Simple Homemade Fruit and Vegetable Wash

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Sometimes you get so used to doing something that you really don’t realize you’re doing it anymore. It seems I am that way with washing my produce with my homemade fruit and vegetable wash. I really don’t even think about it anymore. The last time I thought about it was when I was taking pictures for a canning post. I try really hard to go step by step for you guys. Anyway I found myself taking a picture of me spraying veggie wash on my produce that I was about to can. I did make mention of it in the post, but it never occurred to me to write a post about fruit and vegetable wash.  That is until my good friend  Jane from Mom With A Prep suggested I share my recipe and the reasons I use a fruit and vegetable wash. Sometimes it takes a good friend to help you slow down and make sure the things you do are purposeful.

I’ve been using veggie wash for years. I started when I heard of the first E.coli being found on spinach. I don’t eat meat so I haven’t had to worry about E. coli in meat for many years, besides if you cook your meat to a high enough temperature you can kill all the bacteria.  However, I don’t want to eat all my fruits and vegetables cooked. I want to eat them raw and drink them in smoothies. One of the first E. coli outbreaks killed a toddler and I remember having a toddler at the time, so I researched how to guard against my family ingesting E. coli. Of course one of the best things you can do is grow your own food. This will help cut your chances of getting any kind of unwanted bacteria dramatically, but I can’t always have fresh greens ready to eat. I’m just not a super gardener, at least not yet. Truthfully though, I’ve started to even wash things that come out of my own garden. I know the cat chases things out of there at night and who knows what else has been in there. So washing everything helps ensure I keep my family away from harmful bacteria.  I used to use a commercial fruit and vegetable wash like this one, but if you eat as many fresh fruits and vegetable as my family, well the veggie wash can get pretty pricey, pretty fast.


Most of the time I use a spray bottle to spray vegetable wash on my produce. I spray it on and let it sit for a minute or two then rinse it off.


If I’m washing greens like spinach or kale I will soak the greens and then pour some fruit and vegetable wash into the water with the greens and let them sit for a few minutes.


 When washing greens make sure you submerge all the steams and leaves.


I also spray and wash melons. The bacteria on the surface can be transferred onto the meat of the fruit with the knife so you want to make sure you get all the bacteria off the surface.


I even wash the outside of my coconuts for the same reason. I don’t want to transfer bacteria to the inside of the nut.


So here are the two ingredients; well, three, if you count water. Vinegar and baking soda. That’s it.

How To Make Simple Homemade Fruit and Vegetable Wash

1 C Water

1C Vinegar

1T Baking Soda

1 drop Citrus Essential Oi–Grapefruit, Wild Orange, or Lemon (optional–use coupon code AWCOW to get 10% off)

Slowly stir the baking soda into the vinegar and water mixture. There will be a chemical reaction when you mix the vinegar and baking soda, so you’ll have to wait for that to stop before placing it into a spray bottle. Place mixture in spray bottle and use as needed.

You can double the recipe if you’re like my family and eat fresh fruits and vegetables daily. It’s so easy there really is not excuse to not try to form a new habit. Pretty soon you won’t even know you’re doing it. I promise!

  • Deborah says:

    Does it matter if it’s white or Apple cider vinegar?

  • Robin says:

    Vinegar is a acid baking soda a base when mixed together doesn’t that make them neutral and cancel out there cleaning ability?

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Robin,

      There is not enough baking soda to neutralize all the vinegar. The baking soda acts as a mild abrasive in the mixture.

  • Pat says:

    Can lemon juice be used instead of lemon oil? Or does the oil have a certain property to the mix?

  • Tammy says:

    How long is this mixture good, keeping it in the spray bottle and sitting on counter?

    Thank you,

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Tammy,

      There is no expiration date. The recipe included vinegar which is acid and creates an environment were bacteria can’t grow.

  • Suhela says:

    Hi, Im from The Netherlands. What do you mean with 1T? Is that a tablespoon, or a teaspoon?
    Thanks, kind regards Suhela

  • Cynthia Trezza says:

    What about citrus fruit? I use the zest, so do I use the same process? Thanks

  • Kit says:

    Is there any thing to keep the fruit flies away?

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Place a small cut of apple cider vinegar in bowl near the fruit flies. The sweetness of the apples will attract them but the vinegar will kill them. Also don’t leave fruit out on the counter for about a week. That’s long enough for their life cycle to complete and there will be no more in your house.

  • Amy says:

    Thanks for this great tip! Are there any special methods for using the wash with berries/delicate items?

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Amy,
      There isn’t really any special method. Of course handle your delicate food with care but other than that just use this veggie wash as you would any other.

  • immanuel says:

    will this help to keep bacteria away or help in for a low bacterial level?Kindly advise…

  • Cherylie says:

    I’m curious what the baking soda does in this recipe? I use vinegar and water now.

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Cherylie,
      Baking Soda is a natural cleaner. It helps scour dirt and other tiny particles off of your produce. It also binds together with some known toxins and is anti-fungal.

      • Matt K says:

        The only thing I’d add is that when you react baking soda with vinegar, you get new reaction products; in this case they are water, CO2, and sodium acetate. I haven’t read much about sodium acetate being used as a cleaner – it may very well do that! But you actually won’t have any baking soda left in this veggie wash given the proportions in your recipe.

        Short version: this fruit veggie wash will actually end up being water, vinegar, and sodium acetate.

  • AC says:

    Can i replace artificial vinegar with the distilled ones?

    Contents are acetic acid and citric acid.


    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi AC,
      Yes, it should work with any kind of vinegar.

      • Jessa says:

        I love this wash!! I know this comment is a bit old , But I was wondering what the difference between artificial vinegar and distilled vinegar is?? I try to steer clear of artificial ingredients is it more beneficial to use an artificial vinegar ? Is it harmful in any way? Thank you !!

        • Jennifer Osuch says:

          Hi Jessa,
          White vinegar is “real” vinegar the concern is the corn it’s made from might be GMO. So if you want to avoid GMOs choose organic vinegar.

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