Potassium Permanganate – The Magic Pink Crystal

Today we’re going to learn about potassium permanganate. And how that helps us stay healthy overseas.


Mundane Mondays – A new series where I chronicle a very mundane part of daily living that’s slightly (or widely) off center from the American paradigm.


One of the bigger adjustments to daily life overseas is washing fruits and vegetables. Now, maybe some of you are vigilant about washing your produce in the first world, but I was never one of those people. I like to think I’m the perfect amount of lazy and realistic. I am just not afraid of something on the outside of my food in America.


But on this side of the world it’s a necessary precaution. We wash/soak most produce. There are a few options for washing your fresh foods.


How To Wash Vegetables


  • Good old soap and water

  • Soaking in Iodine

  • Commercial “Vegetable wash”

  • Potassium Permanganate


We’ve dabbled in all of the above and all four options do get used on occasion in our kitchen. However, by and large, the one I rely on the most is the magical pink chemical called potassium permanganate.


potassium permanganate


Potassium Permanganate


Say that 5 times fast.


It’s a handy little survival tool and a tiny bit of it will last you for-stinkin-ever. Just a couple of itty crystals in a big bowl of water will do the trick. Just enough to turn the water pink.


potassium permanganate


What to Soak in Potassium Permanganate


We soak most produce with the exception of things that we peel like bananas, onions, oranges, and potatoes. Most everything else gets a good soak.


washing fruits and vegetables


Now, other than using a chemical crystal with a fancy name, I am not very scientific about this. Honestly, I usually throw things in to soak and then forget about them until the next time I walk into the kitchen. So I’m not sure the minimum amount of time things are actually supposed to soak for.


Potassium Permanganate - the magic crystal for your kitchen abroad.


But we’ve not been sick from food once since we arrived in South Asia 6 months ago so I guess we’re doing something right.


Do you wash your fruits and veg?