DIY: Make Your Own Fruit & Veggie Wash


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It’s common sense: washing produce reduces the risk of contracting a food-borne illness.

E. Coli contamination can be fatal. And pesticides can’t be removed from produce with a simple quick rinse at the sink. Sure, you can buy fancy, costly potions at the health food store to clean your fruits and veggies. Or you can whip out the bottle of vinegar from your pantry and treat your produce to a soak with your own DIY fruit & veggie wash. Using a 1:3 vinegar to water dilution ratio, you can removes pesticides and up to 98 percent of bacteria. You can use this same ratio to make a spray wash, but the soak is preferred for cleaning produce without smooth surfaces, including leafy greens and broccoli.

After soaking your produce for up to five minutes, give them a quick rinse. As long as you don’t let the fruits and veggies soak for an extended period of time, you won’t taste the vinegar. (Another illustration of the “less is more” concept. A five-minute soak is good. A 20-minute soak is overkill, unless, perhaps, you are trying to pickle your produce.)

Fruit & Veggie Wash

The vinegar soak has the added benefit of extending the shelf life of your produce. Berries briefly soaked in vinegar will stay good in the refrigerator for about a week. Anyone who eats a lot of strawberries in the summer months will consider these extra days of fuzz-free fruit to be a miracle of sorts, I am sure.

And if you are looking for even more uses for vinegar around the house, check out a previous post here on The Good Human titled “23 Ways To Use Vinegar For Nontoxic Cleaning.”

Water pouring to the fresh salad image from BigStock.

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  1. … Hi Amanda … i love this vinegar idea … i’ve read about many different ratios of the water vinegar mixture … i need to clean the whole bulk of fruit & vegetables for the whole week’s requirement … about 10 kg … i put those in a tub that holds 16 litres … i have 2 questions please … 1} how much vinegar would i have to use for this amount of produce … 2} what kind of vinegar are you recommending … thank you very much for sharing your knowledge … love & peace … God Bless …

  2. Hi Dina,

    I don’t have a specific number for you, but I would fill the tub with a pitcher just until everything is submerged in water. Count how many pitchers it takes to fill it and then divide that number by three to get the 1:3 vinegar/water ratio. I have read other ratios as well — I think a 1:5 ratio would work just as well and make your vinegar go further. So if it takes 5 pitchers to fill the sink — add 1 pitcher of vinegar. I don’t usually measure — just eyeball it.

    Any vinegar is fine — I use white vinegar that I buy in bulk at Costco. It is very affordable. Maybe $3 for a huge jug.

    I hope this helps.

    Be well,

    1. … Hi Amanda … thanks a million for the info … this helps plenty … i will use synthetic white vinegar … my next fruit & vegetable lot is in for a treat … you’re a gem … be well too … love & peace to you … your loved ones & the whole world … God Bless … 🙂

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