Homemade Produce Wash

I’ve been using this vegetable spray and fruit spray recipe as our produce wash for many years now. I’ll make a big batch, and that lasts us several months. We buy organic as much as possible, but even with organic produce, it’s good to give things an extra cleaning. I feel better knowing that I gave it one extra wash to remove as many toxins, chemicals, and the potential for food-borne illness-causing bacteria as possible.

Recipe for Homemade Produce Wash, Vegetable Wash, Fruit Wash

Buying Organic Vegetables and Fruits

Did you know that some foods are known to have a higher pesticide exposure than others? I frequently check in with the Environmental Working Group’s – Shopper’s Guide to pesticides in produce. They have their yearly roundup of the dirty dozen, the 12 most pesticide-filled produce, including some that have absorbed the pesticides, so you can’t even wash it off! They also do a roundup for the clean 15, which are the less pesticide-prone items.

I buy organic as much as possible (support organic farming for the health of all of us and our planet). The EWG’s lists are helpful to know which items absolutely do not enter my kitchen in conventional form because of their high pesticide content and which ones I can give a pass to (if I absolutely can’t find it organic that week).

How can you be sure it’s Organic?

If you’re ever unsure of whether a fruit or vegetable is organic, conventional, or even GMO just check the PLU code. That’s the little number by the barcode, and it holds the answers. I have my guide to decoding your produce with a little cheat rhyme to help you out.

DIY Vegetable Spray and Fruit Spray

This is the Grapefruit Seed Extract that I use, and it lasts years because it is so concentrated, and you really only need a few drops at a time. There are many other uses for grapefruit seed extract. You can use a few drops in your other vegetable wash and fruit wash methods. It’s great in combination with vinegar or on its own. Some people like to add the grapefruit seed extract to a bowl with water and let their berries soak in that for a few minutes before rinsing them off. Others prefer to add just a splash of vinegar to their berries or leafy greens as they let it soak before rinsing and spinning (or drying off).

How to use the Produce Cleaner

What I like about the vegetable spray/fruit spray that I created here is the combination of the grapefruit seed extract, vinegar, and baking soda. Combining those makes it into a powerhouse of cleaning! I like to use it on all citrus fruit and anything with a medium to thick skin/peel/rind, even with fruits or vegetables where the skin/rind isn’t eaten. I want to ensure that I am not handling foods with tons of pesticides on them. Some examples of produce that I use this spray on: Lemons, Cucumbers, Bell Peppers, Bananas, Avocados.

Recipe for Homemade Produce Wash, Vegetable spray, Fruit spray

Homemade Produce Wash Recipe

Print Recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2 cups
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A simple, easy recipe for an inexpensive, homemade produce wash.


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • About 15 drops grapefruit seed extract

Equipment / Tools

  • empty spray bottle (16 oz or larger)
  • Large Pitcher
  • Colander


  • Grab yourself a large container (bowl, bottle, pitcher) and combine the water and baking soda in it. This container should be larger than your final spray bottle (due to the fizzing up of the mixture)
  • Slowly add the vinegar. Pour slowly, as it will create bubbles and grow in size.
  • Once the bubbles have calmed down, add the Grapefruit seed extract and give it a good stir to make sure everything mixed well.
  • Transfer to a large spray bottle, and you'll be ready to wash your fruits and vegetables.

How to use it:

  • Add your fruits or vegetables to a colander.
  • Spray until they are nice and wet.
  • Let sit for at least 15 minutes.
  • Rinse well under cool running water.
  • Then let sit in the colander to air dry (if not using right away).
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