How to Clean Fruits & Veggies


Fresh fruits and vegetables pass through many hands before you purchase the produce in your local market. It may trouble you to think that some of those hands may have deposited unknown germs and bacteria on the food you feed your family. If you feel uncomfortable with the effectiveness of simply rinsing your produce, use natural cleaning products from your own kitchen. Baking soda doesn't kill anything, but it's an excellent mild abrasive for removing grime and debris. Lemon juice and white vinegar have antibacterial properties, and make powerful but safe household cleansers and sanitizers. Whip up this quick and easy cleanser for your fresh fruits and veggies with natural, harmless products and give yourself some peace of mind.

Step 1

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Clean and sanitize your working area.

Step 2

Dissolve 2 tbsp. baking soda in 1 cup hot water.

Step 3

Add ½ tsp. peroxide, 2 tbsp. lemon juice and ½ cup white vinegar. Stir the solution well.

Step 4

Pour the veggie wash into a repurposed plastic spray bottle and shake it up.

Step 5

Spray the wash directly onto fruits and vegetables. Scrub sturdy pieces vigorously with a brush for about 30 seconds. Gently rub more delicate produce with your fingertips for about 30 seconds.

Step 6

Rinse under cold running water and pat dry.

Step 7

Store any leftover veggie wash in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda
  • Peroxide
  • Lemon juice
  • White vinegar
  • Repurposed plastic spray bottle
  • Scrub brush


  • U.S. Department of Agriculture: Consumption of Safer Fruits and Vegetables
  • University of Minnesota Extension: How Safe Is Your Food: -- Kill Bacteria with Vinegar
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Washing Fruits and Vegetables -- Why and How

Who Can Help

  • Green cleaning buying guide
  • Natural household cleaners
Keywords: clean fruits & veggies, veggie wash, how to clean fruits & veggies

About this Author

Axl J. Amistaadt began as a part-time amateur freelance writer in 1985, turned professional in 2005, and became a full-time writer in 2007. Amistaadt’s major focus is publishing material for GardenGuides. Areas of expertise include home gardening, horticulture, alternative and home remedies, pets, wildlife, handcrafts, cooking, and juvenile science experiments.