Homemade Produce Washing Tonic

Washing your produce is a good idea, whether you are using organic or conventional produce, but particularly important with the latter. Washing your produce can greatly reduce the pesticide residue, although it cannot completely eliminate it. Peeling produce can assist in this process as well. Organic produce is free from pesticides and yet all forms of produce can become contaminated by bacteria growing in a festering fridge or picked by hands or laid on surfaces that are unsanitary in some way. Washing your produce, whatever varieties you choose, is a wise idea! I have found this homemade produce wash to be an excellent substitute for the expensive store-bought varieties!

Produce Washing Tonic

Adding a bit of lemon juice or 3-4 drops of grapefruit seed extract can give it an extra boost!

3 cups filtered water
3 Tbsp white distilled vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp baking soda

Mix ingredients together in a spray bottle. Spray it on fruits and vegetables. Rinse well with cold water. You may also combine in the sink to dunk your produce if you desire to wash in large batches. This tonic is not recommended on mushrooms as they will absorb the flavor.

Produce Washing Tips

1. Use a scrub brush for root vegetables, and produce with rinds, groves or waxy surfaces, and rinse well. This includes melons!
2. Discard outer leaves of leafy vegetables. Rinse each leaf individually. Make sure they are dry before storing in the refrigerator as moisture can encourage the growth of bacteria.
3. Wash more tender fruit (berries, grapes, etc) in a colander.
4. Cut produce on a clean cutting board with a clean knife.
5. Thaw meats on a separate tray or plate in the refrigerator to prevent meat juices from dripping into produce drawers.
6. Clean and sanitize the refrigerator produce drawer regularly.

For more tips, visit Tammy’s Recipes & Works for me Wednesdays.

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

20 Responses to Homemade Produce Washing Tonic

  1. Julie October 18, 2011 at 8:17 am #

    The vinegar & baking soda cancel each other out, don’t they?

  2. Elizabeth July 29, 2010 at 10:03 am #

    This is a fabulous produce rinse, but one comment. Your article claimed “Organic produce is free from pesticides…” That is a common misunderstanding. Organic produce is free from SYNTHETIC pesticides. Farmers still use pesticides (herbicides and fertilizers), but they are “natural.” (So is snake vennom, but that doesn’t make it safe.) Some of the most toxic substances on the planet are made from natural elements (arsenic anyone?), and can be far worse than the synthetic ones use in conventional growing.

    Before you buy into the fad of “organicly grown”, research the growing practices of the location of your product. Many farms (especially local “mom and pop” ones) grow food that is pesticide-free, but don’t want to pay the extra money (and go through a bunch of red tape) to be certified as “organic.” Organic and pesticide-free are NOT the same thing, so be careful with your purchases.

  3. Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship December 7, 2009 at 8:58 pm #

    I ran a little produce wash test on some apples – 8 different ways to wash, including commercial and homemade cleaners. Want to see how this one fared? http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/11/19/8-ways-to-wash-an-apple-how-well-does-produce-wash-work/ It was a FASCINATING project, and I still can’t believe the second place winner. :) Katie

  4. ~M August 6, 2009 at 6:51 pm #

    I’m curious whether this works better than a dilution of Dr. Bronners and water or maybe hydrogen peroxide?

    Also, how long does this keep once mixed?

    Thanks, Lindsay!

    • Lindsay August 6, 2009 at 7:53 pm #

      Yes, you could use either of those ideas as well successfully. Now I mainly stick with vinegar and lemon juice. Hydrogen peroxide must stay in a dark container so it doesn’t work as well. It keeps indefinitely as far as I can tell.

  5. Beka June 24, 2009 at 11:06 am #

    I tried this and all I got was a HUGE fizz all over the place. The baking soda reacted with the vinegar. Am I doing something wrong??

    • Lindsay June 24, 2009 at 7:15 pm #

      Skip the baking soda. It works just as well without it! Vinegar is the main key here!

  6. Susanna February 14, 2009 at 11:14 am #

    Should I dilute this when I’m soaking a big bowl of grapes, or do I need to keep it full-strength? Thanks!

    • Lindsay February 14, 2009 at 12:06 pm #

      I would keep it full strength, but you really can go either way. You could just use a spray bottle and spray directly over them and then rinse.

  7. Natasha February 10, 2009 at 11:25 pm #

    Can this be stored indefinitely or does it need to be made every time when you wash fruit and veggies?

    • Lindsay February 11, 2009 at 8:09 am #

      I store it indefinitely in a spray bottle. The ingredients are not perishable.

  8. Deena Barton February 6, 2009 at 9:44 am #

    I, too, have come up with my own fuit/veggie wash. I spray acv or vinegar whichever I have on hand then spray with peroxide. This has been a blessing. I love all your posts and am learning more everyday…. It is so nice to read a blog with like-minded women who desire this type of lifestyle…..

    • Twyla July 12, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

      Hey Deena – are you from Florida by any chance?
      (I used to know a girl named D.B).

  9. Lynnette December 4, 2008 at 4:19 pm #

    Do you use a glass spray bottle for this tonic? I currently use a plastic bottle but just realized that this probably isn’t the best choice.

    • Lindsay December 4, 2008 at 5:30 pm #

      I use plastic spray bottles for all my cleaning products currently. You aren’t heating them in anyway, so I don’t worry about that too much. Glass spray bottles would be ideal, but they are not the easiest to come by.

  10. Sarah November 26, 2008 at 10:24 am #

    I can’t wait to try this! I have been wanting to find a homemade produce wash for a while!

    • Twyla July 12, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

      Me too!!
      : )

  11. faye gibbs November 26, 2008 at 8:37 am #

    I have been buying the Veggie Wash for years in the big bottles that you can refill the smaller. I will definitely use the receipe in the future. Thank you!!!

  12. Nancy November 25, 2008 at 12:57 pm #

    I am so glad you published this. I’ve been looking for a recipe for washing my produce. Btw, I LOVE this blog!

  13. Kolfinnas Korner November 25, 2008 at 9:38 am #

    Good tip! I always rinse my produce. I’ve seen the vege-wash stuff but never bought it as I wasn’t sure how effective it was. I’ll have to try this next time I get produce.