How to Wash Pesticides off Fruit & Vegetables

Washing fresh produce to remove pesticides

It’s usually best to buy organic, but if you’re not able to, read more about how to wash pesticides off fruit and vegetables with this very handy guide.

In recent years we have all become much more aware of the need to avoid pesticides. Similarly, there has also been a significant increase in the popularity of organic food.

Every year the EWG publishes the “Dirty Dozen” of fruits and vegetables most contaminated by pesticides which further encourages us to go organic.

Some of these foods however, are either too expensive to buy organic or too difficult to grow yourself. So let’s have a look into how we can properly wash pesticides off fruit and vegetables to keep our produce clean and nutritious.


1. Wash Fruit and Vegetables with Detergent

Most of the time water alone simply is not enough to properly get rid of agricultural pesticides. You can actually add a bit of detergent or washing-up liquid to a bucket of water and gently wash your fruit and vegetables which will lift off most of the pesticide residue. Just make sure you rinse with clean water properly afterwards.

2. Wash Fruit and Vegetables with Vinegar

Vinegar works wonders for removing bacteria and can also help break down unwanted wax on fruit. The best way to use vinegar to wash your fruit and vegetables, is to use 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water (3:1 – water:vinegar).

Simply get yourself a bottle of vinegar with a spray-top and spray your fruit and vegetables. After spraying, rinse carefully under a water tap. For a better result, leave your fruit and vegetables soaking in a vinegar/water solution for 10-20 minutes and then rinse.

How To Wash Pesticides Off Fruit and vegetables: fruit cleaner

3. Use a Commercial Fruit Cleaner

You can also use one of the many commercial fruit cleaners available. These cleaners can remove pesticides, wax, and 99.9% of nasty bacteria. Make sure you pick a natural product and avoid the ammonia-based cleaners.

4. Make Your Own Fruit and Vegetable Cleaner

Try one of these mixes to make your very own fruit and vegetable super cleaner.

With vinegar:

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 cup water in a spray-topped bottle

With baking soda:

  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 1 cup / 250ml water

Spray your fruit and vegetables with this little home-made mixture, let it soak in for 5 minutes and then rinse well with water. As you can see, these home-made cleaners are very easy to prepare and they are very effective too.

5. Peeling

Most fruits can best be peeled as this is the easiest and most effective way to get rid of pesticides. This works great with apples, pears, nectarines and peaches. Make sure you wash your fruit before peeling or otherwise you can still transfer pesticides and bacteria.


There are many effective and affordable ways to wash pesticides off fruit and vegetables. If you don’t eat organic, make a habit out of cleaning your produce, especially if you’re consuming fruit and vegetables that are on the dirty dozen list.

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