How To Wash Your Produce- A Complete Guide

I am often asked for the best method to clean fruits and vegetables, and if commercially available produce washes are necessary. I can’t say either way if supermarket veggie sprays work, but I use what I grew up using; white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. I was excited to see Cook’s Illustrated prove the effectiveness of a vinegar wash that I learned from my mom years ago. The magazine did a study comparing the effectiveness of removing bacteria from produce with vinegar, plain water, antibacterial soap, and a produce wash. The vinegar wash got rid of most bacteria. (I couldn’t find the original study on the Cook’s Illustrated website but did find a summary of it on npr.org).

I keep a reusable spray bottle filled with either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar near my sink. I spray hard-skinned vegetables and fruits like apples and cucumbers directly with the spray and rinse under water. For delicate greens, berries or grapes, I soak the produce in a bowl with water and a generous spray of vinegar and mix it gently with my hands.

My friend Veronica recommends using hydrogen peroxide to clean produce. The one source I found for that was on the Dr. Mercola website, though he recommends using both vinegar and a hydrogen peroxide spray (kept in separate bottles).

Whichever method you choose, you do want to give your produce at least a water rinse to wash off bugs and dirt. And think about how many people handle your produce as it makes its journey to the supermarket produce aisle before it arrives to your kitchen.

A salad spinner is a practical way to quickly dry off just washed salad leaves- your dressing will cling to the leaves much better if it is dry (I prefer the pushdown spinners as opposed to the pull cords and crank handled ones). But you can always lay them out on towels to dry as well.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Cuisinart Salad Spinner, Green
  • Wash and spin Dry Salad greens, fruit and vegetables
  • Add water and drain without moving the lid through the easily accessible opening on top
  • Perfect for individual or two-person servings
  • Also great for rinsing berries and herbs
  • 3 quart capacity
Bestseller No. 2
OXO Good Grips Large Salad Spinner - 6.22 Qt.
  • Easy, one handed operation with patented pump mechanism and brake button
  • Soft, non slip knob locks down for storage, and a non slip ring and wide base keep bowl steady on countertop
  • Elegant, clear bowl is perfect for serving, and basket can be used separately as a colander
  • Clear, flat lid allows for convenient stacking when not in use, disassembles for easy cleaning, and parts are top rack dishwasher safe and BPA Free
  • Capacity 6.22 Qt bowl, 4.95 Qt basket, Dimensions 10.5 inch x 10.5 inch x 6 inch
SaleBestseller No. 3
Cuisinart CTG-00-SAS 5-Quart Salad Spinner, White
  • CONVENIENT: Wash and spin-dry salad greens, fruits and vegetables
  • EASY TO USE: Add and drain water without removing lid with easy-to-turn spin knob
  • MUST HAVE FEATURES: Locks to securely close spinner with clear base that can be used as a serving bowl
  • CAPACITY: 5-Quarts capacity
  • CONTROL: Non Skid base for keeping bowl stable while spinning
Bestseller No. 4
Joined Salad Spinner with Drain, Bowl, and Colander - Quick and Easy Multi-Use Lettuce Spinner, Vegetable Dryer, Fruit Washer, Pasta and Fries Spinner - 3.7 Qt
  • Turn chore into pleasure and make your salads tastier. Forget washing gem lettuce by hand, drying chopped salad with tons of paper towels, spraying water all around the kitchen, and bland, watery salads. Our easy rotary handle makes spinning effortless, so you can enjoy the convenience of a quick, mess-free, and tasty salad.
  • 3-in-1 Multifunctional Kitchen Gadget. All parts are separated for easy use and cleaning. You can use the clear base as a serving bowl or salad mixer and the basket as a convenient colander or vegetable washing basket. That's more space in your cupboards and fewer dishes to wash.
  • Built-In Drainage System. You can wash and dry greens, fruits, and vegetables, without removing the lid. Just add water through the lid as you spin-wash, tip salad spinner to pour out water through the opening in the lid, and spin again to remove excess water and dry.
  • Smart Design. Non-skid base provides stability and control, so the bowl remains steady on your countertop while using the salad spinner dryer. Two locking clamps on the lid prevent water and greens from flying around your kitchen and making a mess.
  • Not Just For Salad. Use it as a vegetable spinner when cleaning veggies or as a fruit washer before enjoying your berries. You can even use it to spin out any remaining water from pasta, so your sauces stick better, or to remove excess oil from french fries. It's one of the most useful gadgets in any kitchen.
SaleBestseller No. 5
Farberware Easy to use pro Pump Spinner with Bowl, Colander and Built in draining System for Fresh, Crisp, Clean Salad and Produce, Large 6.6 quart, Green
  • HEALTHY MADE EASY: Our Pro Pump Salad Spinner makes it so easy to prepare nutritious foods every night of the week; large salad spinner helps you to clean and serve salad greens and other produce, including fruits and even berries in seconds
  • MULTIPLE USES: This lettuce spinner is more than just a device for quickly rinsing and drying produce; use the basket separately as a colander, and the clear plastic bowl can be used as a large salad bowl or mixing bowl
  • ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE: The generous capacity of our salad spinner (6.65 quart bowl, 5.25 quart basket) means you can put in enough food to feed your entire family
  • SO EASY: We know you're busy when it comes to making meals, so we've engineered our large salad spinner for convenient one-handed operation; simply push down on the spinner mechanism to begin; then tap the brake button when done
  • STABLE AND SECURE: The clear bowl features a soft, non-slip base to secure the salad spinner while in use, with the added bonus of protecting your countertops from getting scratched
Bestseller No. 6
Brieftons QuickPush Salad Spinner: Large 6.3-Quart Vegetable Washer Dryer Strainer Drainer, Easy One-Handed Handle & Brake, Fast Spin Cycles, Compact Storage, to Wash, Clean & Dry Vegetables, Fruits
  • ✅ Finally, A Truly Fast, Frictionless Salad Spinner: The QuickPush Salad Spinner lets you wash, clean, dry, serve vegetables quickly, hassle free. It comes with an easy, one-handed pump handle & quick brake button. High speed centrifugal force dries salad greens, herbs, lettuce, spinach, romaine, fruits & veggies in seconds, giving you the driest, crispest produce. Redesigned from the ground up, this salad spinner features fast frictionless spinning cycles to get your greens dry effortlessly.
  • ✅ Big Enough For The Whole Family, While Easy To Use, Store and Clean: The spacious size of the Brieftons vegetable spinner (6.3-quart) means you can process enough vegetables for the whole family in one go. It's also super easy to use thanks to the large pump handle, which is collapsible and can be quickly locked down for compact storage when not in use. Cleaning is a cinch too. The lid features access holes for easy cleaning of the inside to prevent dirt/soil buildup over time.
  • ✅ Built For The Job: Soft, non-slip handle locks down for compact storage, and a non-slip ring & big, wide base keep the bowl steady on countertops. It works equally well for left & right-handed users. Elegant, clear bowl is perfect for serving, and basket can be used as a colander. No longer do you need vegetable drying mats or drying towels to dry your greens as in the past. This is a multi-purpose collapsible salad spinner, dryer, drainer, crisper, strainer and keeper, all in one device.
  • ✅ Everything You Need In The Bundle: Bundle includes the Brieftons QuickPush Salad Spinner, printed user manual, 4 downloadable recipe ebooks with exclusive recipes you can make using your salad spinner right away (Brieftons' 25 Quick Salad Recipes, Brieftons A to Z Guide of Salad Recipes, Vegan Cooking for Newbies, and The Benefits of Raw Foods). Elegant looking and highly functional, this large salad spinner, lettuce spinner & dryer is unbeatable for the price.
  • ✅ A Perfect Gift For All Occasions: What else can make better gifts for your loved ones than this gift of health. This salad dryer is perfect for moms, chefs, cooks, healthy-conscious individuals, food enthusiasts, vegans, vegetarians alike. Makes eating vegetables fun, easy & attractive for all ✅ Buy With Confidence: We are the trusted kitchen brand with thousands of happy customers. Your purchase is backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee and we will solve any problem within 12 hours.
Bestseller No. 7
Dreamfarm Spina | Easy-To-Use Salad Spinner | Non-Scratch, Nylon Spinning Colander | Lettuce Spinner | Colander with Collapsible Handle | White & Green
  • Spina – Successfully Updated A COLANDER WITH A TWIST | Use to drain your pasta and rinse your veggies, or twist it into a spinner! No more shaking or drip-drying your salad leaves, the pump-action handle rotates the spinning colander, drying your produce in seconds.
  • NO MORE SPLASH | Keep your countertops dry and avoid splashing water everywhere. The Spina salad spinner fits perfectly into the sink when you want to give it a spin, keeping the water where it’s meant to be.
  • HANDY HANDLE | With space-saving and easy storage in mind, the handle can be pushed inside the colander, allowing it to be stacked in bowls and completely out of the way. Lock the handle to use the Spina as a colander or twist it to create the pump-action spin.
  • NON-SLIP FOOT | The silicone foot will hold fast when spinning at the highest RPM, even to a wet sink! The lettuce spinner basket is designed to keep your food inside. Just push down the handle for a quick stop brake. It’s also dishwasher safe.
  • DESIGNED IN AUSTRALIA | Dreamfarm is an Australian owned company, and every Dreamfarm product is proudly designed in sunny Brisbane, Australia.
SaleBestseller No. 8
Excelsteel Cook Pro Inc Salad Spinner, 4-1/2-Quart
  • Features smooth high speed knob for turning to ensure complete water elimination
  • Count on this simple tool for everyday fun and easy salad preparation
  • Also functions as a salad bowl-a healthy addition to any and every meal
  • Use the colander as a strainer for not just your salad, but with fruits for your enjoyment or vegetables for your cooking too
  • Comes with small feet to keep your salad in place as you use the spinner without hassle or mess
SaleBestseller No. 9
Neatness Large Salad Spinner with Drain, Bowl, and Colander - Quick and Easy Multi-Use Lettuce Spinner, Vegetable Dryer, Fruit Washer, Pasta and Fries Spinner - 5.28 Qt
  • Turn chore into pleasure and make your salads tastier. Forget washing gem lettuce by hand, drying chopped salad with tons of paper towels, spraying water all around the kitchen, and bland, watery salads. Our easy rotary handle makes spinning effortless, so you can enjoy the convenience of a quick, mess-free, and tasty salad.
  • 3-in-1 Multifunctional Kitchen Gadget. All parts are separated for easy use and cleaning. You can use the clear base as a serving bowl or salad mixer and the basket as a convenient colander or vegetable washing basket. That's more space in your cupboards and fewer dishes to wash.
  • Built-In Drainage System. You can wash and dry greens, fruits, and vegetables, without removing the lid. Just add water through the lid as you spin-wash, tip salad spinner to pour out water through the opening in the lid, and spin again to remove excess water and dry.
  • Smart Design. Non-skid base provides stability and control, so the bowl remains steady on your countertop while using the salad spinner dryer. Two locking clamps on the lid prevent water and greens from flying around your kitchen and making a mess.
  • Not Just For Salad. Use it as a vegetable spinner when cleaning veggies or as a fruit washer before enjoying your berries. You can even use it to spin out any remaining water from pasta, so your sauces stick better, or to remove excess oil from french fries. It's one of the most useful gadgets in any kitchen.
Bestseller No. 10
SveBake Salad Spinner Stainless Steel Large, Vegetable Washer with 4.2 Qts Bowl, Lettuce Cleaner and Dryer
  • Made of robust 18/8 stainless steel and BPA-free ABS materials. The Crank design can achieve precise control over the spinning process, which is more conducive to handle berries.
  • You can wash and dry a multitude of lettuces and other greens, like kale or collards, but you can also efficiently wash and dry fresh herbs, berries, and bulky vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes. After the salad has been spun, you can serve it in the elegant stainless steel bowl.
  • Equipped with silicone material on the underside, the salad spinner grips the worktop and prevents it from wobbling during use. This attribute keeps the bowl secure on the countertop even when it spins vigorously at peak speeds.
  • Fewer parts make it easier to clean the salad spinner. You can wash the salad dryer clean under water in seconds. It is also dishwasher safe.
  • A salad spinner can be found in every better equipped household. Once you get used to the fact that the lettuce leaves stay fresh and crisp for a long time after washing with the salad carousel, you definitely don't want to miss this household appliance in the kitchen. A creative gift choice!

The great thing about produce is that most of it can be cleaned easily and then dried. For those with skins made from firmer material, a soft brush will work best for gentle cleaning but if your scrubbing produces are softer or drier (to accommodate an earthier environment), you may need to soak them in water before wiping off any dirt captured within their natural wrapping film on top-side layers which could prevent stains caused by exposure during transport.

The Bottom Line:

How To Wash Your Produce- A Complete Guide
How To Wash Your Produce- A Complete Guide 13

Good food hygiene is an important health habit that will keep you from getting sick. Washing fresh produce helps minimize surface germs and residues, which could make anyone’s day worse!

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has caused many people to wonder whether more aggressive washing methods, such as using soap or commercial cleaners on fresh produce are better.

Health professionals agree that this isn’t recommended or necessary. Fruits and vegetables can be sufficiently cleaned with cool water, and light friction right before eating them.

If you want to get your produce clean, try washing it in a bowl of cool water. This will help remove dirt particles from the surface and inner layers so they don’t come back when next time.

The importance of fresh fruit and vegetables cannot be understated. They offer a number of healthy nutrients, but only if they’re cleaned safely!

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