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Skeptical of Vinegar? Try Baking Soda to Clean Produce

A person washes produce in a sink.
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You should be washing your fruits and vegetables, and some even recommend using vinegar to do so. If you’re worried about your produce tasting funny, though, there’s another method you can try.

Washing produce in baking soda helps remove pesticides.

The idea behind cleaning produce with vinegar is to remove mold, dirt, and pesticides from the surface while potentially helping to extend certain items’ shelf lives (like berries). While baking soda can’t make your berries last longer, it can help get a more thorough clean than plain old water, and you don’t need to be worried about leftover sour flavor.

According to a 2017 Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry study, baking soda is effective at removing pesticide residue from fruit. The best part of this news is that using it is simple. Add a tablespoon to a large bowl of water and let your produce soak for 10-15 minutes. Once done, rinse with plain water, dry, and store as usual.

Once your produce is clean, you should think about storage next. Depending on the type of fruit or vegetable, you can use everything from plain old paper towels to a salad spinner to ensure that they’re properly stashed away until you’re ready to eat them.

The next time you head to the grocery and grab some leafy greens for your lunch-time salads or berries for a snack, you might want to grab some baking soda, too.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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