7 Tips For Cleaning Produce

    Do you love cooking with fresh fruits and vegetables? If so, you might be wondering what the best way is to clean these items. Making sure your produce items are properly cleaned is the best and safest way to enjoy them, and doing this only takes minutes. If you want to be sure you are enjoying the cleanest produce, take a peek below at 7 tips for cleaning produce. You will be amazed at how easy it is.

1. Buy a vegetable peeler

Many contaminates can find their way into vegetable skins and even if washed, can still hang on. Buy a quality vegetable peeler so you can remove the peels from items such as cucumbers, zucchini, and of course potatoes prior to preparation.

2. Rinse peeled vegetables

Just because you removed the dirty skin, you still need to wash the inside of your produce items. Rinse the items under running water for a good 30 seconds so clean away any debris or dirt, even the stuff that is too small for the eye to see.

3. Buy a produce brush

A produce brush is perfect for scrubbing produce items that you wish to leave the skin on. You can buy a produce brush at just about any retail store, and they are perfect to have on hand when scrubbing potatoes, eggplants, zucchini and more. Be sure after you use the brush you toss it in the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning. Otherwise bacteria can breed in the bristles and you don’t want that.

4. Make your own produce wash

Try making your own produce wash. It is simple and budget friendly! Many chefs love to wash their produce in a mixture of 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts water. Put in a spray bottle, spray, and rinse. Be sure you rinse quickly, as you don’t want the produce item to absorb the taste of vinegar.

5. Be mindful of cutting boards

Be sure you have disinfected your cutting board before cutting or cleaning produce on it. You don’t want germs from meat products remaining on the board as they can easily transfer to your produce and contamination can happen.

6. Even organic produce should be washed

Organic produce is great, but just because it is organic doesn’t mean it can skip a good washing. All produce items should be washed no matter how they were grown. A simple washing as mentioned above is perfect, or use the scrub brush or peeler method. You never know what the produce has come in contact with after it has been harvested.

7. Rewash before use

You might wash and cut up carrots to store in the fridge for a quick snack later. Great! But when you pull those carrots out to munch on, rinse them again. You don’t know if they came in contact with meat or contaminates while being stored, so a quick rinse is always advised.

    Keep these 7 tips for cleaning produce in mind so the next time you bring home a harvest, you can make sure you enjoy it at its cleanest.

Let’s Discuss:  What are some of the ways that you clean produce in your home?

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  1. I’m such a stickler for cleaning vegetables. I once met someone who told me that they didn’t clean the produce they got from the grocery store, because it “got rinsed by the water sprinklers there”. I nearly choked on my tongue! I love the idea of making your own wash!

    • Robin (Masshole Mommy) says

      I grew up eating water rinsed produce and I turned out ok, but I agree now that we know better we need to wash it more carefully.

  2. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says

    Awesome tips, maria. I have been thinking about making my own produce wash lately. My sister in law has a great recipe for one and I definitely want to try it soon!

  3. Great tips. We go to our local farmers market every weekend to buy our fruits and veggies and I try to follow these tips especially washing and rinsing the produce and veggies.

  4. I recently have used that cutting board idea with cooking and have one board for meats and one for veggies. Smart to keep those separated. I admit I never wash veggies after being peeled (oops), but maybe should start that now! Thanks for that tip!

  5. We use vinegar and water to rinse our fruit and our veggies which helps get the wax & pesticides off of the food we eat. We have a really great veggie peeler… dang sharp too. Almost took the fingertip off my finger! OUCH!!

  6. These are great tips! I need to buy a produce brush! That is one thing I do not have. I’ll have to try the vinegar/water spray as well!

  7. I have to say that my vegetable scrubber is one of the best kitchen gadgets that I have. It does the job really well and makes me feel better about enjoying vegetables with the peel, where there are also lots of nutrients.

  8. Great tips. I use the rinse made by the Honest company.

  9. These are some awesome tips – I have a special brush just for things like vegetables.

  10. Growing up we never washed anything off, but now I wash everything I get just because you arent really sure whats on it. We used to eat thing right from the fields!

  11. The vinegar wash can also kill fruit fly eggs and any mold spores developing on those precious strawberries. We have a huge veggie garden and use vinegar to kill any bugs that try to sneak into the house on the produce.

  12. These are really helpful tips. We’ve been trying to include a lot more leafy green vegetables in our recipes lately.

  13. I’ve never used a produce wash, but it’s so simple to make so I’ll be implementing that soon. Great tips!

  14. Neely (@Neelykins) says

    We go through an absurd amount of cutting boards. My husband is a huge germaphone(which is good) but lots for me to clean hahaha!

  15. I do use a veggie scrubber all the time, but I never thought to make my own produce wash. Great idea!

  16. We use a vegetable cleaning brush. It works wonders!

  17. I keep a list of the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15 on my phone so I know which veggies and fruits I should buy organic. It helps keep the major cleaning down to a minimum and ensures I’m not ingesting more chemicals than I need to be.

  18. I tend to just wash with water and I’ve bought FIT before but to be honest I didn’t really see a big difference. These are some good tips.

  19. Great tips! Especially number 5!!! You can cross contaminate so easily on your cutting board. I need to get a veggie scrubber. This is a great reminder especially now that many are starting to plant gardens!

  20. Great tips! I always worry if I’m cleaning thoroughly enough.

  21. Great and helpful post! I love cooking and I love veggies and fruits so this has some great tips! I’m going to try the wash to help get them extra clean!!

  22. Great tips. I spend a lot of time cleaning up my veggies and fruit. I always worry if its enough, or what else I should be doing.

  23. Thanks for the helpful tips here.
    Some of this stuff I was not aware of.

  24. Many chemicals are sprayed on produce now so they look better or last longer. I do not approve of this – we do mostly organic, but still need to wash/rinse/soak as necessary.

  25. I do wash everything from produce before using it. Good point on the produce though, that is organic. Some people might think it’s ok to skip the scrubbin!

  26. Like other growing up my dad never washed anything. And it wasn’t till I was on my own that I started. And now, I’m an avid produce cleaner.

  27. A produce brush sounds fantastic! I am going to have to look into getting one soon!

  28. I hate to admit this, but I never wash my produce. Thank you for the great tips that I really need to follow!

  29. This is great, thank you! I love when food bloggers break down the basics for hopeless cases like me! 🙂

  30. I am amazed at how many people buy the “preached” bagged salads and decide its ok to not wash it again? I have a produce strainer that I was everything with every time it comes out of the bag

  31. I’ve never thought of making a produce wash. I do still need to buy a brush, though — that’s been on my to do list for awhile!

  32. I love the vinegar rinse – we do that as well. And peeling pretty much everything. It is amazing what still clings to vegetables and fruits even with the cleaning.

  33. Great tips! I do the vinegar wash on my produce and stand by it! My husband thinks I’m weird. He doesn’t mind the clean fruits and veggies though.

  34. Washing your produce is ALWAYS super important. I use a brush to scrub mine before and after cutting or peeling. You can never be too careful

  35. I have been eating tons of vegetables lately, and most of it has fragrances in addition to anything it comes in contact with… Do you have any suggestions for getting produce that has not been in a scented environment?

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