This year, I have become more of a germ-a-phobe than I’ve ever been in my life. Anyone with me?
I used to be the person that leaned more on the side of, “eh, it’ll just boost our immune systems to have those extra germs!” and while I still think some germs are good and needed to keep our immune systems robust, I’m more cautious than I used to be.
One thing we do at our house to help keep us healthy is to eat lots of fresh produce! Since March, I started washing our produce when we brought it home, instead of waiting until right before I prepped it.
It does take a little more time, but overall, it’s worth it. It makes hectic meal time a little bit quicker and easier. Plus, I can just grab stuff out of the fridge and not wonder if it’s been cleaned or not.
I was a little worried there might be a weird taste left on things, but not at all! I even made Rob try the berries that had been soaked in water and vinegar because he can be very discerning and he couldn’t tell—wahoo!
Why Clean your Produce
If you’re buying organic produce, it often still has dirt on it, which is proof of how fresh it is! But, that needs to be removed before cleaning. I’ve even found small bugs in fresh produce—it’s not a bad thing, but I don’t want to eat them. Plus, you don’t know who else has touched your produce before it arrived in your kitchen.
If you’re buying conventional produce, you’ll want to wash it to get rid of pesticides, dirt, germs, bacteria—stuff you don’t want to eat!
Non-Toxic DIY Fruit and Vegetable Wash
How to Make Fruit & Veggie Spray
You can get 10% off their Starter Kits, which comes with the concentrate and all the bottles you need to make every home cleaner, and laundry detergent. Use code FOXANDSHE for the discount!
If you don’t get a starter kit, just grab a reusable spray bottle (I love these pretty amber ones) and you’re in business. We use this concentrate for our window and bathroom cleaner as well as laundry. It’s totally safe for humans and is very economical.
How to Wash Fruits & Vegetables
You can spray each piece of produce individually, but I thought this was too time-consuming, so I came up with this simple clean living hack!
I set two metal cooling racks down in our sink, laid out the produce and sprayed the top, then flipped and sprayed the other side. I let them sit for 2 minutes, then gently scrubbed them with a paper towel before rinsing with cool water.
Put them on a clean dish towel to dry before storing.
How to Make Fruit & Veggie Soak
This will work for all fruits and veggies, but is especially great for delicate things like berries, broccoli, leafy greens, herbs, etc. For these delicate things, I use this wash instead of the spray.
Fill a large metal bowl with cold filtered water, and add about 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar. It doesn’t need to be exact! This simple wash is a perfect fruit cleaner and vegetable wash if you don’t have Branch Basics too.
How to Clean Produce by Soaking
Add your produce, you may have to do this in shifts—it made it easier for me to keep the berries separated if I did them one type of berry at a time.
Drop your produce in, and gently stir. Let it sit for about 3 minutes, then rinse in a colander with cool water.
Add the next set of produce and do the same thing. Finally, let all your produce dry on a clean dish towel before storing.
It’s as simple as that! It did take a little longer to do it all in bulk, but it was so nice grabbing everything out of the fridge and knowing it was ready to eat or prep for cooking! I’m also glad that whatever germs were on them were not transferred to our clean fridge!
This is such a simple (and affordable) hack for a cleaner, non-toxic living and one that’ll keep you and your family healthy!