Light Side of Health

The Best Natural Fruit and Vegetable Cleaners

I am all for eating organic when you can afford it. But there are times in our lives when that is not possible. Below, are a few suggestions on how you can best clean your veggies and fruits!

FDA Recommendation

First, let’s start with the Food and Drug Administration’s recommendation. The FDA says to “wash all produce thoroughly under running water before preparing and/or eating, including produce grown at home or bought from a grocery store or farmers market.” The organization also recommends using a produce brush to clean firm food items, like cucumbers, melons, citrus fruit, and other foods that won’t buckle under pressure.

Water, Lemon Juice, and White Vinegar

For those who just aren’t comfortable cleaning their produce with plain water, there’s another solution. This one combines the cleaning powers of vinegar and lemon juice and helps ensure that you’re able to get those fruits and vegetables as clean as possible. To assemble this, you’ll need a spray bottle and a measuring cup, as well as water, lemon juice, and white vinegar.

Combine in the spray bottle:

  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. of lemon juice

Shake the bottle well and then spray your produce with it. Do that in the sink or use a colander to help prevent mess. Once you’ve sprayed everything down, let it sit for about five minutes before rinsing your food thoroughly and then drying it.

For Leafy Greens

Leafy greens like lettuce, collards, and kale can be hard to clean with a spray solution. Instead, you’ll need to use a large bowl. Fill it with four cups of water and one cup of vinegar, as well as a tablespoon of salt. Make sure the bowl is large enough that your produce is fully submerged. Let it sit for a maximum of five minutes, then rinse with fresh, cold water (you can also use a salad spinner if you want).


The Power of Baking Soda

Baking soda is a standard kitchen ingredient used in many baked goods, but it’s also a potent cleaner. You can use it to clean your produce by adding it to a spray bottle, along with a few other ingredients. You’ll need the following:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda

Combine these three ingredients in your spray bottle, shake gently to combine, and liberally spray your produce. Note that it will foam when you shake it, so go easy. After spraying, let your food sit for about five minutes, and then rinse it clean with fresh water.

Here’s to Your Health

Clean, fresh fruit and vegetables are the foundation of a healthy diet. Keep your food clean and fresh without the need for (or risk from) commercial food cleaners by using these simple recipes based on ingredients you already have on hand.


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