This easy homemade fruit and veggie wash is a great little trick for cleaning your produce when you bring it home and helping it to last longer! It is natural, inexpensive and made with something you probably already have in your kitchen.Jump to Recipe
This post contains Amazon affiliate links, though all opinions are my own.
Natural homemade fruit and veggie wash
Why should you should was your produce?
I mean, besides not knowing who or what has touched your fruits and veggies before they made it to your home during the growing, harvesting and shipping process (grossssss)? Produce (even organic) has been sprayed with pesticides, preservatives (like wax) and other such things before it makes it to your home.
Yep. Even organic fruits and veggies have pesticides (just a different formula that will have been approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), for organic produce. So, even if you are buying and eating organic produce, giving your fruits and veggies a good cleaning is always a good idea.
Are fruits and veggies from a local farm or farmer’s market cleaner?
That 100% depends on your farmer and, lucky you, they are usually easier to have a heart-to-heart with about how the food you are buying from them is grown.
From my experience, I definitely prefer to buy my produce from a local farmer who can explain their practices to me. Sometimes a farmer will have much more natural practices in their growing process than the organically labeled fruits and veggies I can get at my local grocery store.
Why? Because a farm or company gaining a “certified organic” label requires a boatload of paperwork and money…something a lot of small family farms just cannot afford. So if buying your fruits and vegetables locally is an option even sometimes, it is a wonderful idea for the sake of supporting local business AND putting high quality food in your family’s bellies.
But still, even fruits and veggies from a local farm need a good washing because….
Dirt, bugs and mold!
Your fruits and vegetables are coming from the ground. That has dirt. So, thus, they are going to have some dirt on them. And then there are the bugs that want to eat them as much as you. Oh and the mold spores! They are hungry for your fruit and veggies too!
If you have ever struggled with your fruits and veggies rotting faster than expected, mold could be the culprit. Fruits and veggies mold and rot so quickly because something other than you is also dying to eat it: bacteria and mold spores! And unlike you, they are constantly working away on your produce and they also brought their friends to the feast. The mold spores and bacteria are already there hanging out your fruit when you bring it home, so the trick to keeping your produce as fresh as possible for as long as possible is to kill those hungry fruit and veggie hijackers (ok, for the sake of accuracy, you’re not killing them, but inhibiting their growth).
So using a homemade fruit and veggie wash is a great way to reduce the mold waiting for you to turn your back and start devouring your produce.
Something important to remember about homemade fruit and veggie wash
Homemade or store bought, there is no perfect fruit and veggie wash that can remove all pesticides, bacteria, mold, bugs and yuck that hitched a ride during the picking and shipping process. The only way to 100% know what is (and is not) on your food is to grow it yourself. However, since that isn’t a realistic thing for many of us most of us a good fruit and veggie wash is the next best thing to helping your produce be as clean as possible before eating it.
The below recipe is the natural homemade fruit and veggie wash that I have used for years to clean my family’s food.
Make sure to rinse all your fruits and veggies well after soaking.
My homemade fruit and veggie soak has salt and vinegar in it as natural cleaning agents. So you will want to rinse those off once they are done killing mold, washing away dirt and making your produce squeaky clean.
Once finish soaking your fruits and make sure to give your fruits and vegetables a thorough rinsing under fresh water.
Make sure to let your produce air dry
Moisture can also make your fruits and veggies go bad quickly, so make sure to let your cleaned and rinsed produce air dry after you have cleaned them.
I like to spread it out on a clean tea cloth or dish towel on my counter after it has been cleaned and then put it aways after it is nice and dry.
You can use a salad spinner to speed up the drying process if you like!
Other posts you might find helpful…
- How To Store spinach and greens (so they stay fresh all week!)
- How to cook butternut squash (6 ways!)
- Real Food on a Budget: 9 Tips to Save Your Family Money
Homemade Fruit and Veggie Wash
- cold water
- 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
- 2 tbsp salt
- Fill a large bowl or a clean sink with cold water. Add in vinegar and salt, stirring with your hands to mix everything in help the salt to dissolve.
- Add your fruits and veggies to the wash.
- Let your produce soak for about 20 minutes.
- Remove your fruits and vegetable from the soak and rinse well with clean water.
- Spread out on clean towels and let your produce dry completely before storing it as you normally do.
This is great! My older kids will buy big amounts (Costco size) of fruit & it goes bad so quickly.
This is an awesome tip for tender seasonal fruit this time of year!
great tip, i will try it!
I’ve heard about using vinegar, but not salt! How does the salt help clean the produce? Thanks!! 🙂
This article claims that salt is a natural disinfectant that helps to eliminate pesticide residue. I started adding it to my soak after I read it and like how it helps!
How long does it normally take fruits/veggies to dry?
It depends on a lot of things. During warmer and/or dryer months, maybe an hour or less. I also spread the produce out on towels to dry. If I am washing something like greens, I separate the leaves so there isn’t any trapped moisture. A salad spinner is a great thing to invest in to also speed up the process of drying.
You cover an excellent topic in this blog.
Like!! I blog frequently and I really thank you for your content. The article has truly peaked my interest.
Does it alter the tase of the fruit or veggie?
I don’t find that it does as long as your rinse the fruits and veggies well after soaking.
I plan to try this – but roughly how much water would you add the ingredients to? Too much water and it seems the vinegar and salt would be too diluted to work.
I usually just fill my kitchen sink about 1/3 full with water, but I’d say about 4-5 gallons of water.