How to Wash Fruit with Vinegar

Here, two different fast methods.

August 01, 2022

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Unrecognizable woman cleaning blueberries in bowl with water on kitchen counter


Unrecognizable woman cleaning blueberries in bowl with water on kitchen counter

Photo by: Pekic/Getty Images

Pekic/Getty Images

By Laura Denby for Food Network Kitchen

Laura is a contributing writer at Food Network.

Vinegar is one of those magical little ingredients that seems to have endless uses and benefits. The star of pickled vegetables everywhere — vinegar is an affordable and versatile workhorse that every kitchen should be stocked with. It can add brightness to dressings and marinades, punch up caramelized onions and tenderize meats. Culinary applications aside, vinegar makes for a fantastic all-natural cleaning product substitute (check out our story 8 Ways to Clean with Vinegear for more info). Whether you use it to clean your microwave, remove grease on the stove or even clean carpeting, vinegar’s strong antimicrobial properties lend themselves to a variety of cleaning projects. One of the best ways to use it? Cleaning produce. Because fruits and vegetables are most often eaten raw, it’s important to wash them before eating to remove any bacteria, pesticides or other impurities that can be harmful to ingest. Creating a vinegar solution is an easy and powerful way to wash produce without using any chemicals, and you can be sure that your fruits and vegetables are cleaned of toxins. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve created a quick guide to help you better understand how to wash fruit with vinegar. And for more info on other ways to wash fruit, head over to our story The Right Way to Wash Fruit.

Cherry, Food, Food and Drink, Fruit, Lunch


Cherry, Food, Food and Drink, Fruit, Lunch

Photo by: Linda Raymond/Getty Images

Linda Raymond/Getty Images

Benefits of Washing Fruit with Vinegar

Washing fruits before eating them is essential. Produce is commonly consumed raw, which means any bacteria, chemicals or toxins won’t have the opportunity to get cooked off. To remove impurities, opt for vinegar instead of another store-bought cleaner. Vinegar is all-natural, which means you can properly clean your produce without adding any additional chemicals or preservatives. The best part? Vinegar is super affordable, and you probably already have some in your cabinet.

raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries in colander


raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries in colander

Photo by: John Block/Getty Images

John Block/Getty Images

Which Fruits Should You Wash with Vinegar?

For the most part, any fruit that you would wash before eating can be cleaned with vinegar. There are a few fruits whose skins we don’t eat — like bananas, oranges and watermelon — that don’t need to be cleaned as thoroughly. But for fruits like apples, pears, peaches and plums, a vinegar solution is an easy way to make sure all pesticides are removed from the skins. Additionally, smaller, loose fruit like berries and cherries can also be washed with vinegar. They’re easy to submerge in water and can be quickly strained when done.

Woman in quarantine during coronavirus pandemic doing chores cleaning bathroom with natural mixture of vinegar, water and essential oil.


Woman in quarantine during coronavirus pandemic doing chores cleaning bathroom with natural mixture of vinegar, water and essential oil.

Photo by: fotostorm/Getty Images

fotostorm/Getty Images

How to Make Vinegar Fruit Wash

Making a vinegar fruit wash is very simple and requires only a few ingredients and tools. To start, combine 1 cup of either distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar with 4 cups of water. To add a bit of citrus flavor, add one tablespoon of lemon juice, too. Depending how you plan to wash your fruit, you’ll need either a large bowl or a spray bottle.

How to Wash Fruit with Vinegar, Two Ways

There are two ways to wash fruit with vinegar, and the best method depends on what type of fruit you’re cleaning.

The Spray Bottle Method

Good for: larger hand fruits like apples, pears, peaches, or nectarines.

How to do it: Combine the vinegar solution in a clean spray bottle and shake well. Place your fruit in a colander in the sink and spray all sides with the vinegar solution. Let the solution sit on the fruit for about 5 minutes, then rinse each piece thoroughly with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels.

The Soaking Method

Good for: Smaller fruits like berries or cherries. Soaking them in a vinegar solution is an easier way to make sure they’re completely clean.

How to do it: Pour the vinegar solution into a large bowl or storage container. Add the fruit and make sure that all pieces are submerged in the vinegar solution. Let the fruit sit in the solution for two to three minutes, then strain. Rinse the fruit completely to remove the solution, then pat dry.

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