This DIY natural produce wash is simple to whip up, cost effective, and works great. Next time you go to wash your fruit and vegetables you can use this spray to ensure you are getting them clean.
Washing my produce wasn’t something I always did. I didn’t think it mattered. Well, then I did a little research and realized just how important this was.
I love that this spray is made with all natural ingredients so I don’t have to worry about adding more chemicals to my food. I buy a lot of my produce organically, but not everything. Learn how to buy organic foods on a budget in this post.
If organic foods aren’t in the budget, then you should definitely considered using this spray. Though washing your produce isn’t going to get all the pesticides off, it will most certainly help.
DIY NATURAL PRODUCE WASH VIDEO TUTORIAL
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WHY NOT STORE BOUGHT PRODUCE WASH?
This is a great question, with a not so great answer. Several conventional fruit and veggie washes contain chemicals you will not want to spray on your food. Many contain cleaning agents or chlorine.
Studies have shown that many of the store bought washes are not effective anyway and the FDA suggests using plain ol’ water before using a conventional produce water.
SHOULD I JUST USE WATER?
Unfortunately, water isn’t very effective at removing chemicals and waxes that can be found on your produce. I would suggest plain water over a spray filled with chlorine. With that being said, it is really important to use water that isn’t full of chlorine too!
I found that making my own produce spray is the best option for removing the unwanted substances off my produce with all natural ingredients. Be sure to use filtered water when making the spray.
HOW DO I MAKE DIY PRODUCE SPRAY?
This spray is going to work for all your fruit and vegetables, excluding leafy greens. I will talk more on those in a minute.
Filtered water (We use the berkey filter and love it!)
1 cup white vinegar
10 drops lemon essential oil
- Add the vinegar and lemon essential oil to a 16 ounce glass spray bottle.
- Top off with water and shake well before use.
- Spray each piece of produce and scrub gently with a scrub brush or your hands. Rinse with water.
- Place the fruit in a large bowl or a clean sink.
- Add vinegar and lemon essential oil evenly over the fruit.
- Fill the sink with water (don’t forget it is best to use filtered water) and allow it to soak.
NOTE: It is best to use 3 parts vinegar to one part water, so depending on how much water you are using will depend on how much vinegar you will need.
HOW DO I WASH LEAFY GREENS?
Lettuce, spinach, kale, and cabbage….I always dreaded washing these, though it is very necessary. All of these items, plus most of the leafy greens, should be bought organically. If you just can’t swing it in the budget then you can follow these steps:
- Fill a bowl or clean sink with distilled water.
- Add a tablespoon of salt and vinegar. (Again go for the 3 parts vinegar to 1 part water ratio.)
- Add your leafy greens and allow them to soak for 10-15 minutes.
- Dry completely before storing in the fridge or wash right before use.
- You can use a salad spinner to dry them or lay the leafs out on a clean tea towel to drip dry.
- Dissolve one tablespoon of salt in a cup of water.
- Pour the salt water into a glass spray bottle. Add in 1/2 cup vinegar. (Less or more depending on the size of your spray bottle.)
- Top the spray bottle off with water and shake well.
- Spray the leafy greens, allow it to soak for a few minutes, rinse with water, and dry.
After washing the fruit be sure to let it fully fry before placing it in the refrigerator for storage. If it is wet and can cause it to mold or spoil quicker.
It is best to wash produce right before eating ir or cooking with it to avoid this from happening. You can check out my HOW TO KEEP PRODCE FRESH LONGER post for more information on this.
Lemon is a natural cleaner with antibacterial properties. Adding lemon to the spray will help to cleanse and purify your produce.
If you don’t have lemon essential oil you can substitute it with the juice from one medium size lemon. Or you can use 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
Vinegar is my go to for cleaning everything, why not use it on my food too? Using a vinegar and water solution will be the most effective way to remove bacteria from your produce.
Adding the lemon essential oil with the vinegar water mixture makes it more effective because it increases the acidity. This can help kill bacteria, including E. coli.
Some articles say that adding vinegar can help preserve the produce longer, while other articles say this is not true. In my personal opinion, I don’t see a longer shelf life when using vinegar.
DO I ONLY NEED TO WASH NON ORGANIC PRODUCE?
In a perfect world, yes! I am a big believer of from the garden, to the table. I don’t think a little bit of organic dirt will hurt you, in fact I think it can have some benefits for you. I’ll save this topic for a different day, but while I have you on the edge of your seats wondering if you should serve dirt for dinner check this article out by Dr. Axe.
If you are buying produce from the store I think you should always wash it, even if it is organic. Just think of all the hands touching it before it gets to your plate. Everyone feels around to get the crispy apples or firm oranges, I know I am guilty.
I don’t worry about the produce that comes in a thick peel that we don’t eat. For example, I wouldn’t wash avocados or bananas. They are nice and protected inside the thick peel that we don’t eat anyway.
Leave your tips for cleaning produce naturally in the comments below!