As we get ready for a season of fresh vegetables and fruits, it’s important to know what to clean them with to help get rid of pesticide and wax residues. While buying organic is ideal, sometimes it is not possible to due to availability and price. Using a good vegetable wash puts my mind at ease because I am getting the food as clean as possible before eating it.
For quite a while now, I’ve made my own vegetable wash using filtered water and Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) which doesn’t even need to be rinsed off, although I often do it anyway. I either mix GSE drops into a spray bottle and spray my fruits and vegetables well (letting them sit for at least a few minutes before rinsing) or I soak them in a bowl of water and several drops of GSE when I have have lots of fresh food to clean all at once (like after Saturday mornings at the market!) :)
If you prefer not to use GSE, there are some other options such as using 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar mixed with enough water to cover fruits and vegetables and letting them soak for a few minutes. With this method, it is still recommended to scrub and rinse the produce.
Also, a number of people on Thriftyfun.com have offered their own methods for washing vegetables. One suggestion is to add 2 Tbsp salt and 1/4 cup vinegar to a sink or bowl full of water. While soaking, the vinegar cleans the produce and the salt helps draw out dirt and any bugs. Another recommendation is to add 4 Tbsp of salt to cold water and once dissolved add the juice from half a lemon. Then let produce soak for 20 minutes (10 for berries) before rinsing well.
I often see vegetable wash at the store and wonder why anyone would buy them when they are so easy to make. Maybe you even have your own method that works great and, if so, please feel free to share!