Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

Cleaning Produce

veggies oh so pretty image by Pix by Marti from

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


Produce wash can be found at many grocery stores, which have their own house brand as well as name brands for sale.


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.

How to Clean Pesticides Off of Fruits and Vegetables

Fill your kitchen sink with enough distilled water to cover the fruits and vegetables you want to wash.

Add 4 tbsp. salt to the distilled water. Then squeeze half of a lemon over the water until you have gotten out all of the juice. Stir the ingredients together.

Remove the stickers from your produce if they have any.

Set the fruits and vegetables in your homemade produce wash, and let them sit for 20 minutes.

Scrub the skins of the fruits and vegetables with a soft-bristle brush just before you take them out of the water, and then rinse them off with more distilled water.


It is also a good idea to peel the skins of the fruits and vegetables before you eat them. Apples especially absorb a lot of pesticides into their skins. You will, however, lose much of the vitamins by doing this as well.


Make sure your kitchen sink is clean and disinfected before you place your fruits and vegetables in there.

Which Fruits Are Alkaline?

oranges and orange juice image by Maria Brzostowska from

Citrus Fruits

The pH of citrus fruits is acidic before the fruit is consumed and digested. Once these fruits are broken down, the byproducts they leave will have an alkaline pH. Some citrus fruits that fit this profile are lemons, limes, grapefruit, tangerines and oranges.

Tropical Fruits

There are multiple species of tropical fruit that can help to balance out the acidity caused by an acidic diet. Pineapples, bananas and watermelon are alkaline forming.


Most berries are alkaline-forming. These berries include blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. The only berry that will lead to higher acidity after being metabolized is the cranberry. While cranberries have multiple health benefits, they will lead to higher acidity in the body.

Other Fruits

There are many other fruits that can be consumed to improve health and balance pH levels. These fruits include currants, grapes, pears, peaches, apricots, tomatoes and cantaloupes. Some others alkaline fruits are avocados, nectarines, cherries and dates.

List of Calories in Fruits & Veggies


Fruits are a wonderful source of carbohydrate, vitamins, minerals and fiber. But, that can be where the similarities end. A list of commonly eaten fruits include the following: one average apple (44 calories), blueberries (49 calories per 100 g), whole grapefruit (100 calories), one large orange (100 calories), diced papaya (67 calories per 20 g) and dates (250 calories). Some choices that are lower in calories are clementines (24 calories), figs (10 calories), seedless grapes (50 calories) and kiwi (34 calories).


Vegetables are a great way to ensure you're getting adequate vitamins and minerals in your diet and are a good source of fiber. Traditionally, vegetables have lower caloric and carbohydrate contents than fruits. Some good choices include asparagus (26 calories), broccoli (32 calories per 100 g), celery (8 calories), mushrooms (15 calories), pumpkin (12 calories), radishes (13 calories), spinach (23 calories), sweet corn (24 calories), tomatoes (18 calories) and yams (110 calories).

Balancing the Highs with the Lows

Although a fruit or vegetable contains relatively few calories, it may have a high carbohydrate content. For instance, one serving of sweet corn contains 24 calories, but has 12 g of carbohydrates, whereas one serving of onions has 35 calories but only 3 g of carbohydrates. So, if you're counting your carbs, don't assume that low calories equals low carbohydrates. You need to become familiar with the calories and carbs in your food.

How to Clean Fruits & Vegetables With Lemon Juice

Rinse your fruits and vegetables off under a running tap. Rub the flesh with your hands to loosen any dirt.

Mix a solution of 1 part vinegar, 1 part lemon juice and 3 parts water in a large bowl.

Immerse the fruits and vegetables in the solution; allow them to sit for 2 minutes.

Remove the fruits and vegetables from the solution. Scrub them with a vegetable brush.

Rinse the fruits and vegetables off under the tap.

Dry the produce with a clean, lint-free towel or a paper towel.

How to Clean Fruits & Vegetables

Remove the outer leaves from leafy fruits and vegetables prior to washing. Rinse under cool, running tap water to remove external debris, dirt and bacteria.

Scrub firm fruits and vegetables, such as squash and potatoes, with a soft-bristled brush to remove microorganisms and dirt.

Use your hands to gently rub softer fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes and plums, to prevent damaging the outer skin during cleaning.

Wash bunched fruits and vegetables, such as grapes and blueberries, by placing them into a colander and spraying them gently with a kitchen sink sprayer.

Dry fruits and vegetables thoroughly after cleaning, as any moisture left behind could promote the growth of bacteria. Use a paper towel or clean, cotton cloth to blot away excess water.


Never use soap, bleach or detergents to clean vegetables and fruits. They can change the taste of the food or even cause illness when consumed.

How to Grow Jalapeno in the Aero Garden

Plug your Aero Garden into an electrical outlet. Pour water into the water basin until it reaches the fill line that is marked on the side. Add the nutrients included with the Aero Garden by dropping a tablet in the water.

Place one jalapeno seed in each planting pod in the provided openings in the nutrient bar.

Place the included lids over each pod to provide a terrarium service for your growing jalapenos. Once the seedling plants emerge (germinate), remove the lids.

Press the button on the back of the Aero Garden lamp post and pull the light up to raise it as your jalapenos grow taller. Jalapenos do best with 1 to 2 inches of space between the top of the plant and the light.

Place the included nutrient tablet in the water basin every two weeks from your planting date and continue to monitor the water level. Although the Aero Garden provides a water-level meter, this device is not always accurate so it is best to check inside the basin.


Do not plant different seed kits in your Aero Garden because the nutrient tablets are specially made for the package they came in, and mixing tablets can harm the plants.

Garden Guides