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How to Make a DIY Fruit and Vegetable Cleaner

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Making a DIY Fruit and Vegetable Cleaner

If you want to make sure the fruits and veggies your family eats are clean, you have three excellent DIY fruit and vegetable cleaner options to consider. Learn more about how to make each option and what they’re good for cleaning.

How to Make a Homemade Fruit and Vegetable Wash

A diet full of fruits and vegetables is vital for our health. However, these same fruits and veggies can also carry harmful germs that can make us sick.

In fact, the CDC estimates that around 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness every year, and nearly half of those foodborne illnesses are caused by germs on our fresh produce.

This is why it’s important to wash your produce before you eat it, and simply rinsing your produce off with a little water won’t cut it.

Related: The Scary Truth About Toxic Cleaning Products

While several companies out there sell fruit and vegetable washes, a University of Maine study found that these commercial washes don’t clean any better than a simple DIY fruit and veggie wash.

So save your money, and try one of these effective DIY produce cleaners instead.

Easy DIY Fruit and Veggie Wash

Directions: Combine the water, white vinegar, and lemon juice in a spray bottle. Shake well, spray on your produce, and then rinse thoroughly.

This is the homemade fruit and veggie wash I keep under our sink for quick rinses. We grow a lot of our favorite produce in our own backyard to help save money on grocery bills.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Zero Waste Grocery Shopping

Even though I don’t use any chemical pesticides or harmful fertilizers, I still like to give everything a good cleaning to rinse off dirt, bug droppings, and anything else that might have gotten on them.

If I only have a few pieces of produce to wash, this DIY fruit and vegetable cleaner is a quick and simple way to take care of them.

DIY Leafy Greens Wash

Directions: Stir the water and vinegar together in a bowl, and then soak your leafy greens in the solution for about 2 minutes. Rinse them well with cool water, and then let them air-dry.

Researchers from Cook’s Illustrated magazine found that this solution kills 98 percent of bacteria on food.

If you want even more germ-killing power, add a tablespoon of salt. The Journal of Food Protection found that salt significantly enhances vinegar’s ability to kill E. coli.

While this DIY fruit and vegetable wash is great for leafy greens, I’ve also found it works well with berries. As soon as I get home from the grocery store, I place my berries in a large bowl of this solution.

Related: Genius Ways to Reduce Food Waste Right This Second

I then rinse them off and let them air-dry on a towel before storing them in the refrigerator. Then, whenever I want a snack, my berries are already clean and ready to eat.

All-Purpose Food Germ Killer

Directions: First spray your food with the vinegar. Next spray your food with the hydrogen peroxide. Finally, rinse everything thoroughly.

This is a germ-killing combination you can use on produce and raw meat to kill salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria. You can also use this combination to clean and disinfect your cutting boards.

It’s important to remember that you always need to keep the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide in separate containers. Combining them could create peracetic acid. You can learn more about natural cleaning ingredients you never want to mix here.

How to Make Homemade Fruit and Veggie Cleaner

While a DIY fruit and vegetable cleaner will remove most bacteria and some residue from pesticides, it’s important to remember that many pesticides will seep into the produce and are impossible to remove.

That’s why you should always try to buy organic produce whenever possible. Even if you have a black thumb or small outdoor space, there are certain types of produce you can grow on your own to avoid these harmful pesticides.

Here’s a great list of the best vegetables to grow in shade. If you want to start harvesting your food right away, check out these fast growing vegetables.

The Environmental Working Group puts out a yearly list called the Dirty Dozen that highlights the produce with the highest level of pesticide residue. They also release a Clean Fifteen list of produce that have the least likelihood of pesticide residue.

If you have a strict grocery budget, try to purchase organic options from the Dirty Dozen list and stick with non-organic choices from the Clean Fifteen list.

List of Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen fruits and vegetables

Looking for More Eco-friendly Tips?

Now that you’ve made your homemade fruit and vegetable wash, are you looking for even more easy-to-make homemade cleaning products? Be sure to check out some of our other popular posts:

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