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Washing your produce before you eat them is an important food prep step. But there is no need to waste your money on expensive vegetable washes when you probably have all the ingredients you need sitting around your house.
Add vinegar and salt to a pot of cool water. Soak fruits and vegetables in it for 5-10 minutes. Then, rinse the produce once or twice before using.
It is important wash your produce, especially if you are not using organic produce because pesticides stick to your fruits and veggies. Even if I splurge on organics, I will still wash my produce before using, to get any dirt or bugs off. The vinegar helps remove any pesticide residue and the salt helps kill any bugs that are hanging out.
By StellaBell from Manchester, WA
Whatever you do, don't use anti-bacterial soap! You don't want any residue in you, and it's not that good anyway, and in time causes resistance in bacteria.
Mostly just water soaking will take care of cleanliness, but if you want to be safer from corporate malfeasance, 1 part vinegar (apple cider is nice) to 4 parts water kills many harmful bacteria, according to Cook's among others.
That assumes you bought non-organic veggies, or maybe even organic if from a big distant company, not a local farmer.
Super-perfectionists have been known to spray everything first with food grade peroxide (H2O2), wait a few minutes, then vinegar. If it's a salad, just leave the vinegar on.
Source: Partly from Cook's Illustrated, but I don't have the issue. The rest I've collected over time.
By P from Sacramento, CA
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Here are questions related to Homemade Vegetable Wash Recipes.
What is the homemade recipe for cleaning vegetables. Long ago there was something called Fit. I can not find the recipe I had. If anyone has this recipe I would appreciate it very much if you would share it.
By Jodi from east TX
By Yolanda G.05/17/2012
You can order it online at http://www.tryfit.com/
Anyone have a recipe safe to spray on veggies and fruit fresh from the market? I wash all fresh produce before putting it away as it eliminates fruit flies, dirt, pesticides, etc. I have been using antibacterial spray from the store then rinsing with water, but would like to make my own if possible.
By patvan from MO
By Vicki 04/30/2012
I failed to notice you said "spray on". I am sure you could also spray this on, rinse and use.
I need an economical fruit and vegetable wash.
By Hannah from Las Vegas, NV
By Avis 08/05/2012
Have you noticed that green grocers always have a fine mist spraying on the vegetables? Then, why do "they" tell us to wash and "dry thoroughly" before storing? Why? So it will spoil and you need to buy more!
I began to wash and store mine in a large baggie, add two TBS cold water (or two ice cubes), push all air out before sealing. This give cold moisture and no oxygen to fresh produce, even sliced pieces. I can keep all fresh for a month.
No more gray moldy onion halves. no more rotting tomato slices, no more brown lettuce/spinach, no more slimy green onions and cut green peppers. Whole vegetables stay crisp and look like the day you bought them. Each time I open the bag to use something, 2-3 times per week, I simply pour out the water and add a dash of fresh cold water, push the air out and seal again. Try it!
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Does anyone know how to make a natural, inexpensive vegetable wash?
As to the question of when or what produce to wash, whether you buy organic or not there is a great risk of buying dirty or contaminated produce. Everything must be washed before eating raw or cooking. Avoid anything that is bruised, browned or has broken skin as it will be contaminated inside the item. It is quite easy to take a few simple precautions with fresh produce, and no different than then necessary steps for handling raw meats, fish or eggs. Please note that using water alone is not effective at all for killing germs or removing residue from your hands, counters or produce. Soap is not recommended to be used on food items because of the possibility of being taken inside the item or not being rinsed completely, ingesting soap will cause diarrhea or vomiting. (10/08/2008)
By Sue W.
When you use vinegar for veggie wash, what kind? White or cider?
By ceeann from OK
With all of the above, no rinsing is necessary as all are healthy for humans and no chemical additives to worry about. Jim in Jax (06/05/2009)
I'm looking for a recipe to make a homemade veggie and fruit wash, as opposed to buying the expensive bottles in the produce sections.
What do I use to make a vegetable wash?
By Neal from Leawood, KS
I am interested in making my own veggie wash.
By Kristine from Hailey, ID
I am looking for a recipe to use for washing fruits and vegetables to remove spray residues.
By Ben from The Plains, OH