How to Clean Fresh Fruits

Overview

Once you pick fruit from your garden, you'll want to eat it right away, maybe even right there in the garden. Luckily, mere rinsing is effective in removing pesticides and bacteria, not to mention dirt. It's a good idea, then, to bring a bottle of water into the garden, along with paper towels. Of course, if you wait until you get to the kitchen, you can take a couple extra measures that get your fruit even cleaner. Because there is a lot of conflicting advice about how to wash fruit, make sure to use common sense and follow the studies.

Rinse Method

Step 1

Wash your hands to avoid depositing extra bacteria onto the fruit.

Step 2

Rinse the fruit for 30 seconds to 1 minute minimum. Rubbing it increases the cleaning action, especially if you use a brush on fruits that can stand up to the bristles.

Step 3

Wipe the fruit dry with a paper towel.

Vinegar Method

Step 1

Wash your hands.

Step 2

Fill a spray bottle with 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar.

Step 3

Spray the fruit with the solution so that the entire outside is coated.

Step 4

Rinse the fruit to remove the residual vinegar.

Step 5

Wipe dry with a paper towel.

Tips and Warnings

  • Some people clean fruit with dish soap and water. Fruit can have porous skins, though, and some soap can be absorbed. FoodSafety.gov, a U.S. government site, doesn't recommend the practice of using soap.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Vegetable/fruit brush
  • Paper towels
  • Spray bottle
  • Vinegar

References

  • NPR: What Does It Take to Wash Fresh Food?
  • Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station: Removal of Trace Pesticide Residues from Produce
  • FoodSafety.gov: Tips for Fresh Produce Safety
Keywords: washing fruit, cleaning fruit, how to clean fruit

About this Author

S. Johnson is a freelance writer and editor of both print and film media who specializes in making the complex clear. A freelancer for over 20 years, Johnson has had the opportunity to cover many topics ranging from construction to music to celebrity interviews, learning a lot and talking to many interesting people.