Cleaning Tips, Guides & Resources

The Best Way To Clean Fruit? Baking Soda It Is!

baking soda to clean fruit custom graphic

Whether you buy fruit from the local grocer, or grow it in the yard, how you consume your fruit likely remains the same. Perhaps you give the fruit a quick rinse under the kitchen faucet, and then take a big bite out of it without a second thought. Unless, of course, you are one of those people who forget or don’t wash their fruit altogether! 

Well, regardless of which category you fall into, this article will change the way you clean (or don’t clean) your fruit, and for good reason!

Do You Need to Clean Fruit Before You Eat It?

You’ve probably looked at a shiny apple or a glossy grape and thought they were clean enough to eat without washing them first; but if you were to take a microscopic look at the fruit you buy, or even grow, you’d see a whole other picture!

From dirt and dust to bacteria and harmful pesticides; no fruit is safe from these contaminants. In fact, many assume that fruits grown in indoor spaces, such as greenhouses, are cleaner than those grown outdoors; that’s not the case. You can never be too sure about what is sitting on your unpeeled fruit because it is often not visible to the naked eye. 

With that said, while we’ve all seen the wax coating fruits have that protects them during transportation and storage, what many don’t know about this edible, shiny coating over the fruit is that some of them contain pesticides, and even dyes. 

Keeping the above information in mind, it’s safe to conclude that you must clean fruit before consuming it. 

Can Rinsing Fruit Remove Pesticides?

The most common practice before eating fruit with edible peels is to wash them with water. For those who are accustomed to this habit, it is important to note that washing fruit with plain water is not guaranteed to get rid of chemicals

While some of the pesticides may rinse off, what remains generally requires a good scrubbing before the fruit can be declared free of chemicals on the surface, and safe to eat. 

As an alternative to rinsing, you can soak unpeeled fruits in warm water to eliminate pesticides but this, too, isn’t the most reliable solution when it comes to cleaning fruit. 

That leaves us with a valid and frequently asked question - what’s the best way to clean fruit? Well, you’re about to find out!

Does Baking Soda Clean Fruit?

If you’re aware of the many other uses for baking soda, you can now add ‘cleaning fruit’ to the list! Also known as bicarbonate of soda, this alkaline salt serves as a natural, mild abrasive which makes it perfect for removing surface contaminants from produce. 

If you’re wondering how baking soda cleans fruit, the ingredient works to disintegrate chemical residue, thereby removing it from the surface. 

Cleaning fruit with baking soda has the benefits of both non-toxicity properties, and high efficacy so it ought to be your go-to method from here on out!


Leaving fruit or vegetables wet can attract bacteria while also encouraging them to rot faster. Therefore, you should only clean produce when you intend to eat or prep it immediately after.  

How to Clean Fruit With Baking Soda

While it may not be as quick and simple as rinsing fruit under running water, the process of cleaning fruit with baking soda is certainly not a tough one. With a few simple rules in place, you can ensure that your favourite fruit is safe to consume, and enjoy it even more by using the most effective way to clean fruit! See below.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • To begin, take out the baking soda, and a large bowl or basin that can accommodate the fruit you intend to clean. Bear in mind that the container should be large enough to soak the fruit, as well as properly cleaned before using it.
  • With your bowl clean and ready to use, proceed to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water to ensure that you are not transferring any bacteria to the fruit. 
  • As far as ratios are concerned, it’s best to stick to 1 teaspoon of baking soda for every 2-3 cups of water. Be sure to use cold water, and stir in the baking soda so that it dissolves.
  • For fruits with leaves and stems, pluck them before you put them in the water. The fruit will need about 10 to 15 minutes of soaking in order for the baking soda to remove dirt, pesticides, and wax. During this time, it is necessary to move the fruit around to ensure that the entire piece is getting cleaned.
  • Depending on the firmness of the fruit, either a soft bristle brush, or your bare hands can be used to gently scrub the surface clean. Apples and pears are good examples of firm fruits while plums and peaches are obviously softer. All they need is a quick and gentle scrub while submerged in the water, and that should take care of any chemical and wax remnants on the fruit.
  • Thereafter, rinse the fruit off and leave it to dry, or eat it right away if you prefer!


It may take some time to adjust to this new way of cleaning fruit, however, the extra effort is well worth it considering the fact that you will no longer be consuming pesticides (and whatnot) along with your fruit! Moreover, once you’ve gotten into the habit of cleaning fruit with baking soda, it won’t seem like much of a task anymore. So, do yourself and your loved ones a favour, and start using the best way to clean fruit before you eat it! If you hate cleaning after yourself and more, hiring our regular cleaning service is a great way to get on top of things. 

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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