How to Wash Pesticides off Fruits and Vegetables

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Last updated: November 7, 2020

It’s usually best to buy organic, but if you’re not able to, read on to learn how to wash pesticides off fruits and vegetables with this 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.

5 Ways to Remove Pesticides From Fruits and Vegetables

Use one or more of the following five ways to remove unwanted pesticides from your fruits and greens.

1. Wash Fruit and Vegetables with Detergent

More than often, water alone really is not enough to properly clean fruits and vegetables, and to get rid of agricultural pesticides.

Spinach leaves in cup

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 you often see on fruits like apples.

The best way to use vinegar to wash your fruit and vegetables, is to use 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water.

Use vinegar to wash pesticides off fruits and vegetables

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.

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.

Veggie Wash Fruit & Vegetable, Produce...
  • Safely remove wax, soil, agricultural chemicals, and handling residue found on...
  • Ideal for standard and organic fruits and vegetables
  • Cut through wax and chemicals and be sure your fruits and vegetables are safely...

4. Make Your Own Fruit and Vegetable Cleaner

Try one of these recipes 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

Use a natural fruit and vegetable cleaner

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, because this is the easiest and most effective way to get rid of pesticides.

This works great with apples, pears, nectarines and peaches.

Peel apples before eating

Make sure you wash the fruits before peeling, or otherwise you can still transfer pesticides and bacteria onto the flesh.

Final Thoughts on Cleaning Produce

You would be surprised how contaminated some of our favorite fruits and vegetables are. Whilst there may certainly be a case for using pesticides in farming, this doesn’t mean we should just ignore it.

There are many effective and affordable ways to wash pesticides off our nutritious fruits and vegetables. If you don’t eat organic, make a habit of cleaning your fresh produce, especially if you’re eating lots of greens and fruits that are on the dirty dozen list.


Wash pesticides off fruits and vegetables

Donna Harrison

I created Healthy Food Tribe because I am passionate about discovering new foods and learning everything about them. I am also a smoothie fanatic and I document all my favorite recipes here on my blog.

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