How to Use Baking Soda to Wash Fruits and Vegetables

fruits and vegetables

Do you worry about pesticides on your fruits and vegetables?

Studies have shown that baking soda can remove some types of pesticides from produce.

That’s why in this article I’ll show you how I use baking soda to wash fruits and vegetables.

Try the steps below the next time you bring home some from the market.

What you’ll need:

4-6 tablespoons of Baking Soda
A large pot (Some use the sink. I prefer a big pot.)

Steps on How to Use Baking Soda to Wash Fruits and Vegetables:

1. Wash your hands with soap and water. Your hands may have germs on them, which could contaminate the fruits/vegetables. Don’t skip this step.

2. Fill the pot about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way with water. Make sure there’s enough to soak the entire fruit/vegetable.

fill bowl with water

3. Then add the baking soda. Swirl it a little to spread it around.

add baking soda

4. Soak the fruits/vegetables in the water and baking soda solution for 10-15 minutes. Relax and let the baking soda work its magic.

soak fruits in baking soda and water

5. Remove the fruits/vegetables from the pot.

6. Dry thoroughly with a clean cloth or tissue paper.

4 Reasons Why You Should Use Baking Soda For Washing Produce

1. First, it can remove pesticides from fruits and vegetables. I could just stop right there.

Pesticides have been linked to so many health issues. So knowing for a fact that baking soda can remove some pesticides on my produce is enough reason for me.

2. Baking soda is an odorless and non-toxic ingredient. Your eyes and nose will thank you.

3. It’s cheap and readily available. You probably already have some in your kitchen.

4. Environmentally friendly

Sanitize the Sink First

If you choose to use the sink, make sure you sanitize it first. Germs might be present and could contaminate the produce.

That’s the reason why I prefer using a big pot for washing fruits and vegetables rather than a sink.

Visible Dirt on the Produce

Don’t forget to check the produce for dirt.

If you notice any, gently scrub it off with your fingers or clean brush.

Be extra gentle with soft fruits like ripe mangoes and peaches because they bruise easily.

For leafy vegetables like spinach, check each leaf and stem for dirt.

Is it Better to Wash Produce with Vinegar or Baking Soda?

Both vinegar and baking soda are effective in removing pesticides and bacteria from produce. However, they have slightly different properties and uses.

Baking soda is a mild alkaline compound that can help to remove dirt, pesticides, and other contaminants from fruits and vegetables. It can also help to extend the shelf life of produce by eliminating moisture and inhibiting the growth of mold. Baking soda is a good choice for produce that is sensitive to acidic solutions, such as berries and leafy greens.

On the other hand, vinegar is an acidic solution that can help to kill bacteria and remove pesticide residues from produce. It can also help to remove wax and other coatings that may be present on some fruits and vegetables. Vinegar is a good choice for produce that is less sensitive to acidic solutions, such as cucumbers and carrots.

Ultimately, the choice between vinegar and baking soda comes down to personal preference and the type of produce being washed. You can also combine both methods by mixing baking soda and vinegar together for a more powerful cleaning solution. 

It’s important to note that neither baking soda nor vinegar is a substitute for thorough washing with water, and it’s still recommended to buy organic or wash produce thoroughly with water if you’re not sure.

Can Fruit Be Washed with Both Baking Soda and Vinegar Simultaneously?

While you can technically wash fruit with both baking soda and vinegar, it’s not recommended to mix them together because they will neutralize each other’s cleaning properties.

Baking soda is alkaline, while vinegar is acidic. When combined, they create a neutral solution, which means that their cleaning properties are canceled out.

If you want to use both baking soda and vinegar to wash your produce, it’s best to use them separately. For example, you could use baking soda to remove pesticides and then use vinegar to remove any remaining bacteria or dirt. However, it’s important to rinse the produce thoroughly with water between each step to remove any residue.

Do I Need to Wash Organic Produce?

Yes, you should still wash organic produce, even though it is grown without synthetic pesticides. While organic produce is grown using natural methods and substances, such as compost and natural pest control, it can still be exposed to bacteria, dirt, and other contaminants during harvesting, handling, and transportation.

Washing organic produce can help remove any surface bacteria or dirt that may be present and help prevent the spread of harmful pathogens. Additionally, washing organic produce can help remove any residual substances, such as natural oils, waxes, or residues from fertilizers, which may affect the taste or texture of the produce.

Overall, washing all produce, including organic, is a good practice to help ensure that you and your family are consuming safe and healthy fruits and vegetables.

Other Natural Ways to Wash Produce:

  1. Vinegar: Vinegar is a natural acid that can help remove pesticides and bacteria from produce, while also brightening its color and enhancing its flavor.
  2. Hydrogen Peroxide: Dilute 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide with 2 cups of water and soak fruits and vegetables for a few minutes. Rinse thoroughly with water afterward.
  3. Saltwater Solution: Mix 1 teaspoon of salt with 4 cups of water and soak fruits and vegetables for a few minutes. Rinse thoroughly with water afterward. This method is particularly effective in removing dirt and debris from leafy vegetables like lettuce and kale.


Now you know a simple and inexpensive way to clean fruits and vegetables. Your family can now enjoy them with less dirt and pesticides.

Baking soda did it again!

Are you looking for more practical ways of using baking soda around the kitchen? See this article about deodorizing your fridge.

Thanks for reading and until next time.

-Baking Soda Guy

Top photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels