How to Remove Wax From Fruits & Vegetables


Many fruits and vegetables purchased at grocery stores and farm stands are waxed to prevent mold and bruises when they are in transit. Many fruits and vegetables produce a natural wax to help them retain moisture. This is washed off when the produce is cleaned, so it is then replaced by the farmers. Waxing also improves the appearance of the produce, which the growers hope leads to more sales. The waxes aren't harmful if eaten, but they can be removed prior to using the produce if you prefer.

Step 1

Remove any stickers or labels from the produce then inspect for signs of wax. Waxed items are usually shiny and sometimes may have a slight white residue on them.

Step 2

Wash the vegetable under cool running water. Scrub gently with a vegetable brush to remove any dirt and as much of the wax as you can.

Step 3

Pat the vegetable or fruit dry. If it is still shiny and appears waxed, spray it with a purchased produce wash following the application instructions.

Step 4

Scrub a second time with the vegetable brush. Peel off any sections that still have visible wax if removal did not work.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not use soap or warm water to wash vegetables and fruit. The warm water will soften them, and they absorb the chemicals from the soap.

Things You'll Need

  • Vegetable brush
  • Produce cleaner spray


  • Texas A&M Extension: Washing Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Keywords: vegetable and fruit wax, washing vegetables, cleaning fruit

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.