Most people would choose organic fruits and veggies to buy and not produce that is sprayed with pesticides. Unfortunately, often our budget doesn’t allow for it. Even if you can afford 100% organic produce it is still wise to thoroughly wash all produce before consuming it. That organic produce has traveled through many hands and many places before you received it. It’s better to wash it than to be sorry. For this reason, it is important to learn how to make DIY washes and sprays for produce at home.
There are commercial produce washes available. But their ingredients usually contain chemicals which is the very thing you are trying to remove. Some “safer” DIY sprays and washes for produce contain distilled vinegar. Be aware that distilled vinegar will not completely remove waxes, pesticides, or other residues from produce.
DIY Washes and Sprays for Produce
When doing the research on what to use to make my own DIY washes and sprays for produce, I found many variations available. However, regardless of the amounts used for these common ingredients, the same 4 ingredients kept surfacing; vinegar, salt, lemon juice, and water. So with these 4 common household ingredients, anyone can make their own DIY washes and sprays for produce at home.
Mix 2 cups cold water. 1/4 cup white vinegar, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice into a spray bottle and spray produce 2 to 3 times. Wait for 2 minutes then rinse and allow to dry completely.
Mix 1 cup water, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 Tbsp. baking soda into a spray bottle and spray produce 2 to 3 times. Wait for 2 minutes then rinse and allow to dry completely. Baking Soda may be replaced with vinegar if you want a foaming effect.
Mix 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups of water, 2 Tbsp. white vinegar, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice and 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract into a spray bottle. Spray produce, wait for 2 minutes, rinse and allow to dry completely. Do not use this on mushrooms.
Mix 2 Tbsp. salt, 2 cups of water, and the juice of 1 lemon into a spray bottle. Spray produce and wait for 2 minutes. Rinse then submerge in a sinkful of clean water with vinegar added. Let produce soak for 15 minutes, rinse and allow to completely dry.
Recipe 1: (for Berries only)
Mix 2 cups of water with 1/2 cup of lemon juice, spray on berries then soak in fresh water for 15 minutes.
Fill the sink with cold water and add 1 cup of vinegar, allow produce to soak 1 hour. Scrub the produce, rinse in cold water and dry completely.
Recipe 3: (All purpose germ killer)
Use 1 bottle of just undiluted white vinegar and 1 bottle of undiluted hydrogen peroxide. Spray with the vinegar then the hydrogen peroxide. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry. This can be used on meats to get rid of e Coli, listeria, and salmonella. It can also be used on counters and cutting surfaces.
Recipe 4: (heavy duty soak)
Combine 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup vinegar, and 2 Tbsp. salt into a bowl. Allow produce to sit in the soak for up to 1 hour. Rinse and allow to dry.
When making any of the above DIY washes and sprays for produce you can substitute apple cider vinegar for the white vinegar. Vinegar, whether white or apple flavored as well as the lemon juice are considered a disinfectant and kills the bugs. They also help to remove the wax and leftover pesticides on your produce. Grapefruit seed extract is considered a microbial and an anti-fungal. Salt draws the bugs out and is especially helpful on greens and broccoli.
Do you use any of the recipes above to clean your produce or do you have other recipes? Please share your comments below!