How to Make Your Own Fruit and Vegetable Wash

Learn how to make a homemade fruit and vegetable wash so you have the cleanest pesticide-free produce in town.

If you’ve ever pulled off a stalk of celery only to find a dead spider curled up in the dirt, then you’re probably still recovering like I am. Did a cold water rinse really remove every last bit of spider residue? Use a homemade fruit and vegetable wash so you never again have to check your chicken noodle soup broth for bugs.

While it might be easy to grab cleaning products for every single part of your home, using natural homemade cleaners is a lot less expensive and a lot less taxing on your health. The same goes with something as simple as fruit and vegetable wash. Sure, spray bottles of produce cleaner aren’t going to have the same things as spray bottles for window cleaners, but they still contain untested chemicals that the FDA doesn’t recommend.

Natural products contain fewer (if any) hazardous chemicals that can irritate your skin, eyes and lungs. They’re also less likely to cause environmental damage. Oh, and they also take up way less space under your sink. Without further ado, let’s make a fruit and veggie wash that’s safe to use and effective in removing dirt and pesticides.

How to Make a Fruit and Vegetable Wash

Homemade fruit and vegetable wash supplies arranged on a kitchen countertop near a sink. fresh fruit and veggies are in a colander in the backgroundTMB Studio

What You’ll Need

  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions

Step 1: Mix the ingredients

in a kitchen environment near the skin, a hand is pouring homemade fruit and veggie wash ingredients into a spray bottle using a funnel. some fresh fruit and vegetables are on the counter nearbyTMB Studio

Put all the ingredients in a spray bottle. Use a funnel to make this process easier.

Editor’s Tip: If you need to clean a lot of fruits and vegetables at once, double or triple the recipe as necessary.

Step 2: Spritz produce

Spritz the produce that needs cleaning. Set the produce aside for a few minutes to the let the cleaning solution do its magic.

Step 3: Rinse and pat dry

three bell peppers are in a colander in a stainless steel sink. a hand uses the sprayer faucet to rinse the them.. TMB Studio

Rinse the fruits and vegetables under cool water, rubbing away any dirt with your fingertips. Pat the fruits and vegetables dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.

Tips for Using a Fruit and Vegetable Wash

  • Make sure you use this wash before peeling any skin. This will keep any bacteria from entering the flesh of the fruit that you’ll be consuming.
  • If rubbing the fruits or vegetables with your hands isn’t cutting it, gently scrape away dirt or waxy residues with a soft bristle brush. This is super helpful when cleaning produce that’s part of the Dirty Dozen.

Rosemary Siefert
Rosemary has been writing and editing for digital and print publications for six years. Starting out as a freelancer for Taste of Home, she joined the team full time in 2022. She writes and edits food content and helps manage Taste of Home’s freelance community. Rosie focuses her writing on cooking tips, baking and cleaning techniques (gotta have a sparkling kitchen!). Rosie’s degrees in journalism and English from the University of Missouri contribute to her skills as an editor, while her penchant for trying new recipes and kitchen hacks shines in her writing. If Rosie isn’t making a (fun) mess in the kitchen, she’s scoping out new restaurants, trying foods she’s never heard of, holed up at a coffee shop with a book or clanging away on one of the typewriters in her collection.