Lorri Weisen - www.lorriweisen.com

How To Wash Produce So It Lasts.

HOW TO PROPERLY WASH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES FOR LONGEVITY

Having clean and fresh produce is elemental to eating clean and living well. Bacteria, viruses and other pathogens can hide amongst the nooks and crannies and make us incredibly sick if ingested.

There’s not really much to it—just soap and water folks and a little technique.

I suggest a Castile soap (found at the natural market) that’s free from fragrance and phosphates to use specifically for your produce, because who wants that lingering on their foods? And do not use anti-bacterial soaps as they are for bacteria, not viruses, something you also don’t want lingering on your ready-to-eat produce. You could purchase a produce wash, but good ol’ soap and water works just as good and it’s easier on the pocketbook. Just a few drops is all you need. You don’t want bubbles or you’ll be rinsing forever!

WASHING VEGETABLES

ASPARAGUS

  • Fill a large bowl with room temperature water and 2-3 drops of soap. Swirl until well mixed.
  • Snap off the end of one asparagus stalk and use as a guide to chop off the remaining bunch.
  • Submerge the asparagus and lightly scrub with a soft vegetable scrubber, or fingers, in the direction on the tip.
  • Rinse well and pat dry.

BEETS, TURNIPS, RADISHES

  • Fill a large bowl with room temperature water and 2-3 drops of soap. Swirl until well mixed.
  • Use a knife to cut off the leaves and bottom end of beet. Discard or compost. If you are planning to eat the greens, follow directions for “Greens” below. 
  • Submerge the beets and lightly scrub with a soft vegetable scrubber.
    Rinse well and pat dry.

BOK CHOY, SWISS CHARD

  • Fill a large bowl with room temperature water and 2-3 drops of soap. Swirl until well mixed.
  • Remove any yellowing leaves and compost or discard.
  • Use a knife to cut off the thick base of the bok choy or swiss chard.
  • Separate the leaves and stems.
  • Submerge the bok choy stalks and lightly scrub with a soft vegetable scrubber or fingers.
  • Place the leaves in the water and swirl around 2-3 times, and then in the opposite direction 2-3 times.
  • Let rest for no more than 2 minutes for any dirt or little creatures to settle.
  • Gently scoop out the greens and stalks and put in a colander to drain.
  • Rinse stalks and leaves well and pat dry.

CARROTS

  • Fill a large bowl with room temperature water and 2-3 drops of soap. Swirl until well mixed.
  • Submerge carrots and scrub with a firm vegetable scrubber. Organic carrots do not need to be peeled, but if you prefer, peel after rinsing.
  • Alternatively, you can put a drop of soap on a firm vegetable scrubber and wash under cold water one at a time.
  • Rinse well and pat dry.
  • Cut off each end.

OTHER CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES  

  • Fill a large bowl with room temperature water and 2-3 drops of soap. Swirl until well mixed.
  • Place in the water and swirl around 2-3 times, and then in the opposite direction 2-3 times.
  • Let rest for no more than 2 minutes for any dirt or little creatures to settle.
  • Gently scoop out and put in a colander to drain.
  • Rinse well under cool water.
  • Place on a clean towel and pat dry.

FRESH HERBS

  • Fill a large bowl with room temperature water and 2-3 drops of soap. Swirl until well mixed.
  • Place the herbs in the water and swirl around 2-3 times, and then in the opposite direction 2-3 times.
  • Let rest for no more than 2 minutes for any dirt or little creatures to settle.
  • Gently scoop out the greens and put in a colander to drain.
  • Rinse well under cool water.
  • Place on a clean towel and pat dry.

GREENS (kale, collards)

  • Fill a large bowl with room temperature water and 2-3 drops of soap. Swirl until well mixed.
  • Use a knife to cut the center stalk and compost or discard.
  • Place the leaves in the water and swirl around 2-3 times, and then in the opposite direction 2-3 times.
  • Let rest for no more than 2 minutes for any dirt or little creatures to settle.
  • Gently scoop out the greens and put in a colander to drain.
  • Rinse well under cool water.
  • Place on a clean towel and pat dry.

GREENS (spinach, arugula, dandelion, all lettuces, and other more delicate types)

  • Fill a large bowl with room temperature water and 2-3 drops of soap. Swirl until well mixed.
  • Place the leaves in the water and swirl around 2-3 times, and then in the opposite direction 2-3 times.
  • Let rest for no more than 2 minutes for any dirt or little creatures to settle.
  • Gently scoop out the greens and put in a colander to drain.
  • Rinse well under cool water.
  • Place on a clean towel and pat dry or use a salad spinner.

FRESH MUSHROOMS

  • Remove dirt by gently wiping mushrooms with a paper towel. Never get mushrooms wet.
  • It is best to wait several hours before eating or handling mushrooms since they cannot be cleaned with soap and water.
  • If mushrooms are prepackaged in cellophane or plastic wrap, the above wait time does not apply.

POTATOES, SWEET POTATOES

  • Under room temperature running water, place a drop of soap on a firm vegetable scrubber and scrub dirt off potatoes.
  • Potatoes do not need to be peeled but if you prefer, peel after rinsing.
  • Rinse well and pat dry.

SCALLIONS OR SPRING ONIONS

  • Fill a large bowl with room temperature water and 2-3 drops of soap. Swirl until well mixed.
  • Remove any yellowing or willing leaves and compost or discard.
  • Gently scrub onions with fingers to remove dirt from the tops and leaves.
  • Use a knife to cut off the tops.
  • Rinse well under cool water.
  • Place on a clean towel and pat dry.

SNAP PEAS, GREEN BEANS (and other small self contained vegetables)

  • Fill a large bowl with room temperature water and 2-3 drops of soap. Swirl until well mixed.
  • Submerge vegetables in the water and swirl around 2-3 times, and then in the opposite direction 2-3 times.
  • Gently scoop out and put in a colander to drain.
  • Rinse well under cool water.
  • Place on a clean towel and pat dry.

WASHING FRUITS

Peel or no peel, every piece of fruit should be washed before eating.

INEDIBLE PEEL (citrus, tropical, melons, avocados, etc.)

  • Under room temperature running water, place a drop of soap on fruit or in hands and rub surface for 30 seconds.
  • Rinse well and pat dry.
  • Cut fruit.

EDIBLE PEELS (grapes, berries, cherries, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.)

  • Fill a large bowl with cool water and 2-3 drops of soap. Swirl until well mixed.
  • Submerge fruits in the water and very gently swirl around 2-3 times, and then in the opposite direction 2-3 times.
  • Gently scoop out fruit and put in a colander to drain.
  • Rinse well under cool water, or for delicate berries such as raspberries, transfer to another bowl of clean fresh water and then transfer to colander to drain.
  • Place on a clean towel and pat dry.
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Hello Friend!

I’m Lorri — The Nomadic Health Coach. I’m an Institute for Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, writer, nomad, and widow of a three-time cancer hero.

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