How to Clean Your Fruits and Vegetables with Vinegar
Curious how to better clean your fruits and vegetables and make them last longer? Here’s all you need to know about why you should clean your produce, why using vinegar works, other tips to avoid contamination and how to make your own produce wash.
Why you Should Clean your Fruits and Vegetables with Vinegar
Cleaning fruits and vegetables is important because it rids the produce of unwanted bacteria or chemicals. Simply rinsing everything in water quickly won’t completely remove everything, so it’s important to use vinegar.
When you buy organic, fruits and vegetables won’t have chemicals and pesticides, but they might have unwanted bacteria so it’s important to wash organic produce in a vinegar wash.
When you buy conventional, fruits and vegetables they not only might have bacteria but residual pesticides and chemicals on them. Sometimes it’s not always realistic or possible to buy organic. So when you can’t, this vinegar wash will help rid the produce of both chemicals and bacteria.
I’ve also found that when I used a vinegar wash to clean my produce, it lasts longer. The vinegar helps to kill any spores on the fruits and vegetables and can prevent mold from forming earlier.
Why Washing Produce with Vinegar Works
When you wash your fruits and vegetable with vinegar, the acidity of the vinegar kills bacteria because the acid get into the bacteria’s cell membrane, causing protons to be released, which then makes the cell die. However, the wash needs to be strong enough for the acidity to work.
Other Tips to Avoid Contamination in Produce
Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and warm water before and after handling produce
Be sure to wash any surfaces the fruits and vegetables have touched (cutting boards, counters, knives, etc)
Don’t peel or cut produce before washing. Bacteria from the outside can get inside the fruit or vegetable.
When eating leafy vegetable like lettuce, throw out the outer leaves and make sure you also wash the inner leaves
How to Make your own Fruit and Vegetable Wash with Vinegar
In a large bowl, combine 1 part white distilled vinegar to 3 parts water. (For example, place 1 cup of vinegar and 3 cups of water in a bowl)
Place the produce in the solution. Gently stir them, and remove any visible dirt with your fingers. Continue to let them soak for at least 10 minutes.
Drain the produce in a colander and rinse them with water to remove the vinegar taste.
Place the produce on a clean kitchen towel and let air dry.
Store the produce in a clean container but let it breathe. If you use a container that is air-tight leave the lid ajar so the fruits and vegetables don’t build up moisture.
Enjoy your clean fruits and veggies!
Ready for a healthy change? Download this free 7 Day Clean Eating Meal Plan and start making meals that will nourish you inside and out!
Ashley Lillis is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach dedicated to helping women find their own version of healthy through sustainable lifestyle changes.