Zero waste the easy way.

Zero Waste Produce Wash

Zero Waste Produce Wash

Zero waste produce wash doesn't have to be complicated to make. I've seen a lot of DIY produce wash recipes online that leave me scratching my head. There are so many elaborate recipes out there that require several ingredients. But who wants to spend time making a long, drawn out produce wash when they could just use one ingredient and be done with it? Today, I'm going to show you exactly how I wash my produce. I only use one ingredient and it works like a charm. Now, if you purchase your food pesticide free and organic, you don't necessarily have to use anything but water to wash your produce off. However, this produce wash is so simple that you may want to use it just to air on the safe side. I do recommend washing produce that files under the Dirty Dozen list. I'll explain which produce items fall under that category in a moment. Without further ado, here's how to make zero waste produce wash.

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Why should I use zero waste produce wash?

Zero Waste Produce Wash

Conventional produce tends to be grown with pesticides. Simply put, it's harmful and unhealthy to ingest pesticides. Using a produce wash can help wash off any pesticide residue that may be lingering on your food. 

According to a 2017 study by the University of Massachusetts, it was shown that a solution of baking soda and water removed two types of pesticides from the surface of apples way more effectively than a solution of bleach and water, or just plain water. While the study focused on apples only, one of the researches, Dr. He, said the baking soda solution is a general method that can certainly be used on other kinds of vegetables and fruits.

Conventional produce washes also tend to be loaded with questionable ingredients, are costly, and packaged in plastic. Who wants that, right?

So, if you want to be sure you're eating the cleanest, healthiest foods, and avoiding unnecessary waste, I highly recommend using a zero waste produce wash. 


Which produce items should I wash?

Zero Waste Produce Wash

According to the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) Dirty Dozen list, there are 12 produce items that have the most pesticides on them. Their order matters too. The top of the list has the most pesticides, while the bottom of the list has the least (but still enough to be concerning). Check it out for yourself:

1. Strawberries
2. Spinach
3. Nectarines
4. Apples
5. Grapes
6. Peaches
7. Cherries
8. Pears
9. Tomatoes
10. Celery
11. Potatoes
12. Sweet bell peppers

These produce items should always be washed before you consume them. You should also try to get them organic whenever possible, especially with strawberries. One strawberry sample contained an astounding 22 pesticide residue. That's pretty nasty huh?

Even when bought organically, it's still a good idea to wash off your produce, just to air on the safe side. 

EWG also has another list called the Clean Fifteen - these are fruits and vegetables with the smallest amounts of pesticide residues. EWG found only 5 percent of the produce on this list contained two or more pesticides. Check it out:

1. Avocados
2. Sweet corn
3. Pineapples
4. Cabbages
5. Onions
6. Frozen sweet peas
7. Papayas
8. Asparagus
9. Mangoes
10. Eggplants
11. Honeydew melons
12. Kiwi fruit
13. Cantaloupes
14. Cauliflower
15. Broccoli

All of these items could definitely be bought conventionally, if you had no other option. I'd still use my zero waste produce wash on them though, just to be sure to eliminate any possible pesticide residues on them, no matter how small.

As always, I recommend hitting up your local farmers market for most of your produce. Usually, they sell pesticide-free, organic produce you can easily get plastic free as well! Paired with my produce wash, you're bound to be eating healthy, and supporting sustainable farming, in no time.


Zero waste produce wash

Zero Waste Produce Wash

So, now that you know the reason why washing your produce is so important, are you ready to learn how I wash mine? It's so simple, you'll honestly wish you knew this life hack sooner. Ready for this?


Zero Waste Produce Wash


  1. Place all the produce you would like to wash in a big bowl. Fill it with water. Add the baking soda, mixing it in with a spoon or your hands a bit. Then, let the produce soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain the produce from the water, give it a quick rinse, and use as you like.

That's it. How simple is that? Certainly better than all the fancy, elaborate sprays I saw online. I'm a very lazy person, so I prefer my DIYs as simple as possible, or else I won't follow through with them.

Zero Waste Produce Wash

Are you going to give this zero waste produce wash a try?

For more zero waste kitchen tips and tricks, check out my zero waste alternatives to plastic wrap or my zero waste lunch essentials.

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  1. This is an informative post. Got a lot of info and details from here. Thank you for sharing this and looking forward to reading more of your post.

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  2. A simple vegetable wash with baking soda, and it works! I tried the wash on romaine lettuce and to my surprise the greens tasted better than just rinsing it alone.

    I knew about vinegar washes but not about the baking soda one. In my opinion the baking soda is a better option. Thanks for the tip!

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