you post on here or anywhere! For example during surgery, the tools the doctors use is "sterilized". Sterilization is cleaning with very hot temperatures for a period of time. Sanitizing is cleaning with chemicals.


"Sterilize With Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide" is just a false statement. I think Thrifty Fun needs to take this post down, it's dangerous, misleading and someone can get hurt.

Editor's Note: Thank you for noting the error. We have changed the title to read "Sanitize" instead of "Sterilize."

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November 24, 20140 found this helpful

I use vinegar and hydrogen peroxide to wash my fruits and vegetables too.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

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