Food EducationHealthPesticides

How To Use White Vinegar To Remove Pesticides And Wax From Your Fruit and Vegetables

Image via Kittencal / FOOD

If you’re trying to avoid or reduce your exposure to chemicals and wax on conventional produce, this simple method will help.

Over 65% of produce samples analyzed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture have tested positive for pesticides. A lot of the time, these pesticides sit on the outside peel of fruit and vegetables, and can be eliminated or reduced by putting them through a simple vinegar and water rinse.

Although eating organic is always best, this is a good practice to do with all your fruit and vegetables, no matter whether they are conventional or organic. Pesticide residues even show up in organic produce without our knowing.

Conventional produce grown with pesticides also contain chemicals far beyond the peel. If pesticides land on the soil, the roots take up the chemicals and the chemicals become apart of the flesh of the part we consume. However, some pesticides that are applied in the latter stages, as well as waxes and other sprays that are needed to keep the vegetables or fruit for longer periods can be removed with this mixture.

It is better to clean your produce first if you buy conventional, than to not wash it at all. If you’re concerned about consuming pesticides, be sure to choose fresh produce from the clean fifteen, rather than the dirty dozen. Or if you purchase a majority of your food options from the dirty dozen list, make sure you buy these items organic. This way, you have the ability to lower pesticide consumption by up to 92%!

How to Use White Vinegar To Remove Pesticides

The following recipe can be used for both conventional and organic produce:


– water
– plain white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar


1. Fill a large bowl (or a clean sink) with 4 parts water to 1 part vinegar (so if you use 4 cups of water, you would add 1 cup of vinegar).
2. Soak the produce you would like to clean in the mixture for 20-30 minutes.
3. Remove your produce from the mixture, and rinse with regular water.
4. If you want to remove wax from things like apples and oranges, scrub them down with a scrubby brush after they are done soaking. Then rinse with water.

Here’s a great little infographic from my friends at Healthline that quickly demonstrates how to easily wash your fruit and vegetables with baking soda (another great alternative to vinegar for getting pesticides off produce).

fruit and vegetable wash

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