How To Wash Pesticides Of Your Fruits And Vegetables

The pesticides that are often used to protect fruits and vegetables from pests can also be harmful to your health. This is why it is important to wash your food thoroughly before eating it.
How to wash pesticides off your fruits and vegetables

Unless you have a garden at home or buy all your vegetables at organic markets,  you will unfortunately come in contact with a variety of chemicals in your fruits and vegetables. Pesticides, waxes and polishes are just some of the things used on fruits and vegetables.

Today’s article will tell you how to wash these substances off your fruits and vegetables before eating them.

What are pesticides and why are they harmful?

spraying with pesticides

Before you learn how to wash and disinfect your products, you should first know why it is important to do so. Pesticides are chemical pesticides used to protect fruits and vegetables from insects, weeds and diseases. 

Pesticides contain compounds that are toxic to humans. Organophosphate, for example, is commonly used in the United States on fruits such as bananas and oranges, and can accumulate in our blood. In a study conducted at the University of Southern Denmark in 2013, 99% of the subjects had organophosphates in their blood.

Pesticides are also used on certain grains such as wheat, rice, and rapeseed as well as flowers and cotton.

We are exposed to pesticides daily when we consume products that have been treated with them. We can also be affected by eating meat from animals whose feed has been treated with pesticides, or by living near or working on farms where pesticides are used.


The amount of pesticides that eventually accumulate in the bodies of consumers is very low. Therefore, one does not know for sure what effect it has in small amounts. But in large quantity , pesticide is very serious. It can cause:

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pains
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Respiratory problems
  • Skin diseases
  • Abortion
  • Cancer
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Birth defect
  • ADHD in children

Those who are  most vulnerable to pesticides and insecticides  are:

  • Unborn babies
  • Infants
  • Children
  • Teenagers
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Women of childbearing age

The “dirty dozen”: products with the most pesticides


According to the guidelines for the use of pesticides in plant products,  there is a list of common fruits and vegetables that contain these toxic chemicals.  The environmental working group  (which approved this study) recommends buying the following products organically:

  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Peppers
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberry
  • Grapes
  • Spinach
  • Cucumbers
  • Blueberry
  • Potatoes

It is also recommended to buy organic beans, green beans, bananas, oranges and cabbage. Fortunately,  there are other products that require fewer pesticides and are safer to ingest:

  • Onion
  • Sweet corn
  • Pineapples
  • Avocados:
  • Peas
  • Asparagus
  • Mangoes
  • Eggplant
  • Kiwier
  • Cantaloupe
  • Grapefruit
  • Watermelon
  • Mushroom

How to remove pesticides and insecticides from fruits and vegetables

Vegetables being washed

You’ve probably seen “special” soaps or rinse aids to disinfect vegetables at markets and in stores. However, most of them have not been shown to be effective. When it comes to removing bacteria and dirt from fruits and vegetables,  the best thing you can do is often choose clean water.

A stiff brush is also a good idea when there is a protective layer of “wax” on the peel.

Remember that substances like paraffin are added to  fruits  like tomatoes and apples to give them a better look. They are not pesticides per se, but they are a substance that is harmful to humans. Even if you try to rinse it out, it stays on the surface and you end up eating it.

Never use dish soap or hand soap to disinfect your fruits and vegetables. They should also never use bleach. Many people do this:

Wine vinegar, baking soda and lemon

wine vinegar baking powder and lemon

Wash your fruits and vegetables before eating them or putting them in the fridge.

Ingredients :

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar (62 ml)
  • 1 cup water (250 ml)
  • The juice of a lemon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda (20 g)

Preparation :

  • Put vinegar and water on a spray bottle.
  • Add baking soda and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  • Close the lid and shake it until well blended.
  • Spray this mixture on your fruits and vegetables and rub them with a brush.

Grapefruit, baking soda and vinegar

This is another useful recipe if you want to clean your vegetables as soon as you get home from the store.

Ingredients :

  • 20 g of essential grapefruit oil
  • 1 cup water (250 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (10 g)
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar (250 ml)

Preparation :

  • Put vinegar and water on a spray bottle.
  • Add baking soda and then essential grapefruit oil (you can find this in health food stores).
  • Close the lid and shake this mixture well so that it is ready for use.

Lemon and wine vinegar

lemon vinegar

This recipe contains fewer ingredients but is no less effective. It is ideal for cleaning your fruits and vegetables when you are busy.

Ingredients :

  • 1 cup vinegar (250 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (10 ml)
  • 1 cup water (250 ml)

Preparation :

  • Put vinegar and water on a spray bottle.
  • Stir in lemon juice.
  • Shake it to mix. Store it in the fridge and take it out when you need it.

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