How to Wash Fruits and Vegetables to Remove Pesticides

Fruits and vegetables are mouth-watering, nourishing additions to your meals. 

Unfortunately, this nutritional value can swiftly change to a threat to your health!

Take for example, many have experienced food poisoning with fruits and vegetables that have pesticide residues.

But it’s never beyond your control. We’ve simplified how that can be done in this article. 

Below, you will find all the tips on how to wash fruits and vegetables to remove pesticides.

Here’s How to Wash Fruits and Vegetables to Remove Pesticides

1. Use 10% of Salt Water Solution

You perhaps wonder, what’s it with 10% of the saltwater solution? 

Okay, that simple! 

Studies have revealed how important it is to wash fruits and vegetables with saltwater. 

And soaking it with 10% of saltwater solution for 20 minutes will help remove most pesticide residues. 

Follow these tips below:

  • Wash first your fruits and vegetables with clean water 
  • Then, soak it with 10% of saltwater solution 
  • Leave for 20 minutes
  • Wash with clean water again. 
  • Eat and enjoy! 

2. Use Vinegar Solution

Some experts have also suggested this solution as an excellent way to wash fruits and vegetables to get rid of pesticides. 

A very sound approach is to make a solution having 1-part vinegar to 4-part water or 8-part water to 2-part vinegar. 

Then, you are required to dip your fruits and vegetables for up to 20 minutes. 

Nevertheless, some have insisted that mixing with water isn’t enough. 

They agreed that full-strength is needed to get rid of pesticides comprehensively. 

It’s quite appealing to learn that most bacteria found on food items can also be removed by vinegar. 

However, there is a caution: Don’t wash vinegar with porous fruits like berries and carrots. 

This is because their light skin can easily be affected! 

Simplified Tips:

  • Wash fruits with clean water 
  • Then soak fruits in 1-parts vinegar to 4-part water or 8-part water to 2-part vinegar
  • If you have a fruit with thick skin like mangoes, pineapples, you might want to use full-strength vinegar. 
  • Soak for a minimum of 20 minutes 
  • Wash again with clean water 
  • Enjoy! 

3. Mix Water and Baking Soda

Here is another solution for you. 

As experimented with, 1lbs of baking soda to 100lbs of water will help wash off pesticides. 

After mixing the constituents, then drop in your fruits and vegetables for at least 20 minutes. 

After that, it can be safe for use. 


  • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly with clean water 
  • Make a mixture of 1lbs of baking soda to 100lbs of water
  • Soak for a minimum of 20 minutes 
  • Rinse with clean water
  • Enjoy 

4. Mix Salt Water and Vinegar

As explained earlier, saltwater water is a very effective way to remove pesticides from fruits and vegetables. 

However, a mixture of saltwater and vinegar will even do more wonders. 

Take, for instance, in a research that was published in Food Control, washing vegetables and fruit with saltwater and vinegar solution for 20 minutes came with an excellent result.  

And the same was right with vinegar. 

But why mix? 

Well, full-strength vinegar might leave a vinegary flavor on your fruits and vegetables, thus leaving the food less admirable. 

Thus, for some, it might not be an ideal option. 

Therefore, it is nice to have this unit mix with these two. 


  • Wash fruits and vegetables with clean water 
  • Mix salt water with vinegar (4 ratios 1) 
  • Soak for 20 minutes 
  • Rinse with clean water 
  • Enjoy 

5. Cold Water is Fine

Perhaps all these constituents we mentioned are not within your reach; then, you should at least have access to cold water.

But how effective? 

When researchers from Connecticut were met, this is what their analysis resulted into: 

Rinsing fruits and vegetables with cold water can aid in limiting pesticides. 

This was true with nine pesticides tested out of 12.  

Therefore, this is an excellent way to remove pesticides from fruits and vegetables. 

Here’s How to Carry this Out

  • If you don’t have cold water, buy ice – it’s cheaper
  • Soak all in it for a minimum of 10-12 minutes 
  • Then, remove and wash with clean, warm water
  • Enjoy 

6. Peel!

Carrot easily comes to mind, right? That’s correct!

If you still can’t implement all these methods we’ve highlighted, here is a cost-free way that’s within your reach. 

So, all you’ve got to do is peel off the skins using a knife or any tool within reach. 

Bear in mind, though, that some fruit’s bark is a nutrient-dense resource. 

This is typical of fruits like mango, apple, and cucumbers. 

How to do it

  • Wash the knife clean 
  • Wash your fruits with clean water 
  • Neatly and slightly Peel off the fruit with the knife 
  • Then wash with clean water 
  • Enjoy 

Other Practical Way to Remove Pesticides from Fruits and Vegetables

If you have a sink, you’ve got an incredible start. 

Fill your kitchen sink with filtered water, then add a splash of vinegar – putting in mind the ratio mentioned earlier- and some salt. 

After that, you can pour your fruits and veggies to soak for a minimum of 15-20 minutes. 

If you do this well, you will not find any traces of vinegar in your food when you eat it without leaving too much vinegar inside the water. 

You may place concern on fruits like berries. 

If that is the case for you, use a bottle with filtered water to lemon juice to wash off the pesticide. 

After that, use clean water to rinse. 

It’s vital to use clean water for rinsing because it has been seen to help to remove some pesticides too. 

For heavier vegetables and fruits, scrub off with a knife. These fruits are sweet potatoes, carrots, watermelon, and others. 

Drying Your Vegetables The Best Ways

After washing your fruits and vegetables, you might be willing to offer them a smooth external surface before you refrigerate. 

This will help reduce any microorganisms from destroying the vegetables. 

To drain extra moisture, you can put any greens and herb in a fruit spinner.

You might lay them in a flat, clean bowl to allow the natural air to dry them off.  

Refrigerating Your Fruits and Vegetables to Wash off Pesticides

When you are done washing and drying your vegetables, you should move to storing them in the refrigerator quickly.

After being labeled clean, you don’t have to rewash. 

But when you are about to use it, you can wash with clean water.

When you keep a washed vegetable and fruit inside the fridge, do not let it sit down there for a long time. 

Keep it there for just a day or two. If you leave it for more than these days, it might accumulate moisture that will eventually grow bacteria. 

Also, make sure that the surfaces you will be placing your fruits and vegetables on and the items to drain and scrub them are very clean. 

So, for that reason make sure your sink, cutting board, chopper, and the counter or tray you use for drying them is neat. 

Bear in mind that one of the ways people get food poisoning is via cross-contamination. 

Thus, keep yourself and your items clean when you wash. 

Now, let’s examine specific ways to clean some of the fruits you have. We will be highlighting how to wash: 

  • Tomatoes 
  • Leafy Greens
  • Mushrooms 
  • Other Vegetables 

Best Way to Wash Fruits and Vegetables to Remove Pesticides

With this information above, let’s examine how you can use it to wash these products now. 

Specifically, we’ll be using this information to practicalize how to wash vegetables. 

How to Wash Leafy Greens with Baking Soda

  • Pour inside a salad spinner with greens, then pour in water.
  • Pour in baking soda (a teaspoon) and mix thoroughly.
  • Allow the greens to be soaked for a minute, then wash, rinse well with clean water, and then spin to dry.  
  • If you do not have a salad spinner, you can improvise.
  • Just add the greens to a bowl and add water and baking soda. 
  • Allow these to soak and drain it using a strainer. 
  • Pat leaves dry using clean paper towels or lint-free kitchen towels. 

How to Wash Mushrooms

There are conflicting opinions about how to wash mushrooms.

For instance, some chefs would gently wipe these mushrooms using a damp towel. 

But some argue that this method wouldn’t result in thorough washing of mushrooms. 

Therefore, to thoroughly wash these mushrooms, you can scrub them using a mushroom brush and rinse them under running water. 

After that, you should blot out water with a paper towel or kitchen towel. 

For other types of Vegetables

  • Pour water inside a large bowl 
  • Pour in baking soda with a teaspoon 
  • Add the vegetables that you want to wash 
  • Allow it to soak for a minimum of 2 minutes 
  • Scrub gently using a brush 
  • Finally, rinse off the vegetables with clean water 

Washing Strawberries and Blueberries Fruits

There are smooth-skinned fruits like cherries and apples that can also be washed the way vegetables are being washed. 

Berries are a type of fruit that can be rinsed under clean cold water using a mesh strainer.

After that, gently pat dry with a clean kitchen towel before eating at all.

Although, instinctively, some individuals will wash and rinse off their berries immediately after bringing them home. 

By doing that, they are increasing moisture, and accelerating mold, microflora, and spoilage. 

And that is why these fruits are to be washed just soon before eating them. 

How to Clean Vegetables from Pesticides and Bacterial Residue

True, there isn’t a way to 100% remove residual pesticides on any fruits and vegetables you bring home. 

But with the following step discussed, you can remove these harmful substances to the barest minimum. 

1. The Effectiveness Cold Water 

As discussed earlier, the use of cold water has proven effective for a very long time. 

It has the potential of removing nearly 80% of all residual particles, bacteria, and viruses. 

The moment you’ve completed the cold water rinse, then you should spin out your leafy greens or salad green. 

The removal of excess water verifies that these residual particles are taken away. 

2. Use Cold Alkaline or Acidic Soak

For leafy veggies, root vegetables, tender fruits, soak them in a clean ph raised water for a minimum of 5 minutes and a maximum of 15 minutes. 

This procedure is vital for food that will be eaten raw. 

For thicker skinned vegetables and fruits, soak them in an acidic or alkaline solution to break off cells so they can get rid of some pesticide poisons.  

What level of protection can you get? 

Research reports from Thailand revealed that soaking fruits and veggies in water for 5 to 15 minutes can eradicate particles by nearly 75%. 

And that method leaves only 3 – 5% of the initial pesticide unchanged. 

How to Make Fruits and Vegetables More Acidic Using Food-safe acids

You have to be careful when altering the average pH value of water. 

Reports have shown that an acidic level of 3.5pH is effective and safe for humans. 

To alter the pH of soaking water, attain an acidic level of 3.5pH.

And this can be obtained by adding the following constituents in cold water. 

These are: 

  • A tbsp of citric acid powder to a gallon of water 
  • A cup of vinegar to a gallon of water 
  • 3 tbsp of vitamin c to a gallon of water 

Then soak your fruits and vegetables in one of these cold water where these food-safe acids have been added. 

Soak it for at least 5 to 15 minutes for an excellent result. 

If you soak for a more extended period, tender skinned berries would be damaged.

Therefore, if you will be willing to soak soft berries like: 

  • Blackberries 
  • Strawberries 
  • Raspberries

The limit time for this type of fruit should be 1 minute.

And this must be done just before you serve it to guests or for your consumption.

For vegetables that are soaked in an acidic solution, they have to be rinsed finally with cold water to remove any odor.

How to Make a Water More Alkaline

There is no doubt that soaking vegetables and fruit in water that is slightly alkaline will eliminate 75% of pesticide residue. 

For one to increase the alkalinity of water, add a few of these:

Half cup of table salt in a gallon of water 

3 tbsp. of baking soda in a gallon filled with water. 

With baking soda and water, you can break down any pesticide residues of fruits or vegetables. 

You can either use acid or alkaline. You won’t get any glamorous advantage if you do both. 

Never forget, rinse with clean, neutral, and dry off the vegetables and fruits. 

Cooking Fruits and Vegetables by Steaming, Boiling, and Frying

There are lots of organic-phosphate pesticides that can only be destroyed by heat. 

Thus, cooking, steaming, boiling, and stir-frying eliminate pesticide residues as it breaks these pesticides into molecule parts. 

This cooking is capable of eliminating from 85-90% of residues in food. 

Therefore, for foods that you are willing to cook instead of eating raw., the first step is to wash in cold water, then cook it. 

This will get rid of about 95-98% of residuals pesticides from vegetables and fruits. 

The high heat of frying vegetables or fruits for a minimum of 5 minutes can get rid of 85% pesticide. 

Additionally, boiling for five minutes can get rid of 95% of pesticides.

Like you would after washing with cold water, drain the vegetables after cooking and discard the water. 

Allow for Natural Fermentation

Fermenting vegetables and fruits by making wine is capable of killing pesticide molecules, rendering them harmless. 

Also, fermentation can make carotenoids, flavonoids, and polyphenol more bioavailable in the human body. 

Therefore, add fermented food to any fruit or vegetable choice of yours. 

If you want to make your fruit and vegetable wash, these are the things you needed to make DIY fruits and vegetable wash.

DIY Fruit and Vegetable Wash

You can find fruits possessing plump, waxed skin with pesticides that are thicker than the light peel of the vegetable in the market. 

Washing your fruits and vegetables with some of these soaks mentioned earlier would be sufficient. 

But, when you only have a few fruits to clean, then this DIY fruit and vegetable wash might be the way out. 

They are a helpful spray for your fruits. 

These are way cheaper and effective than other commercial products that you can buy in the market.  

This is because some of these commercial products have fewer chemicals. 

And you can mix these in just 5 minutes or even less. 

They will remove residual pesticides, viruses, and bacteria from vegetables and fruits. 

Yield: 500ml (16 ounces)


  • 1tbs. of eco-friendly dishwashing detergent
  • One ¾ of cups of filtered water 
  • ½ tbs of citric acid
  • Five drops of orange essential oil 
  • Five drops of lemon essential oil 
  • Ten grapefruit of essential oil. 

(It can also be the combination of these three, as long as it makes 20 drops)

  • Pour in liquid detergent, citric oil, and essential oils to an amber glass bottle. 
  • Completely fill-up the bottle with the filtered water reaching the shoulder of the bottle. 
  • Then, add a spray cap. 
  • After that, prime the spray bottle by spraying them inside any empty bowl. 

Caution: Contents here are acidic; this should not get to your eyes or even on skin. 

How to Use

First, rinse your vegetables and fruits under cold water to take off at least a minimum of 80% of pesticide residues. 

Then, move on to spray this solution on heavy skinned vegetables and fruits to destroy wax coatings. 

After that, spray vegetables or fruits. Let this remain on the fruit or vegetables for a minute. 

After that, rinse it off. 

Then, on rough-skinned fruits like squash and melons, utilize a vegetable brush before you rinse at all so you can thoroughly clean off pesticides from the fruit. 

Clean-Easy Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make

Do not mix baking soda and vinegar to clean your fruit or vegetables. 

Some internet writers might suggest that you combine these two to wash your vegetables and fruits. 

They believe that these constituents will lead to a clean wash. 

But that isn’t correct, don’t do it! 

Combining these leads to a fizzy reaction if acid buffers the alkaline present in the baking soda. 

That means you neither have acid nor base. And it won’t be effective and serve its purpose. 

This will eventually lead to a waste of money and time. 

If you are willing to try any combination, give a short to the first one we mentioned earlier. 

Avoiding a Curdy Mess

Do not use any liquid natural soap or natural liquid castile soap where the recipe demands citric acid or vinegar.

In hard water, soap and acid often mix to make thick, sticky soap curds. 

And these curds don’t possess the cleaning power. 

Additionally, these lead to the soap’s floating on the bottle’s surface, leading to a big mess. 

Therefore, instead of using acid, utilize an eco-friendly detergent, which will not lead to a soap curd when mixed with the acid found in hard water. 

Final Thoughts

Interestingly, fruits and vegetables are the basic blocks of a healthy lifestyle. 

By removing pesticides from the fruits you consume, you are sure that you want to obtain ultimate benefits. 

As a reminder, no cleaning method can be 100% efficient in cleaning up all pesticide residue from vegetables and fruits. 

However, with these tools and methods discussed, you can be sure of removing 98% of pesticide residues by utilizing these everyday items in the pantry. 

What’s next for you?

Go ahead and enjoy your vegetables and fruits on your meal, believing that you’ve gotten rid of these toxic pesticides.

By using these cleaning solutions to wash your vegetables and fruits off pesticides extensively, you will be improving your health. 

Welcome! I’m Trust. I’m a writer, public instructor, and mobile photographer. I’m passionate about an organized and productive life and have keen concern for folks living with ADHD and those having a slow processing speed. Join me on this journey as we live an organized and productive life!

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