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How to Wash Produce

How to Clean Produce: Because Rinsing Is Not Enough

One of the main reasons I buy organic produce is to eliminate the risk of pesticides from my diet. Even with a good wash, I'm still paranoid that I can't get everything off. And since any produce — organic or not — is handled considerably before it makes it to the market, washing is a must. But the washing part has always been a bit confusing. Is water enough, and should it be hot? Does produce need to soak or spin? And, is vinegar or another type of produce wash needed?

Well, thank you, New York Times! This week, it published a story answering all of the above, and here's the skinny: first off, you better be washing that produce. In order to remove pesticides from produce, rub any fruits and veggies while rinsing them with tap water. Removing microorganisms like E. coli is a little trickier. For that, you'll need a vinegar-water solution: nine parts water to one part vinegar. To be on the safe side, clean any produce with a vinegar solution, then finish it up with a 30-second rinse under the tap. Done and done!

Image Source: Thinkstock
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Join The Conversation
amber512 amber512 5 years
Ahhhhhh I have to admit that I rarely ever wash produce unless it has visible dirt. I especially hate washing lettuce for a salad because I can never get enough of the water off even with my salad spinner and I think it dilutes my salad dressing.
foxie foxie 5 years
Eeesh... yeah, I never really wash my produce. I rinse stuff like mushrooms that have visible dirt on them, but I don't bother with anything else.
nutella2683 nutella2683 5 years
I remember several years ago there was a spray that Was sold at supermarkets that was supposed to clean fruits and vegetables better than water. Whatever happened to that stuff and what was it called.
Spectra Spectra 5 years
You can also use a little baking soda in water to wash your produce. I dissolve a teaspoon or so in a spraybottle of water and spritz it on my fruits and veggies, rub it a little bit to get any stuff off of it, and then I rinse it pretty well with water.
shaima shaima 5 years
My mom uses white vinegar for food and also to clean the kitchen. So on cleaning day, I can smell the vinegar from our apartment from the elevator! But apparently she's right!
tlsgirl tlsgirl 5 years
Eh, I just rinse with water. Maybe I'm flirting with food poisoning, but I've been fine thus far. I'm just too lazy to do all of that work, and I hate the smell of vinegar.
LittleMzFit LittleMzFit 5 years
I add a touch of soap along w/ the vinegar to escort the toxins away & rinse thoroughly. :)
Baljenne Baljenne 5 years
Wow great tip! I was wondering about it today when I ate a pear.
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