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Natural Produce Wash – Cleaning Fruit with Vinegar

Do you wash your fruit and veggies before you eat them? If you don’t you should EVEN if you buy all organic! Organic products often still use fertilizer and natural pesticides. I wish we could afford to buy all organic foods, unfortunately our grocery budget only extends so far. Plus organic or not, there is dirt and bacteria on your fruit and veggies. So I’m going to tell you how to clean fruit with vinegar (and don’t worry you won’t taste or smell vinegar in your fruit when you eat it)!Clean fruit with vinegar

It’s super simple to do!

  • Fill a sink 1/2=1/4 the way up with cool water – add 1/2 – 1 cup of white distilled vinegar and soak your fruit and veggies for a little while. I like to let them soak for 15 minutes, sometimes its an hour if I get distracted.
  • After their bath – rinse with cool water.
  • Put them on a towel or dry mat beside the sink to dry off a little
  • Wipe completely dry with a towel or microfiber cloth. The drying action with the cloth will get even more of pesticides and dirt off.

Soaking period for different types of fruits

For apples, avocados, pears, oranges, pomegranates, and grapes it does not really matter if you let them soak longer than 15 minutes. Some have probably soaked in my sink for 2 or more hours. Strawberries

For more delicate fruit like strawberries, raspberries and cherries you have to watch more closely. I only give them a quick dunk (maybe 1-2 minutes) and rinse them off. If not the vinegar will deteriorate the fruit and make them mushy – don’t make the same mistake I have. The quick dunk also helps to get rid of the mold that lives on berries so they stay fresher longer.

Use it on your veggies too!

I also use this vinegar wash with my vegetables – lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes…. It is the same process and works very well at getting off dirt and pesticides.

I keep a bottle of vinegar under my sink so its handy when I need it. Its safe to keep around my kids which gives me peace of mind.

Hope you give this super simple and inexpensive fruit and vegetable wash a try. Give me a shout and let me know how it worked out for you!

Thanks for reading 🙂




  1. Ilyssa

    As an avid eater of fruit, this is super helpful to me. I am always concerned about making sure my fruits and veggies are clean and I like having this guidance. I am always wondering if rinsing with water is enough. The reality is we never know exactly what is on our fruit and it can’t hurt to clean them well.

    • admin

      Thanks for stopping by! Rinsing in water is not enough. The soak in vinegar water is what really gets the fruits and veggies clean. Rinsing gets the vinegar off and washes away residue. The rubbing action of drying the fruit and veggies also helps to get anything that may have been missed. My kids love to dry the fruit for me – it is a very kid friendly job. I’m don’t dry grapes with a cloth but things like apples and oranges. Hope that helps.

  2. Lynne

    Thanks for this great tip for cleaning fruit and veggies. I’ve heard that vinegar is the best natural cleaning product, so I use it regularly at home for cleaning. I just never considered using it for cleaning food!
    What a useful and handy thing to know, thank you for sharing. I would think this would be a lot more effective when it comes to cleaning off pesticides than just water on its own.

    • admin

      Lynne I love to hear vinegar is a cleaning staple in your home too 🙂 It sure does work better to get pesticides off then plain water.

  3. Tyler Redlev

    I’m a fruit lover and i approve this! Good post about vinegar-washing fruits. I actually don’t pay a great attention on washing out fruits so long. And till now i haven’t washed them with vinegar but i’ve heard about it. I will consider it when i will wash them next time.

    • admin

      Glad to hear you will try this next time Tyler!

  4. Sammi

    This is great information. I had no idea I could use vinegar. I’m glad it doesn’t make the fruit and veg taste vinegary!

    Does the vinegar affect any of the vegetables like it does berries? Does it make tomatoes go mushy?

    Out of interest, if you only washed them in water, what would the pesticides and bacteria do to you? Could it make you ill?

    I look forward to reading more posts.


    • Shannon

      Hi Sammi – thanks for stopping by! Tomatoes are more hardy than berries and I have not head problems with them getting mushy. To be safe though, I probably wouldn’t exceed 10 minutes in the water bath for the tomatoes.
      The pesticides and bacteria could make you sick. The biggest concern I have is the long term consequences. Pesticides can cause cancer and are endocrine disruptors. Just cause we can’t see it – people often overlook the step of washing their produce thoroughly.

  5. Casey

    I’m in the process of getting rid of all store bought cleaning and bathing supplies. I’m discovering new uses for simple and natural cleaning ingredients every day (vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide). I will try this next time. Do you wash fruits when you bring them home and then put them in the fridge? Because I usually dump everything in the fridge and wash each fruit right before eating.

    • Shannon

      I wash all my fruits and veggies that won’t go bad faster if I wash them when we get home from the store – apples, oranges, avacados, grapes, peppers etc. Lettuce I usually wash before eating. Berries I would wash before eating but I wash them when we get home – they last less than 24 hours in our home.


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