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  • Writer's pictureRani

The Effective Way to Wash Your Produce

In an ideal world, we would all have access to fresh, organic produce year-round. However, the reality is that sometimes, factors like location or budget constraints make it challenging to opt for organic options. Even when choosing organic, the risk of cross-contamination or the presence of persistent pollutants can still linger (1). Fear not, though, as there are effective ways to wash your produce, ensuring you can enjoy a cleaner and healthier plate. Here, I'll share with you the most efficient methods for washing your fruits and vegetables, even when organic is not an option.

Commercial Products vs. DIY Solutions:

While numerous commercial fruit and vegetable wash products claim to remove pesticides, not all of them live up to their promises. However, there's a cost-effective DIY alternative that works wonders. Before we dive into the details, it's worth noting that rinsing produce under running water removes less than half of pesticide residue (2). A 5% acetic acid bath using plain white vinegar is one option, but a more budget-friendly and equally effective solution is a 10% saltwater rinse (3).

DIY Method 1: Saltwater Rinse

To create your pesticide-reducing bath, mix one part salt with nine parts water. This saltwater solution has been found to be as effective as full-strength vinegar in removing pesticide residues. Ensure you rinse off all the salt thoroughly before consuming the produce. This method is not only efficient but also budget-friendly, making it an accessible option for everyone; just go buy yourself a big bag of cheap salt.

DIY Method 2: Scrubbing with a Vegetable Brush and Dish Soap

Scrubbing solid fruits and vegetables with a vegetable brush and mild dish soap is another option. This technique effectively removes dirt, bacteria, and surface contaminants, thanks to the friction generated during scrubbing. To employ this method, gently scrub the produce with dish soap and then thoroughly rinse it under running water. This is an excellent choice for occasions when you only need to wash a single apple, a few potatoes, or a specific solid fruit or vegetable and prefer not to engage in a complete soaking process.

Commercial Options:

If you prefer ready-made solutions, some reliable products are available in the market. One recommended brand is Eat Cleaner, known for its effectiveness in cleaning produce. For those in the US, Biokleen Natural Produce Wash is another viable option.

Keeping your vegetables clean is crucial for your health, regardless of whether you have access to organic options. With these effective and budget-friendly methods, you can confidently enjoy your produce without worrying about harmful contaminants. Whether you opt for a DIY saltwater, rinse or choose a trusted commercial product, making an effort to wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly is a small yet impactful step towards a healthier lifestyle.

Note: if you encounter difficulties ordering Eat Cleaner products in Canada, a quick email to the customer service team can often resolve the issue.


  1. Barański M. Srednicka-Tober D, Volakakis N, et al. Higher antioxidant and lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residues in organically grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses. Br J Nutr. 2014;12(5):794-811.

  2. Krol WJ, Arsenault TL, Pylypiw HM, Incorvia Mattina KJ. Reduction of pesticide residues on produce by rinsing. J Agric Food Chem. 2000;48(10):4666-70.

  3. Zohair A. Behaviour of some organophosphorus and organochlorine pesticides in potatoes during soaking in different solutions. Food Chem Toxicol. 2001;39(7):751-5.



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