Cleaning Guide 101: How To Wash Fruits And Vegetables With Water And Baking Soda?

Nutrients, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants are found in fresh fruits and vegetables, but along with these essential components, fertilizers, pesticides, wax and food coloring are often found too. Even if you are  buying organic fruits and veggies, they still have a coat of dust, germs and other microbes. 

Hence, it is always advisable to thoroughly wash and clean your ingredients before you eat them raw or even cooked.

With the COVID-19 outbreak, however, several headlines have circulated encouraging more abrasive methods of washing fresh food before eating it, prompting some to question if water is sufficient. If you are wondering how to wash fruits and vegetables, well then read ahead.

This article discusses the best ways to clean different fruits and vegetables before consuming them and techniques that should be avoided.

Why should you wash your fresh fruits and vegetables?

Whether or not there is a global pandemic, washing fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly is a healthy habit to develop to reduce the consumption of potentially dangerous residues and bacteria.

Before you buy fresh food from the grocery store or a farmers market, it has been handled by several individuals. 

Therefore, it’s reasonable to assume that not every hand that has come into contact with hands is contamination-free. Cleaning fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating will help to eliminate residues that may have been left on them on their journey to your kitchen.

How to wash fruits and vegetables?

While washing seasonal food with water has traditionally been the conventional technique of preparing fruits and vegetables before eating, many people now question whether this is sufficient to truly clean them.

 As a result, some individuals recommend using soap, vinegar, lemon juice, or even industrial cleaners like bleach as a precaution. However, food and safety experts, such as the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, strongly advise customers to ignore this advice and stick to water.

Such chemicals may pose enormous health risks, and they aren’t required to remove the most toxic residues from products. Industrial cleaning chemicals, such as bleach, can be fatal if consumed and should not be used to wash food. 

Furthermore, ingredients such as lime juice, vinegar, and vegetable washes have still not been demonstrated to be any more successful than plain water in cleaning produce – and may even leave more residues on meals. While some studies suggest that utilizing neutral electrolyzed water or a baking soda bath can be more efficient in eliminating specific pollutants, the general agreement is that chilly tap water is sufficient in the vast majority of situations.

What is the best way to wash fruits and vegetables with water?

Whenever it comes to health, food safety, and hygiene, washing fresh fruits and vegetables in cold water before eating them is a smart practice.

It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t wash fresh vegetables until you’re ready to consume them. If you wash fruits and vegetables before storing them, you may encourage bacterial development. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before beginning to wash fresh vegetables. 

Ensure you clean all of the utensils, sinks, and surfaces you’ll be using to prepare your fruit beforehand.

The following are the typical ways of washing vegetables

1.Produce that is firm

Brushing fruits with harder skins, such as apples, lemons, and pears, as well as root vegetables like tubers, onions, and turnips, with such a cleaned, gentle brush will help to remove leftovers from their pore.

2. Greens with a lot of leaves

The outer layer of spinach, lettuce, Swiss chard, leeks, and cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts and bok choy should be removed before being soaked in cool water, swished, drained, and washed with new water.

3. Produce that is delicate.

 Clean berries, mushrooms, and other fruit which are prone to falling apart using a constant stream of water and moderate rubbing with your fingertips to remove dirt.

Follow these steps above before eating your fruits and vegetables to reduce the number of pathogens and stimulants on them.

How to get rid of chemical contamination in food?

Everyone understands that eating more fresh fruits and vegetables is a good idea. However, on their way from the field to your refrigerated section, fruits and vegetables can take up dirt, pesticides, and wax. So, how can you make sure your food is safe to consume by washing it properly?

When washing fresh fruits and vegetables, avoid using soap since soap residue might seep into the vegetables or fruit, causing stomach distress. Bleach is a great way to sanitize your garbage disposal or laundry, but it should never be used on food or dishes that hold food and hot water can cause some vegetables or fruits to wilt, bruise, or begin to cook, as well as to provide a conduit for microbes to enter the food.

How to wash fruits and vegetables with baking soda?

The following are the fundamental methods of washing fresh fruits and vegetables:

  1. Use soap and water for washing your hands for 20 seconds. Because hands may be contaminated with germs and debris.
  1. If you’re going to soak your vegetables in your kitchen sink, make sure it’s clean and sanitized beforehand.
  1. Use your kitchen sink to wash a significant amount of vegetables, such as an entire head of lettuce or kale or a bag of apples. Use a big, clean mixing basin for a lesser amount of fresh fruit, vegetables, or herbs, such as a bunch of cilantro or a pint of blueberries.
  1. Fill the basin or sink halfway with cold water, giving enough space to add the vegetables without the water pouring over the side. To the cold water, add ARM & HAMMERTM Baking Soda. Add 3 or 4 teaspoons to a sinkful of water and swirl it around to spread. One teaspoon baking soda to every 2 cups cold water in a mixing bowl
  1. Remove any vines and outer leaves from produce on a vine, such as tomatoes, or leafy, such as a head of lettuce.
  1. Soak the fruit and veggies in the baking soda water for a few minutes.
  1. Allow 12 to 15 mins to soak. The baking soda will be aided in its work by the passage of time. To ensure that all sides of the products are washed, swish it around in the water or press it down multiple times.
  1. Scrub the surface of harder vegetables and fruits, such as melons, apples, carrots, or potatoes, with a soft-bristle vegetable brush. Rub more delicate vegetables lightly with your fingertips. Scrubbing aids in the removal of loose debris, softened wax, and solvents.
  1. Before preparing or eating, remove the vegetable from the water and thoroughly dry it. To absorb moisture from fresh herbs and leafy vegetables like kale or chard, place leaves between tea towels or paper towels.


Food hygiene is an important health habit to develop. Washing fresh produce reduces the number of bacteria and residues on the surface that might make you sick. Many people question if more forceful cleaning procedures, such as soap or professional cleansers on fresh fruit, are preferable in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

This isn’t encouraged or essential, and it might even be deadly, according to health experts. Before eating, most fruits and vegetables may be properly washed with cool water and gentle friction. 

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