Kitchen Kapers: DIY Fruit & Veggie Wash

Thank you for being here!  This DIY Fruit & Veggie Wash post has far exceeded my expectations, for which I am most grateful!  So many have enjoyed, shared and pinned this post!  Amazing!

If you share this post, please do not alter or change my photos in any way.
And please give credit where credit is due.  
We all work hard.  😉
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Also, please note that I have turned off the comments on this post.  Every question/discussion that has come up for this post has been answered/discussed in the comments section.  :)
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Kitchen Kapers: DIY Fruit & Veggie Wash

So the other day I bought a whole bunch of fruit, brought it home and was about to wash it.  But I realized I was out of the veggie wash that I use around here.

No worries, I scoured the net and discovered you could make your own!  
Well doesn’t that just sound handy…not to mention cheaper!

Here’s How-To Make a DIY Fruit & Veggie Wash:
(I came up with my own ratio that works for me)

Make sure your sink is very clean. 
(UPDATE:  I have been getting a lot of comments about sinks being so dirty.  Sure they can be.  I wash my dishes and clean my kitchen from my sink, so I’m careful to make sure my sink is clean.  Obviously.)

Fill a sink halfway with lukewarm water.
Add 1 cup of white vinegar.
Add your fruit. Don’t over fill your sink with fruit.
Soak for about 10 minutes (shorter for berries – about 2 – 5 minutes).
Rinse well.

The Result: Clean.  Fruit.

And how did I know they were clean?  
The water was dirty, and the apples had that white sheen left on them after the wax has dissolved off.  

And if you rinse well, there is no vinegar taste.  Even in the berries.

That’s it folks.  Easy-peasy.


Don’t overfill your sink with fruit.  What you see in the pictures above is all I add at one time.
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Love this post?

Here are more ideas to help make your life more simple!


Keep your fridge easy to clean with these simple DIY fridge mats made out of placemats!

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Here are some great tips to keep your kitchen organized!

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And even more kitchen storage tips!  Like jar labelling, pantry organization…

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Tips for Cleaning Your Kitchen {APretty Life}

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Using Vinegar in you Home {A Pretty Life}
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Have a great day!






  1. Oh great tip to know! Love that it works AND is cheaper yeay!

  2. Thanks for sharing :)

  3. Oh vinegar, how I love thee :) So many cool things that little guy can do – I started putting in the washer so I don’t need fabric softener. Love this idea!

  4. I love this idea and have been doing it as well. Stopping by from “Somewhat Simple”.

  5. What a great tip. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I’m embarrassed that I never use vinegar to wash my fruit – just rinse them in the water quickly! But now that I think about it, it’s really not doing much. I’m going to keep this in mind! Thanks for sharing!
    Star Hughes Living

  7. Yay! Another way to use my handy vinegar! I use it to ‘clean green’ all the time, glad to know there’s one more reason to keep it around!

    That fruit looks really yummy, very colorful selection. Oh summer fruits! I’ll have some once winter ends in Australia. (I don’t think they’re allowed to import, so fruits are ridiculously priced, especially since a lot of crop was damaged in the flooding this past US spring.)

  8. Hi Jo-Anna
    As an avid follower of your blog I just wanted to say that I love your posts and to mention that I’ve just started my own blog. Please check it out if interested –

  9. Great post! Thanks for the info. I can’t wait to try it!

  10. What a great tip! I will have to use this when I get home from the farmer’s market today. Thanks for stopping by to say hi today!

  11. This is clever!! I had no idea it was so easy to make your own wash!! PS – you have a really pretty blog, I love the design!! Thanks so much for linking up to Think Pink Sundays! 😉

  12. Found this on pinterest! What a wonderful idea! Now I’m excited to go grocery shopping in a few days so I can try it out. :)

  13. hey! what a helpful post! you mentioned mainly fruit, but can i put my veggies in there too? what about lettuce? you think the vinigar would stay in the leaves and taste funny?

    • Thank you! I am very happy that you found it useful! I use it for a lot of my veggies – things like cucumbers, peppers, that kind of thing. I’ve never used it for things like lettuce or celery – so I’m not sure about those – I would be a bit worried these types of veggies would taste vinegary.
      I hope that helps!

    • I’ve seen on some other websites that give the same vinegar/water ratio and they say for lettuce, separate the leaves and swish them around in the water then rinse quickly, don’t let them sit in there for more than a minute and dry as best you can before putting them away because the water will cause them to wilt faster. And for celery, simply put it in for a couple minutes, I’d recommend less than 5. And always rinse very well and let dry properly and you won’t have any vinegar taste at all.

    • Oh and when it comes to berries, even raspberries, the easiest and safest way I’ve found to clean them is to put them in a collander before dipping them in the mix and rinsing them, that way you don’t bruise them or anything. Just give them a few swishes in the mix and then gently toss them to get them all rinsed off in the water.

  14. Have you tried strawberries in this mixture? I can’t wait to start cleaning my fruit this way!

    • I have, but I don’t soak them. I just quickly wash them in the mix, and rinse really well! The water after strawberries is SO dirty! 😉

    • Just found the posts about strawberries. THanks, but will the berries last in the fridge for any length of time after the soaking? THanks, Denise. Just discovered your great blog!

  15. What about oranges, lemons, limes, etc?

  16. Vinegar kills bacteria and mold. Your fruit will last days longer. I also have a spray bottle of vinegar water mix.

  17. Has anyone tried this on vegetables as well such as potatoes, carrots, baby carrots (already peeled & cut), etc? Thank you.

  18. Hey nice post, I have question though, do you think the wash takes out the pesticides too?

    • Thanks! That’s a good question, and unfortunately I don’t really have an answer. My guess is that this wash helps to remove some residual pesticides on the surface of the fruits, but not all of it. A lot of pesticides end up in the fruit too, so it’s almost impossible to remove them. Every little bit helps, but organic is best.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Does Apple Cider Vinegar work?

  20. Fabulous tip. Thanks so much for sharing

  21. Wanted to let you know I shared this ( and linked back) to this post! It is awesome! Perfect for summer!

  22. I just used this today…but didn’t see any “icky” stuff floating around…not sure if there just wasn’t that much on the fruit (apples & grapes, carrots & peppers). I had a hard time keeping everything submerged, so I took my larger cutting board & placed it on top to keep everything down. Worked great! Thanks for the awesome tip!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Just make sure your sink is super clean before doing this. Sinks are one of the dirtiest, bacteria carrying places in our home. Thanks for your tip. I’ll be using this will my delicious summer fruit!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Would this work with herbs like cilantro?

  25. I tried this today, I had about 4 red apples, 3 green apples, and 2 cucumbers. When I rinsed it all, the red apples came out with white film all over them. It was too hard to scrub, and barely came off when I scraped my fingernail across the skin. Did I do something wrong? I used warm water and about a cup of white vinegar.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Is it possible to use too much vinegar?

  27. This also works great for washing romaine lettuce to ensure no e-coli!!! Great blog.

  28. Super idea!
    I found your blog through Pinterest and I would love to invite you to share this, and any other posts you would like to, at my Creative Thursday Link Party at (Runs through Monday each week)

    Have a wonderful day,

  29. Okay, you said berries too? Raspberries? They are so fragile. Just use as a wash? Same with strawberries? I would love for them to last longer. I can see it working well on blueberries since they are firmer.

    • Raspberries are a little more tricky…I don’t wash mine in this solution only because they are so fragile, and I’d be afraid they would fall apart. I just rinse them under water. But I do wash my strawberries and blueberries in it, right before we eat them.

    • WEll, you just answered my second question, so thanks!!

  30. Can you do Peaches this way?

  31. What type of vinegar do you use? Malt? White? white or red wine vinegar? Cider?
    So many choices these days? I presume white vinegar by default.

  32. I just tried this… but I think I’m going to have to find a spray bottle because most of my fruits are apples, raspberries and strawberries. I did use the soak on my lemons and they look great. Thanks!

  33. Anonymous says:

    Do you know if this is a safe way to wash fruit and vegetables for rabbits?

  34. Anonymous says:

    Maybe a dumb question but would you do this on bananas too?

  35. I think I’ll do this in a cooler in my bath tub. I think it’ll be easier for me to clean/fill/drain the cooler than the sink (as silly as that sounds.) Besides I seriously don’t trust my sink because I have 3 roommates and their habits are mildly disgusting (read: my germaphobia runs rampant now.)

    Do you think you could compile a list of fruits/veggies you would
    -soak for longer
    -soak a little bit
    -swish and rinse
    -rinse only before eating and
    -wouldn’t wash at all?


  36. Can’t wait to try this-can you wash all fruits? strawberries, blueberries? and do they have to be organic?

  37. Hi Jo-Anna…thank you so much for this post! I can’t believe I haven’t thought of this before. I linked to your post through my blog…every Friday I post about a Pinterest find. You can check it out at
    Thanks again for the great idea!

  38. Anonymous says:

    I tried this with nectarines and plums and it made the fruit turn bad. It works great on apples and tomatoes and most veggies. But I switched to baking soda and water for my soft skinned fruits (apples are not soft skinned, and although tomatoes are they held up fine with the vinegar soak.

  39. I am so going to do this. I have a mixture that I have been using (1 cup of vinegar to 3 cups of water in spray container)but this sounds like a way easier way to clean quantities. I use my spray on strawberries bought at the grocery store too. Just spray the berries, wait a few minutes and rinse off. Doesn’t hurt them at all. I also wash melons thoroughly with dish soap and water, then rinse well, followed by vinegar spray and fresh water rinse. After the cantelope deaths, I don’t cut into anything without a good cleaning. Thank you for the tip. Frani

  40. Awesome tip! I’ve been looking for a good way to wash my produce without having to buy the fruit was. I love that this also helps to preserve it as well! If people are worried about their sink being unsanitary, or don’t have the time to give it a good scrub (as is usually the case with me), I’m sure using a large pot would work in a pinch. I just have to figure out the ratios to use. Maybe half a cup of vinegar for a large stock pot?

  41. Looks like a good idea ! I remember something like this being recommended for produce bought “on the economy” in Korea in 1987.
    Rice vinegar or “white vinegar” (from corn) might be good ideas to avoid the smells of apple or grape vinegar.
    Asian groceries once had hard rubber brownish tubs for such washing, then pink or baby blue washing bowls, and now stainless steel basins that fit inside your sink to soak dishes or peaches.


  42. Looks like a good idea ! I remember something like this being recommended for produce bought “on the economy” in Korea in 1987.
    Rice vinegar or “white vinegar” (from corn) might be good ideas to avoid the smells of apple or grape vinegar.
    Asian groceries once had hard rubber brownish tubs for such washing, then pink or baby blue plastic washing bowls, and now stainless steel basins that fit inside your sink to soak dishes, or peaches…


  43. Anonymous says:

    I don’t bother. Bit of dirt won’t hurt you.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Here is my question…since the apples float, how do you soak the bit of apple that stays above the mixture?

  45. Wondering if anyone else found this to ruin your fruits & veggies?? I’ve tried this several times and each time my fruit, even my lemons, went bad super fast!!! I was really careful to dry the fruit as well as I possibly could but still didn’t work very good. My strawberries & cherries seemed to get gross overnight. I don’t know what went wrong but Ive gone back to using my old product I get at Trader Joe’s. Any ideas how I could mess up something so easy???

  46. Anonymous says:

    Any ideas why this didn’t work for me?? Ive tried it several times and each time my fruit seemed to go bad quicker. Ive tried lemons, oranges, cherries & strawberries….tried to dry them all well but they all seemed to either go bad or mold quickly!! Ive given up and gone back to my store bought stuff. Any thoughts??

  47. Anonymous says:

    What about pesticides? Does this remove them if you’re not using organic?

    • That’s a good question, and unfortunately I don’t really have an answer. My guess is that this wash helps to remove some residual pesticides on the surface of the fruits, but not all of it. A lot of pesticides end up in the fruit too, so it’s almost impossible to remove them. Every little bit helps, but organic is best.

  48. WOW!! A lot of responses, Pinterest helped your post explode!! I wanted to add to the comments about sink cleanliness, it appeared your sink is stainless steel, which is inherently antimicrobial! All I use to wash mine is wet it, sprinkle about 1/8 c of baking soda, and wipe it all over it with a paper towel! That removes any soil (and rust from that can no one rinsed!) and then you are golden!! Thanks for the tip, I just soaked my grapes, they were on sale and I am hoping they will last a bit longer!!

  49. I have been doing this for years and have no problem. Delicate things like berries don’t need as long. Then rinse well with cool water and spread out on layers of paper towels or clean dish towels to air dry. Celery just don’t cut the ends before you soak and then rinse and cut ends. If you are worried about the sink being dirty, I have a plastic wash tub that I only use for this purpose.

  50. Thanks for sharing this great tip! I used it this last weekend and am so happy to have done it! I did a feature post and linked back to your blog! Thanks again!

  51. Wow, so simple. I’ve been using a special vegetable wash but it’s very expensive.

  52. Thank you so much for posting!! We had about 15#’s of apples that needed to be washed, and this worked absolutely perfect for us. Thanks again, and here is my blog linking back to you. – Melissa

  53. I was just thinking… if people thought their sinks were too “dirty” to wash their fruit, they could always buy a dishpan (the plastic tub ones). I use those in my classroom for storing things, but they were made for dishes and come in a couple of sizes (small, large) and are really cheap (a couple of bucks at Walmart)!

  54. I just tried it with apple cider vinegar cause thats all I had… but I’m not seeing any results. Maybe I’ll have to buy the regular vinegar. Can you post a pic of what the sink/fruit look like after next time you do it?! Thanks!

  55. This is information I always wanted to know but never bothered to research how to do. Thanks for sharing. Will be putting this to the test after the next grocery run.


  56. I have been using this for a while now and the best thing is that berries like raspberries and blueberries last so much longer without going moldy. Saves money on fruite wash and wasted fruit.

  57. Can you wash bananas too?

  58. I tried this but the wax is still on my apples. . . .now they look gross and white. Did I do something wrong?

    • Hi Chelsea
      No actually you did it right. That white stuff is just the last bit of wax & gunk to come off your fruit – it means that they’re mostly completely clean. You don’t see that stuff every time you clean your fruit – just some apples have more wax on them than others. You can usually just rub it off with a slightly damp cloth.

  59. Wow, so simple. I’ve been using a special vegetable wash but it’s very expensive.

  60. Hi, just wanted to mention, I enjoyed this post. It was practical.
    Keep on posting!

  61. i have been using the fruit & veggie wash from trader joe’s i think its like a citric acis is this good or not & another thing that just happened is i bought strawberries & rinsed in the same solution the citric wash and i will take them back because they have an after taste like the taste of a pickell!!! has anyone had this happen???

  62. Net Ridley says:

    Re “filling sink” with water – not such a great idea since your sink is a germ filled arena, defeating the purpose. Use a large bowl for your vinegar wash – not as convenient, but much cleaner..

  63. Did this today! I had 3.3 lbs of berries to clean. Whew! Thanks.

  64. Thanks!! I use vinegar for a lot of things but somehow never used it on my fruit. I have been cleaning my fruit with
    baking soda and have noticed a lot of fluid retention as a result. Will have to try the vinegar.

  65. Hi,

    It’s important to use purified water for both the soak and the rinse. There’re parasites and other contaminates in tap water. For all fruits and veggies that I eat raw (even those that need to be peeled), I add grapefruit seed extract to the water. For cooked veggies, the vinegar is fine and doesn’t really need purified water.

  66. The vinegar also stops moulds from growing on your fruits and veg, so they stay fresher longer.

  67. I use this strategy but a little different.
    I first put the water in the sink, then the fruits and vegetales after that I add Vinager and Baking Soda and leave it there for 8-15 minutes. Then rinse, scrub and dry and everything is set.

  68. Just to let you know and it is very important, is that some vinegars are made from a petroleum base and it is not required to be mentioned on the ingredients list of the container. My children are allergic to petroleum and coal tar based products, this is how I know. I belong to the Feingold organization and we research all our products. Furthermore, some vinegars are made from GMO corn, so if you get an organic vinegar, chances are you will be free from a GMO and petroleum base. It is good to know this because as the vinegar may remove some pesticide residue, it allows other equally harmful contaminants to seep in if it is not pure.

  69. Hi! I found this on Pinterest and it solved my problem with strawberries spoiling right after I brought them home from the market. Thank you for sharing this and I am passing it along to my readers.

  70. Tara Hargrave says:

    HI, I was just wondering how far ahead of time you can do this before you eat the fruit? I shop for fruit once a week at Sprout’s and I am wondering if I should wash everything when I get home or just what we will eat in the next few days or just do one day at a time or right before we eat? I did say you did berry’s before you eat them, but wondering how long other fruits last, such as grapes, apples, peaches etc?

    • Hi Tara!
      I just wash them with this solution when ever it’s convenient…I try to wash all my fruits like apples, tomatoes, grapes…that kind of thing when I get home from the grocery store only because the timing works for me. I find it’s easiest to wash everything all at once so I don’t have to do it later! Once they are all washed they last until you eat them.

  71. Hi,
    Didn’t read through 126 comments, but instead of in the sink, do this in a large bowl, pan, or whatever.


  1. […] #1:  DIY Fruit & Veggie Wash […]

  2. […] to be rinsed in rather than a chemical cleaner. I learned this trick from Jo-Anna over at her blog A Pretty Life in the Suburbs. When washing fresh fruit she also recommends putting a bit of vinegar in a filled sink of water. I […]

  3. […] 6.  Veggie & Fruit Wash Fill your sink 1/2 way with lukewarm water, add 1 cup vinegar.  Soak veggies/fruit for 10 minutes.  Rinse well.  For a full tutorial, you can have a look at my original blog post on this here. […]

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  6. […] large bowl of cool water. Then add vinegar. The Frugal Girls recommend a ratio of 10 cups to 1 cup. Jo-Anna at A Pretty Life fills her sink about half way and adds 1 cup vinegar as well. Let sit for about 10 minutes. You […]

  7. […] This recipe for Soaking comes from A Pretty Life. […]

  8. […] and I never saved it, but I wish I could give them credit. I ended up finding a great tutorial by A Pretty Life, and I modify it only by not doing it in my […]

  9. […] Recipe source: […]

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  13. […] my fruits and veggies. T  I soon found a pin featuring JoAnna of A Perfect Life and her DIY Fruit and Vegetable Wash using vinegar. The wax comes off apples. Grapes taste much better. And strawberries stay […]

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  20. […] I have never bought any of those produce wash products but I was intrigued by Jo-Anna’s Homemade Fruit & Veggie Wash hack, especially because in general, these washes can help prevent browning and keep more delicate […]

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