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Homemade Fruit and Vegetable Wash Recipe

Unless it’s homegrown, we know so little about where our produce really comes from. To ensure you remove all traces of pesticides and herbicides, as well as prolong shelf life, I recommend using a fruit and vegetable wash. This homemade recipe uses only 4 ingredients, all staples you are sure to have in your pantry already!

Homemade Fruit & Vegetable Wash Recipe

Do you ever pick up a fruit or vegetable from the grocery store and already feel the gunk from its surface on your hands? Even after I rinse an apple or nectarine, I still feel as though there is still something lingering there.

I like to use my fruit and vegetable wash to ensure that all my produce is completely free from any surface contaminants such as herbicides and pesticides. Even with my own organic produce, I feel more comfortable making sure they are 100% clean before I store them away in my fridge.

The good news is, washing fruit only takes a few minutes and doesn’t have to be a huge and annoying step in a grocery store routine. All you need are a few quick sprays of my vegetable and fruit wash.

homemade fruit and vegetable wash surrounded by fresh produce

Is Fruit and Veggie Wash Necessary?

When it comes to the garden, I don’t mind popping homegrown fruit and veggies straight from the plant to my mouth. I use only organic gardening methods, meaning no pesticides, herbicides, and only natural fertilizers. This makes me feel safe about my veggies!

But when it comes to large harvests, I still like to wash my vegetables. Since I live in the city, I never truly know 100% what is in my soil at any given time. If you use any kind of herbicides or pesticides, I highly recommend giving them a wash beforehand.

Plain tap water works just fine for removing debris and dirt, but a fruit and vegetable wash helps to remove the more difficult stuff, such as apple wax and surface-level pesticides.

It’s important to note that vegetables and fruit usually have some sort of microorganisms on them. In most cases, washing produce removes these organisms prolonging their life. However, some fruit and vegetables have their own protective measures. For example, blueberries have bloom, the fine powdery covering that allows them to fight off bacteria and fungus that would cause premature decay.

fruit wash

When To Use Fruit Wash

Most fruit and vegetables can be washed when they come home from the grocery store. I like to wash produce with the skin on like avocados and beets right away. Packaged goods, like raspberries or cherry tomatoes, I remove from their package completely before washing them. Make sure all produce dries before storing them in the fridge or pantry.

Others you may want to wait to wash until just before eating to prolong the shelf life. For fresh fruit such as apples, grapes, blueberries, and tomatoes I like to wait in order to keep that protective bloom I mentioned earlier. The same goes for kale!

For more on when and how to properly wash vegetables, visit this post.

washing an apple with fruit and vegetable wash

How Does Veggie Wash Work?

When you soak vegetables and fruits in an acidic solution, it helps to remove bacteria and any surface-level pesticides. This recipe uses both vinegar and citric acid to lower the pH. This helps to further break down any wax left on produce as well as any contaminants left on the surface.

A fruit and vegetable wash that’s made of a combination of acid and salt makes it easier to remove some of the waxes, chemical sprays, and dirt that can stick to produce when it comes home from the grocery store.

The ingredients in this fruit and vegetable wash help to get produce squeaky clean without adding an off-putting flavour.

vegetable wash spray with veggies

Fruit and Vegetable Wash Recipe

This recipe is so quick and easy to make. It uses common grocery store ingredients that you may already have in your pantry. Keep it handy in the kitchen for any quick produce trips!

Materials & Ingredients

See the recipe card below for exact measurements.

  • Warm water
  • Citric acid
  • Salt
  • White vinegar
  • Glass spray bottle

veggie wash ingredients

Make it!

Measure the warm water.

Add citric acid and salt.

making fruit and vegetable wash with citric acid

Stir until both are fully dissolved.

Add vinegar and mix ingredients well together. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.

homemade fruit and vegetable wash

How to Use

Spray produce 2-3 times, let it rest for two minutes, and then rinse off with tap water before consuming.

While this fruit and vegetable wash tastes rather good (if you like salt and vinegar flavoured chips), it will not change or affect the flavour of the fruit. As long as it’s applied as described, even soft skin fruit like strawberries and raspberries will not take on the salt and vinegar flavour.

DIY Veggie Wash Storage

This vinegar-based wash will keep for three months on your counter or in a cabinet. Simply give it a shake before spraying to disperse the ingredients. However, if your veggie wash changes colour or has a strange aroma, it should be discarded.

More Natural Cleaning Ideas to Try

Fruit and Vegetable Wash

Makes 2 1/2 cups of fruit and vegetable wash.

Supplies

Instructions

  • Measure out your warm water. Add in your citric acid and salt, stirring until fully dissolved.
  • Add in vinegar, stirring again. Pour into a glass spray bottle.
  • To use, spray produce 2-3 times. Let sit for a couple of minutes before rinsing produce with cold water.
  • Use cleaner within 3 months. Discard if odour arises or colour changes.

Comments

  1. 5 stars
    While I am not adverse to nibbling as I do my watering, when I kept finding large bites taken out of my barely ripe tomatoes as well as droppings on some leaves I decided to get a bit more assertive about cleaning homegrown veggies and fruits before eating. Thank you for this timely recipe as well as the link to how to wash produce.

    Reply
  2. Stephanie, I am really interested in making this Fruit and Vegetable Wash, however I could not find the recipe card below the post. Could you please share that with me?
    Thank you!

    Reply

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