I was never much of a stickler about meticulously washing all the produce that I brought into my home, until recently when I actually did some research about it. Learning about the dirt and bacteria that can remain on fresh produce (even organic produce!) made me see things in a whole new light!
Now that I have changed my ways, there’s actually something very gratifying about making sure the food that I feed my family has been thoroughly cleaned. And not just cleaned, but cleaned by me with the help of safe and natural ingredients!
The Benefits Of Washing Your Produce
But the benefits of cleaning your produce aren’t limited to just health. Bacteria can also cause produce to decay prematurely, which often results in a lot of it going to waste. Removing that bacteria by washing your produce will keep it fresh longer, reducing your food waste and saving you money in the long run!
Luckily for us, there’s a quick and easy way to make sure all the fruits and vegetables that make it to your table are not only clean, but will stay fresh as long as possible too: a homemade produce wash! I’ll show you how to use bacteria-banishing vinegar and purifying lemon essential oil to make a simple spray-on produce wash below.
How To Make A Safe & Inexpensive Produce Wash
3 cups water
1 cup white vinegar
10 drops lemon essential oil
Add the water, vinegar, and lemon oil to a glass spray bottle and shake to combine. Shake the spray bottle again before each use to remix the oil and water, which will separate over time.
How To Use Your Produce Wash
Step 1 – Spray
Lay out your produce on a towel and spray it thoroughly with your produce wash. Let the spray sit on the fruit and vegetables for 5-10 minutes to give it time to start breaking down grime and eliminating bacteria.
(I almost always let cleaners sit for a while before rinsing or wiping. Remember, time is your friend when it comes to cleaning!) :-)
Step 2 – Rinse
For produce items with a hard skin (like potatoes or apples), scrub them with a veggie brush to loosen up any dirt or grime that may be stuck to them, then rinse thoroughly under cold water.
For fragile produce items like berries, leafy greens, and tomatoes, skip the scrub brush and rinse them directly after the “soaking” period.
Step 3 – Dry
Use a towel or paper towel to dry your produce thoroughly. (Be especially diligent with berries, which are prone to mold and mildew growth if they are stored wet. For leafy greens and herbs, try a salad spinner!)
And there you have it! A simple way to ensure your produce is squeaky clean and ready to eat. :-)
What’s your best tip for keeping produce fresh?