How to Remove Wax From Citrus Fruit


Citrus fruits, as with many other fruits and vegetables, are sprayed with a wax to keep their skin gleaming and fresh-looking. While the waxes are considered "food safe," it is never desirable to ingest chemical compounds when unnecessary. Washing and scrubbing of even inedible fruit peels is recommended to remove waxes, trace ground soil, microbes and latent pesticide products before peeling or cutting into a citrus fruit.

Step 1

Hold your citrus fruits under a cold running tap in the sink to rinse the skin.

Step 2

Scrub the entire surface of the citrus fruit peel with a vegetable brush reserved for use on your edibles and not commingled with dish-washing brushes or scrubbers. Hold the fruit under the tap as you scrub to wash away the loosened debris.

Step 3

Rinse a final time after scrubbing and before sitting the citrus fruit out on a clean towel or plate to dry.

Tips and Warnings

  • Both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration encourage washing fruit in cold, potable water and do not recommend washing fruit in diluted dish detergent or soap formulations as they are not edible and can cause a foul taste in the fruit and minor intestinal troubles.

Things You'll Need

  • Cold water
  • Vegetable brush
  • Clean tea towel or plate


  • Utah State University Cooperative Extension: Washing Fruits and Vegetables
Keywords: citrus, fruit, wax, wash

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.