10 Safe Ways To Remove Pesticides From Fruits & Vegetables

Removing pesticides from fruits and vegetables ensure that you are eating the cleanest and safest produce as possible. Pesticides are chemicals that are used to attract and kill the pests that destroy the plant crops. Though it may serve as a protection for plants to grow better, it doesn’t mean that it is safe for us to ingest. There are different ways to get rid of pesticide from fruits and vegetables. Here are 10 tricks that you can perform at home.

See: Which Foods Have The Most Pesticides On Them?

Remove Pesticides From Produce in 10 Effective Ways

Ways To Remove Pesticides From Fruits & Vegetables
1. Vinegar Wash

  • Take a large bowl or basin and mix 1 cup of vinegar with 3 cups of water.
  • Soak the fruits and veggies for 10 minutes. Then, air-dry the natural foods.

Make sure that your fruits and vegetables are at the room temperature before placing it on the wash. Keep the washed fruits and vegetables at the same temperature to reduce the risk of rotting and temperature shocking.

Research showed that this ratio of 1:3 is the most effective in removing pesticides from your fruits and veggies with 98% contaminants gone.

Temperature shock may open the pores of the skin and let them absorb the dirty water inside, thus, making it more dangerous for your health.

Lemon Juice Spray to remove pesticide2. Lemon Juice Spray

  • Mix 1 tbsp of lemon juice, 2 tbsp of baking soda and 1 cup of water together.
  • Make sure that the baking soda is properly dissolved. Pour the mixture to a clean spray bottle.
  • Spritz your fruits & veggies and let it stay for 5-10 minutes. Rinse off with water.

Lemon juice spray is yet another effective tip for pesticide removal. Besides cleaning the harsh chemicals from produce, this citrus spray also kills the microorganisms from the outer skin.

3. Wait For The Right Time To Wash

Even as simple as waiting can do the trick in removing pesticides from your produce. You do not necessarily need to wash them off right after you bought it from the grocery store.

Washing it before storing will only promote the growth of bacteria and make spoiling faster. Hence, it is best to wait for the right time you have to wash it off. You can clean it just before you use them and it will have lesser bacterial growth then.

Also Read: How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies?

4. Proper Trimming

Cut the tops and outer parts of some fruits and vegetables to remove pesticide residues and other harmful bacteria. Veggies like lettuce, celery, cabbage, and other leafy vegetables tend to have a lot of microbes and chemical residue on the outer surface. Hence, chopping them off is a good idea.

5. Grapefruit Seed Extract Wash

  • Mix 1 cup water with ½ cup of white vinegar, 1 tbsp of baking soda and 20 drops grapefruit seed extract. This mixture will help fight off bacteria and remove wax too.
  • Wash your produce using the mixture thoroughly, and rinse.
  • You can also place this mixture inside a spray bottle and spritz it on the produce you want to clean, scrub, and rinse thoroughly.

how to wash fruits and vegetables to remove pesticides

6. Salt Water Wash

  • Wash your fruits and veggies using 2% salt water.
  • Mix 1 tbsp sea salt in a bowl half-filled with water.
  • Place the fruits and veggies in the bowl.
  • Hand-scrub the produce with prepared the salt-water mixture.
  • Rinse thoroughly before eating.
According to the Center for Science and Environment, washing with 2% salt water will get rid of most contact pesticides that are present on your fruits and veggies surfaces.

In fact, 75 to 80% of these pesticides are removed through cold water washing too.

7. Lemon And Vinegar Juice Spray

  • Mix 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp white vinegar and 1 cup purified water.
  • Place the mixture inside a spray bottle.
  • Spritz the produce you want to clean and rub for about 20-30 seconds using your hand or a good vegetable brush.
  • Rinse the fruits and veggies thoroughly using purified water.

The acidic properties of both lemon and vinegar are high effective in eliminating pesticides and other harmful germs from the produce.

8. Wash The Fruits And Vegetables Separately

  • For extra cleansing, add ½-cup vinegar to 1-cup water. Vinegar has a better cleaning effect than using liquid soap, and it removes a lot of bacteria too.
  • Let the produce stay for a few minutes on the water mixture. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Dry the produce using paper towels or remove excess moisture using a salad spinner.

You should know when to separate. Greens such as lettuce are best washed separately and individually. Separate their big leaves before you cut them off and place it in a bowl of cold water.

9. Peeling Will Remove The Toxins

If the fruit or vegetable has a peel, the best way to remove pesticides is to discard the peel. This will help get rid of most of the toxins present. After peeling, give a quick rinse using warm water. This is best for fruits like potatoes, avocados, and oranges.

10. Use Produce Washes Wisely

Produce washes may be tricky because some of them have harmful ingredients too. But there are also washes that are considered safe. All you have to do is to look at the list of ingredients to ensure that you are avoiding those harmful chemicals.

Two of the best-used products in the market are Citrus Magic Veggie Wash and the Biokleen Produce Wash. However, it is also important for you to take note that using vinegar and water can also remove the pesticides as good as these produce washes sold in the market.

The studies from Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station showed pesticide removal methods on 196 samples of tomatoes, strawberries, and lettuce. Some were rinsed with tap water while others use 1% solution of Palmolive and other fruits and vegetable wash.

The results show that tap water can significantly reduce 9 of 12 pesticides, same as using soap and wash products. Just ensure that you rub it thoroughly since friction is always the key to removing these harmful pesticides from the foods we eat.


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    • Actually you can use vinegar to clean the pesticides in your fruits, As vinegar doesn’t cause any harmful effects in your body and you can use it. It has several benefits too Mr. Prateek.

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