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Can be added to a bowl of water to rinse many fruits and vegetables at one time. Removes any waxes or pesticides. Reasonable price per ounce of product. Certified gluten-free and kosher.
Might be more effective for washing one piece of produce at a time if it were a spray.
Will easily remove pesticides, waxes, and other contaminants from fruits and vegetables. Provides a relatively low price per ounce for the wash. Doesn't leave any odd smell or taste on produce.
Quality control problems with the spray trigger, as it may leak when you're using it.
Removes residue from sprays, waxes, soil, herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides. Helps remove stubborn produce stickers. Naturally-derived ingredients include citrus and grapefruit extracts.
Gets very soapy and may leave hands extremely dry if you don't wear gloves.
A simple 7-ingredient formula that removes surface pesticides 4 times better than just water. The first produce wash to receive Safer Choice Certification. Convenient spray dispenser for effortless application.
Contains preservatives, which some consumers have mixed feelings about.
USDA has certified this fruit and vegetable wash to be organic and kosher. Product will last a long time without spoiling. Successfully removes unwanted contaminants on the surface of produce with an easy-to-use spray.
Occasional problems with quality control, as the bottles may arrive broken.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Your mom taught you to rinse your apple before taking a bite — a practice you’ve faithfully carried into your own home. After all, you can’t have your family eating pesticides. Did you ever wonder, however, how washing your apple in the sink removes contaminants that were impervious to water before the fruit was picked? Truthfully, it probably doesn’t. If you want to be sure you got it all off, you need a fruit and vegetable wash.
Fruit and vegetable washes remove pesticides, fungicides, wax coatings, and bacteria from your produce that water often leaves behind. These formulas are strong enough to penetrate even food-grade wax without damaging the goodness underneath... and they do it all without adding extra chemicals to your food.
Spray bottles of fruit and vegetable wash are best for those who regularly consume individual pieces of raw fruit and vegetables. They’re practical for washing single items quickly, just before consumption. Note that fruit and veggie spray isn’t as concentrated as other types of wash, so you may use bottles up more frequently.
Other fruit and veggie wash formulas come in concentrated bottles. You add a few drops to a bowl of water before soaking your produce. Due to their higher concentration, these formulas often last longer than sprays. They provide a much more practical method for cleaning several pieces of fruit at once or for cleaning the vegetables you’ll serve at dinner. However, a soak is less convenient when you’re just looking for a snack.
You’re getting produce wash because you don’t want “extras” on your food. Therefore, the wash you choose shouldn’t leave anything behind. Some formulas leave a noticeable residue or scent on your food. Avoid these if you’re looking for an all-natural experience.
Many fruit and vegetable washes are made from natural or plant-based ingredients. This means that your food is safe, even if a drop or two remain. Some of these products may include the following.
If you make it a point to get organic produce, it’s unthinkable to use a vegetable wash formula that’s anything less. Some fruit and vegetable washes are made from certified organic ingredients — those that have met the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s standards for being classified as free from synthetic additives. Look for this seal on your bottle.
You don’t want to jeopardize your health with risky chemicals. But those with gluten challenges shouldn’t take chances with other ingredients, either. Many fruit and veggie wash manufacturers use food-based ingredients to keep their formulas healthy. It’s unlikely that most blends directly involve gluten, but make sure your bottle isn’t cross-contaminated by choosing a bottle that’s certified to be gluten-free.
Not all certifications relate to health concerns; some are matters of conscience. If you observe a diet that’s kosher or halal, look for these guarantees on the bottle you choose.
Salad spinner: OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner
Once you wash your greens, you need a way to get the water out. This high-capacity tool makes it easy. One-handed operation lets you spin out all the veggie wash and water, leaving nothing but leafy goodness. The basket doubles as a colander if you need additional drainage, and the exterior makes an attractive serving bowl.
Apple peeler: Spiralizer Cast Magnesium Apple/Potato peeler
You know what an apple a day does. Work more into your diet with this heavy-duty apple peeler. A rubber vacuum seal base keeps this versatile tool on your counter, ready to go whenever you need apples, potatoes, tomatoes, and more.
Vegan cookbook: The Oh She Glows Cookbook
You’ve made one investment in your health — now consider another with the first step toward going vegan. This well-known cookbook includes more than 100 vegan recipes that have passed the tests of taste and time.
Prices for fruit and vegetable washes are like most other liquid solutions: the more you get, the less you spend. You’ll find spray bottles and concentrated formulas in all price tiers, although concentrated formulas usually go further since you mix them with water during use.
Inexpensive: The most budget-friendly fruit and vegetable washes start at .25 to .30 per ounce. They may have both natural and artificial ingredients and probably won’t be certified as organic.
Mid-range: The next tier of fruit and vegetable washes costs between .35 and .40 per ounce. Most will be made from all-natural ingredients, and some may be certified organic or have other special designations.
Expensive: The highest-priced of these formulas costs .45 to .50 per ounce. If you’re paying this much for a bottle, it should be certified organic, kosher, halal, and gluten-free. Its ingredients should be totally natural and take everything off your produce, leaving nothing behind that you don’t want.
Q. Which fruits and vegetables must be cleaned before consuming?
A. It’s a good habit to wash every piece. But if a fruit or vegetable appears on the Dirty Dozen list, washing it is a necessity. The American nonprofit known as the Environmental Working Group has released its unofficial “dirty dozen” list annually since 2004, collecting thousands of samples of 47 varities of produce to determine which harbored the most pesticide residue. Though rankings vary by year, favorites like kale, strawberries, apples, spinach, nectarines, grapes, and peaches usually fill the top slots.
Q. Should I wash produce I’m going to peel?
A. Yes. When you peel a fruit or vegetable, it’s easy to drag bacteria from the peel onto its flesh. Listeria, E. coli, and other nasties can stick to the surface of your peeler and transfer to the inside of the veggie as you remove the rind. This is doubly risky if you use the same knife to peel and slice items you’ll be consuming raw.
Q. Why do companies put wax on produce?
A. There are two reasons, both of which contribute to the grower’s bottom line. First, it just looks prettier. A glossy, smooth apple looks much more attractive to buyers than one with a dull peel. You might pass on a bag of bumpy, matte pears but assume the bag of bright, shiny fruit next to it is a good choice.
The second reason is related: wax helps seal in the produce’s natural water content so it stays plump and attractive in transit to the store and to your home. Most of the wax is food-safe, but it may have fungicides added to prevent mold formation.