How to wash fruits and vegetables to remove pesticides?

Depending on the type of vegetables and fruits, you can apply one of the following 5 methods to remove residual pesticides.


Whether you believe it or not, residues of pesticides used during cultivation still remain in the fruits and vegetables we eat. Although the presence of pesticides in our food does not necessarily mean they pose major health risks. However, you can still apply some tricks to minimize health risks to the lowest level possible, as follows:

1. Soak in saltwater

Studies have shown that soaking vegetables and fruits in diluted saltwater for 20 minutes will remove the majority of residues from the 4 most common pesticides.

2. Soak in vinegar

Using vinegar also removes pesticide residues from fruits and vegetables. Use a ratio of 4 bowls of water to 1 bowl of vinegar, mix them together and soak the produce for 20 minutes. In addition to removing pesticides, vinegar also kills many bacteria. However, for some types of berries, it is not recommended to soak them in vinegar as it may affect the thin skin of the berries.

3. Use baking soda

Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to 1 liter of water, soak the produce for 12-15 minutes, then rinse with clean water again to ensure safety.

4. Wash multiple times with cold water

Researchers at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in the United States have found that washing fruits and vegetables multiple times under cold water can reduce the residues of 9 out of 12 commonly used pesticides.

5. Peel the skin

To limit the consumption of food containing pesticide residues, it is advisable to buy seasonal fruits and vegetables. Especially for certain types of produce, peeling the skin ensures safety, although the skin is also a part that contains many nutrients.


Source: Giao Thong Newspaper

Frequently asked questions

There are several tricks to reduce potential health risks:

  1. Soak produce in saltwater (4 cups water to 1 tsp salt) for 20 minutes to remove residues from common pesticides.
  2. Alternatively, soak in a mixture of water and vinegar (4:1 ratio) for 20 minutes, which also kills bacteria; avoid this method for berries.
  3. Use a baking soda solution (1 tbsp per liter of water), soaking produce for 12-15 minutes before rinsing.
  4. Wash fruits and vegetables multiple times with cold water to reduce residues from commonly used pesticides.
  5. Peel the skin of certain produce items to ensure safety, although this also removes some nutrients.

In addition to the methods above, you can also reduce exposure by buying seasonal produce, as this often has lower pesticide residues. You can also opt for organic options, which have stricter regulations on pesticide use.
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