How to Properly Wash Fresh Vegetables

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Fortunately, you don't have to look far to find what you need to clean your fruits and vegetables. It's also very easy and very inexpensive to do. Fancy vegetable cleaners you may see in grocery stores are not necessary. Taking just a few minutes to wash your produce will keep you and your family healthy and give you peace of mind.\nIn case you're wondering just how important it really is to wash your produce, the main reason is because of chemical pesticides used on all regular produce you see in grocery stores. Even organic vegetables are susceptible to contamination, usually as a result of unsafe practices by people handling it more than organic farming itself (organic farmers must follow very strict guidelines).

Things You'll Need

  • Apple Cider Vinegar or Baking Soda (such as Arm & Hammer) \nHydrogen Peroxide (optional)\nA Vegetable Brush\nA Plastic Dish Pan or a Large Plastic Bowl

Preparing the Wash

  • Get out a large, plastic dish pan reserved only for washing fruits and vegetables. If you don't have one, a large bowl would do.

  • Add enough cool or cold water to cover the vegetables you will be washing.

  • You can choose to use apple cider vinegar (such as Heinz or Bragg's), or baking soda (such as Arm & Hammer). If you are using apple cider vinegar, pour in about 3 tablespoons per gallon of water. If you decide to use baking soda, sprinkle about 3 tablespoons to the water. \nAnother great way to clean your vegetables, is to add your apple cider vinegar to the water, then pour in a couple of tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide (the inexpensive kind you see at the drugstore). This combination will really get your vegetables sqeaky clean.

Washing Your Vegetables

  • Add your vegetables and let them soak for about 5 to 10 minutes. Make sure you previously added enough water to cover the vegetables.

  • Use a vegetable brush to scrub the dirt from vegetables with skin, such as potatoes, turnips, or carrots. Celery can be very dirty as bugs and dirt are trapped and hidden in the celery ribs. A vegetable brush will easily clean it. Vegetable brushes can be found at your local dollar store or grocery store.

  • After washing, rinse your vegetables. Your fresh vegetables are now clean and ready to be prepared for eating.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are washing lettuce, wash the lettuce leaves only as you need them rather than washing the whole head of lettuce. This retains all of the vitamins and minerals in the lettuce until you are ready to eat it.\nAlways soak vegetables before you slice or chop them up. This also retains the vitamins and minerals in the food.
  • Make sure you are using baking soda, such as Arm & Hammer, not baking powder. These are similar but different products. Although the baking powder will not harm you , washing your produce in baking soda is much more effective.

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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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