All-Natural DIY Fruit and Veggie Wash Options

Give your produce a fresh cleanse once they make it home from the grocery store.

What’s better than being in control of washing and cleaning your own food? Between pesticides, bugs, and bacteria, there’s always something lurking on your produce. These three DIY fruit and veggie wash and spray options offer an easy and all-natural solution to give your produce a fresh cleanse once they make it home from the grocery store.

The Need for Deep Cleaning

A few weeks ago, I purchased some broccoli from the grocery store. A few days after my purchase, I turned the stove on, pulled the broccoli out of the reusable produce bag, and placed it on the cutting board. I rinsed it with water, as I usually do. When I got ready to start cutting off the stem, there was a worm wiggling its way around in the floret. I did another heavier water rinse, figured it would be okay to eat after I cooked it and went about making my meal.

When the food was ready, I bit into the broccoli, but the visual of the worm came back to me. I threw it all out. I was upset and disgusted. Now I’m paranoid!

All-Natural DIY Fruit and Veggie Wash and Spray Options

I wish I had any of these DIY options available to me back then. Now that I do, I can use them whenever I bring home produce. I like to make multiple grocery store trips during the week to have access to the freshest delivery of produce. Additionally, I’m allergic to pesticides. Every time I eat fruit with skin (pear, apples, plums), my throat and hands get itchy, and I have to throw up. Even organic fruits are a hit or miss. Sometimes I can eat them without an issue, and other times there’s a reaction.

For my needs, a DIY fruit and veggie spray works best. For anyone who buys produce in bulk, a wash is the better option. If you buy in bulk, you’ll most likely want a larger spray bottle for some of these options. Each recipe notes whether it’s a bottle or wash and what the ideal bottle size is.

Test the Waters

We all have different levels of taste buds, so be mindful of that when making these washes or sprays. I have extremely heightened senses, so I can taste the slightest leftover residue. Although the recipes are meant to ensure there are no lingering or unwanted tastes, I suggest doing a trial run to see if you can detect an aftertaste. Try a small bunch of grapes or berries, or try one apple versus washing or spraying everything at once. If it tastes fine, then that ratio is perfect for you. If you notice any lingering taste, adjust the amount of water or lemon juice.

Filtered water should be used for all of these DIY washes and sprays. The goal is to consume healthy products, and if your produce has toxins from tap water, it defeats the purpose. Lastly, be sure to rinse your produce with cold water, pat it dry with a paper towel, and let it air dry before placing them in the fridge or bunching it together. Excess water will cause your fruits and vegetables to spoil faster.

Option #1: Vinegar + Lemon Wash or Spray

Give your produce a fresh cleanse once they make it home from the grocery store with this lemon and vinegar spray wash.

This is a simple wash or spray. The measurements are meant for smaller fruits and vegetables, such as berries and grapes. You can keep the same 1:4:1/4  ratio if you have large fruit and a large bowl. The spray is more convenient if you don’t like the idea of your produce soaking, if you purchase in smaller amounts, or if you have heightened taste buds.

What You’ll Need for the Wash:

  • 1 cup white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups of filtered water
  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice (I use freshly squeezed lemons)
  • Large bowl

What You’ll Need for the Spray:

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups of filtered water
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice (I use freshly squeezed lemons)
  • 1 (16-ounce) spray bottle

How to Make Your All-Natural DIY Fruit and Veggie Wash

  1. Combine the vinegar, lemon juice, and water in a large bowl.
  2. Add your fruit/veggies to the bowl and let them sit for 10 minutes.
  3. For the spray: Place your produce on the counter. Spritz and turn them to ensure the spray covers the entire surface.
  4. Remove your produce and thoroughly rinse them under cold water.
  5. Pat dry with a paper towel.
  6. Let your produce air dry and you’re all done!

Option #2: Baking Soda and Lemon Spray

This baking soda and water spray can remove certain pesticides on fruit, leaving your produce fresh and healthy.

This is a quick-and-easy spray that gives you a nice, foamy result. Research suggests that baking soda and water can remove certain pesticides on fruit.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1-1/2 cups of filtered water
  • 1 (16-ounce) spray bottle

How to Make Your All-Natural DIY Fruit and Veggie Baking Soda and Salt Wash

  1. Mix all the ingredients together into the spray bottle.
  2. Place your product on the counter. Spritz it and turn to ensure the spray covers the entire surface.
  3. Let the produce sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Rinse with cold water
  5. Pat dry with a paper towel
  6. Let your produce air dry and you’re all done!

Option #3: Salt and Vinegar Wash

This Salt and Vinegar Wash is perfect for soaking greens and killing any pesticide on your produce.

This is a great wash and soak for leafy greens, but it can be used for any produce. I wish I had it for my broccoli!

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 4 cups of filtered water

How to Make Your All-Natural DIY Fruit and Veggie Salt and Vinegar Wash

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl
  2. Let your produce sit for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Rinse with cold water
  4. Pat dry with a paper towel
  5. Let your produce air dry and you’re all done!

Even if your fruit and veggies have a thick skin that isn’t edible (like winter squash, honeydew melon, or watermelon), a good wash is still essential. When you cut into thick-skinned produce, anything that’s on the skin will end up on the knife as you cut, allowing the bacteria or pesticides makes its way into the edible parts. Be proactive. Stay healthy. Stay safe.

Looking for more DIY solutions for the home? Try any of our many DIY solutions to take more control over the products you consume and put on your body.

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Clifford Genece

Clifford is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and a lover of all things health, fitness, personal development, and community. When he's not cycling, hiking, or exploring new food recipes, he works to help others achieve personal growth.

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