I am seeing more brands of "food safe cleaners" and this makes me rather uncomfortable because I have always believed that fruit and veg should be washed with just water.

However if the fruit or vegetables are going to be eaten raw or put as ingredients in a salad I do tend to be more wary.

Some solutions have been to wash fruit with a tiny amount of soap, for salad ingredients like leaf vegetables I have heard that its good to let them stand in water with 3 tablespoons of apple or grape vinegar for 10 minutes.

So my questions are "Have you tried any "food safe cleaners"

"Are food safe cleaners really necessary?"

Or "Is water enough on its own?"

Wikihow suggests soaking fruit and veg in salted water for a few minutes? Have you tried this?

asked 15 Feb '10, 07:37

Emi's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%

Interesting question. We only use water, but we have very clean water. I know that the tap water in Mediterranean countries can be a bit... dangerous. Do you know how "locals" handle it where you live?

(15 Feb '10, 08:10) brandstaetter

You'd be surprised, because it's so varied, there are those who use the food safe cleaners for almost everything, yet have unhealthy overall eating habits and there are those who just wash with water. My concern is I don't really know whether there is any pesticide residue remaining on the items.(organic produce is not always available and to be honest sometimes the appearance of it puts me off :) – Emi 0 secs

(15 Feb '10, 08:54) Emi

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station did a study back in 2000 regarding washing in water versus vegetable washes and found:

A three-year study showed that rinsing under tap water significantly reduced residues of nine of the twelve pesticides examined across fourteen commodities. Four fruit and vegetable wash products were found to be no more effective at removing eight of nine pesticide residues from produce than either a 1% solution of dishwashing liquid or rinsing under tap water alone for three commodities studied

The study suggests "rubbing" the produce under tap water for at least 30 seconds.


answered 15 Feb '10, 14:15

Kiesa's gravatar image

Kiesa ♦
accept rate: 26%

Great answer Thank you Kiesa!

(16 Feb '10, 06:41) Emi

I suppose it depends on what exactly you think you are washing off.

If you are primarily worried about pesticides, you could side-step the issue by buying organic.

If you're more worried about pathogens like E. Coli, then maybe you want something more than a water rinse.

Personally, I just rinse with water and, to the greatest extent possible, avoid fruits and veggies that have been exposed to pesticides in the first place.


answered 16 Feb '10, 23:40

lgritz's gravatar image

accept rate: 14%

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Asked: 15 Feb '10, 07:37

Seen: 7,268 times

Last updated: 16 Feb '10, 23:40