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DIY Recipes to Remove (Some) Pesticides & Wash Fruits & Vegetables

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DIY Recipes to Remove Pesticides & Wash Fruits & Vegetables by @BlenderBabes

DIY Recipes to Remove Pesticides

Looking for DIY recipes to remove pesticides and wash your fruits and vegetables, or even a store bought version? Looks no further!

As the standard consciousness shifts into the “Green Era”, our focus turns towards removing pesticides, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s), and other unwanted chemicals from our diets by choosing organic and GMO-free options whenever possible.

However, whether your produce is organic or not (but ESPECIALLY if it’s part of the current DIRTY DOZEN!), it still needs a good wash before it is ready to be consumed.

PLEASE NOTE: Not all pesticides can be removed from washing, they are grown into the fruit/vegetable. If at all possible, get the dirty dozen ORGANIC)

Dirty Dozen List


You may be aware of commercialized or store bought washes, but is there a homemade or DIY fruit and vegetable wash to remove pesticides?

The short answer: of course! Here we will be give you a couple simple recipes you can make at home, as well as offer suggestions for some of the store bought washes in hopes that you will find your produce-washing match!

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By now, we have shared with our facebook fans the “sink wash” technique for bulk washing fruits and vegetables: Fill your sink with water and white vinegar (a 3 to 1, water to vinegar ratio) as a cleaning solution for your fresh produce, especially when washing in bulk.

Experts from the Environmental Working Group found that acetic acid in white vinegar and water wash kills 98% of bacteria and helps to dissolve the wax and remove pesticides residues (some not all!) found on the skins of many fruits and vegetables.

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Though it is simple, there is a bit more to it than that.

How to Wash Fruits and Vegetables DIY Recipe to Remove Pesticides


  1. In a your sink, a washing basin or large bowl, make a solution of 1 part white vinegar & 3 parts room temperature water, purified or charcoal filtered*. Research has shown that a 3 part water to 1 part vinegar solution is most effective, removing 98% of contaminants.
  2. Place your room temperature fruits and vegetables into the wash. By keeping the solution and vegetables near the same temperature, you reduce the risk of shock to certain soft-skinned fruits and vegetables. Temperature shock can cause pores in the skins to intake more of the dirty water, and thus more of the chemicals you are trying to remove.
  3. Allow fruits and vegetables to soak for ten minutes.
  4. Air dry on a towel or washed couter space. if you would like to give them an extra rinse before eating, be sure to use filtered or purified water.



Now if you want to make your own homemade SPRAY to quickly wash fruits or vegetables, follow the same principle above using filtered water and use a BPA free spray bottle.

  1. DIY Recipe to Remove PesticidesAdd 1 Tbsp of Lemon Juice, 2 Tbsp of White Vinegar and 1 Cup of Filtered/Purified* Water to a spray bottle (may need a funnel).
  2. Screw on the top and shake vigorously.
  3. Generously spray the wash on your produce. Rub for 20-30 seconds by hand or use a good vegetable brush (on hard produce such as tomatoes, potatoes or apples). Rinse thoroughly with filtered/purified* water.

Now lets take a look at store bought brands we have used to wash & clean fruits & vegetables (rinsing with purified water!). These washes cost anywhere from $2.99 to $10. We have found they are cheaper/half price when bought locally in a store than on Amazon.


Environne’s & Trader Joe’s product are relatively inexpensive (around $3.99 in store and $5-$10 on Amazon) and both use plant oil surfactants and anti-fungal grapefruit seed extract to clean and purify the skins of fruits and vegetables. The directions for both these products are quite simple:

How to Wash Fruits and Vegetables DIY Recipe to Remove PesticidesFOR BULK WASHING

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon per 32 oz. water.
  2. Add produce, swish for up to 30 seconds, using a vegetable brush if needed
  3. Rinse with clean filtered/purified* water
  4. Allow to dry or wipe with clean towel


  1. Apply a few drops directly to produce
  2. Massage for approximately 30 seconds with hands or using a vegetable brush
  3. Rinse with clean filtered/purified* water.
  4. Allow to dry or wipe with clean towel

1 Tablespoon with 32oz of water can wash approximately 10 pounds of produce. One 16-oz bottle of this cleanser will yield 32 Tablespoons of cleanser, and with a cost of under five dollars, this product (or others like it) are quite cost effective, while also being proven to remove 97% of all contaminants.

Citrus Magic Fruit and Vegetable Wash
is another store bought version we have used and liked – and have even re-used the spray bottle it comes in for our homemade spray pesticide wash recipe. 🙂 TWO IN ONE!

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Tap water will not do in most places where people live!

I know this may seem unreasonable, and I used to wash with tap water until I learned more about it…

IMPORTANT TO KNOW:  The EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Act (1974)  only regulates 91 of the over 60,000 chemicals used in the United States. The tap water of at least 41 million Americans has been found to contain a wide range of pharmaceuticals and over the counter medications, caused by the combination of every medication user’s excretory system and a flush of the toilet.

Tap water, although filtered, is not treated in a way that can get out these pharmaceuticals, but  reverse osmosis (R/O) filtering or activated charcoal filters do remove most chemical compounds.

Not only this, but as the average tap water is piped in metal tubes from who knows where, it picks up trace amounts of these metals.

In addition to causing adverse reactions in the liver and kidneys, these trace metals actually slightly alkalize the water (not in the good way), and since our main component in this cleaning solution is called acetic acid, using tap water actually reduces the efficacy of the solution.

Even a quick rinse of your organic produce in tap water completely negates the extra effort and expense you’ve gone through by choosing organic. Do yourself a favor and choose to use filtered or purified water to wash and/or rinse. 

Be sure to join our community for more informative How To’s, tip, and articles for your health!


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Tarashaun Hausner
Tarashaun Hausner
Tarashaun Hausner is the Founder and CEO of Blender Babes. A former roadshow representative for a leading blender company, Tarashaun started Blender Babes in 2012 after discovering how instrumental a high-powered blender was in getting her personal health back on track. Physically and emotionally transformed from her journey back to health, Tarashaun vowed to help others find wellness. She is committed to thoroughly test and review the best blenders and healthy lifestyle products on the market to help her community make the best choices for themselves and family. Tarashaun offers several free resources to help people use their blender to get healthy including a 7 Day Superfood Smoothie Challenge. Blender Babes has also negotiated special deals and offers for products they love most.

20 thoughts on “DIY Recipes to Remove (Some) Pesticides & Wash Fruits & Vegetables”

  1. Why the lemon juice substitution for the vinegar in the spray bottle? Is that ‘better’ or does it just smell better?

    Are those plant based, oil surfactants available?

    How much Grape Seed Extract would be added per quart of solution?

    1. Hi there! Lemon juice is in addition to the vinegar for the DIY spray bottle cleaner, it helps with cleaning since you’re spraying and not just soaking. It also smells better! 🙂 I’m sure you an find oil surfactants online. Unfortunately I don’t know the ratio of the grapefruit extract or oil surfactants that the store bought solutions use.

  2. Your tap water concerns are valid mostly for places where the water originates from surface water. Municipalities that get their water from wells are usually worry-free.

    1. Thanks for sharing Sam! I’ve only lived in big cities so always worry about the tap water. My dream is to live on a farm! I’ll have to add fresh well water to that fantasy too 🙂

  3. My wife has no immune system and will have a bone marrow transplant. I need to know the best method for cleaning fresh fruits of vegetables of bacteria, fungi and parasites. The medical establishment suggests cook everything, no smoothies, no juicing, no raw anything. Bacteria grows on organic foods so just buying organic will not suffice.

    1. Hey John! Thank you for reaching out to Blender Babes! I have also heard that those with cancer in chemo or any low/no immune system circumstances should NOT consume raw food. I’m not authorized to give medical advice, and I recommend consulting your healthcare professional before moving forward. That said, there are sprays used with vegetable brushes to remove bacteria as mentioned in the article – and you would use this even on organic produce.

    2. Hi John,
      Have you thought about making saurkraut and doing the same with other vegetables? Cultured Vegetables.
      Good sites out there telling you how.
      According to them culturing bacteria gobble up all the bad stuf so even conventional vegetables are then free of residues.
      Worth looking at?

  4. It is my understanding that white vinegar is made from CORN, and in the US that means GMO CORN. The question is whether we want to soak our fruits and veggies in a product derived from GMO CORN which of course has been generously sprayed with Round-UP?

    1. Yes Martha, thank you for pointing this out. After some research we found this. Looking for a solution now.

    2. David Cosgrove

      The problem with GM corn is NOT roundup. The modification in GM corn produces an insecticide at the cellular level which cannot be eliminated by any means whatever. It is similar to Dipel, in that it causes corn worms digestive systems to lock up and they basically starve to death. While Dipel can be used (I think) as an organic pesticide it is because it has a very short active life and is easily washed off before consumption. With GM corn, however, the pesticide is actually part of the corn’s genetic material and cannot be removed. GM corn is a living pesticide that should not be consumed by any mammals at all.

      1. Yes David, thank you so much for sharing. We stay away from GM corn and only buy organic corn now. 🙂

  5. Tarashaun Hausner

    I love this Brandi, appreciate you sharing your insights. If you have any interest in writing an article about this and/or sharing your recipes for DIY healthier products we would love to have you as an author/contributor 🙂 let me know!

  6. Brandie Nadiger-Harrop

    Tarashaun Hausner I know that many people do not have access and I am working hard to change that. But there are some people that think they can not afford it. I began to buy ingredients instead of products. I make my own everything from chap stick to detergents and that can add up to huge savings. Those saved dollars can then be flipped back into affording organic food. The consumers drive the market. If more people buy organic or as much organic as they can the farmers have said they will grow what they can sell and this switch will get everyone more access to affordable organics. People need to understand how important this is. 60% of herbicides, 90% of fungicides and 30% of insecticides are carcinogenic. We need agriculture to change not just for our benefit but also for the benefit of the planet. If we stop buying poisonous food. they will stop making and growing poisonous food and start growing good healthy food. It all starts with us. we need to be the change we want to see in the world.

  7. Tarashaun Hausner

    Thanks for the comment Brandie. Agreed 🙂 However there are some pesticides, wax, and other chemicals that can be removed and we want to make sure everyone washes their produce – especially since we've learned a lot of people don't… Would love to buy organic but not everyone can.

  8. Brandie Nadiger-Harrop

    this is very misleading. most pesticides are systemic meaning they go right inside the plant and can not be washed off or peeled off. the only answer is to go organic

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