DIY Pesticide Wash
Did you know that a homemade pesticide remover works just as well, if not better, than a store-bought one? If you’re like me, you don’t want to blow your budget on organic produce. And then spend even more money on a pesticide remover from the store.
People think that one loophole is to buy a pesticide cleaning solution at the store to take care of any remaining chemicals. Don’t buy into that! Using a few simple ingredients from around the house will do the job just fine. But what are these ingredients? I tested them out for you to see!
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The Dangers of Pesticides
Buying non-organic fruits and vegetables can seem pretty scary once you know how pesticides stick to your food. However, there are some produce options that you don’t need to worry about at all. You can find out which organic produce you’re actually wasting your money on down below!
I personally am on the fence in terms of buying organic, because there isn’t much scientific evidence that points to pesticides being dangerous. What studies have been done are not the most credible! The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has been undermined several times for not doing the best research. But I like to go by the saying that where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
I’m not saying pesticides are good by any means, and I think they should be stopped. But I’m not going to blow my food budget over it until science comes to a mutual understanding. It’s better to play it safe than sorry. There have been too many instances of us using dangerous substances (i.e. lead and asbestos) and realizing they were dangerous when it was too late.
Believe it or not, it has been proven that simply washing your produce with water does a pretty decent job! But if you’re in a pinch for organic produce and simply can’t deal with non-organic, you can use a homemade pesticide remover for peace of mind.
I want to quickly make a note here that I decided to do this test on strawberries, because they have been the number 1 offender of having the most pesticides for several years in a row. I figured if I was going to test something, it might as well be the biggest offender.
The Homemade Produce Wash Combinations I’ll Be Using
I pulled some research together and found two possible homemade pesticide remover solutions. Both of them only involve two ingredients that you keep around the house! I will forewarn you that they can be a bit time consuming, but worth it.
For this experiment, I took a batch of non-organic strawberries from the store and split the batch in half. One half was tested with a baking soda solution, and the other half with a white vinegar solution. I washed them first before using the solutions.
After performing these experiments, I realized that washing the strawberries first was rather unnecessary. The solutions would wash off the dirt and the pesticides, but hey, there’s nothing wrong with being extra thorough. So save yourself some extra time and don’t wash your produce first like I did.
Solution 1: Baking Soda Pesticide Wash
I couldn’t find a source that had actual measurements for this, so I had to do some guesswork. What I ultimately ended up using was just enough water to cover the strawberries, and plopped in a teaspoon of baking soda.
Then I let the strawberries soak for about 20 minutes. Looking back, I think 10-12 minutes would have been better, so that you don’t have to worry about your produce getting soggy. Once the time was up, I strained out the baking soda water and gave the strawberries a quick rinse before patting them dry.
The Results of Using Baking Soda as Pesticide Remover
The berries came out just fine, as if nothing had happened to them. I was somehow expecting there to be dirt or extra gunk in the water, but only leftover baking soda remained. The key thing we have to remember is that most pesticides can’t be seen or tasted. They would be banned otherwise!
The strawberries also tasted good, and I couldn’t detect any sign of baking soda. I will admit that I didn’t have an “a-ha!” moment where I was enlightened with what strawberries are really supposed to taste like. That was lost a long time ago to genetic changes made to strawberries over time.
Solution 2: White Vinegar Pesticide Wash
This solution involved using one part white vinegar to nine parts water, and I measured this amount so that the strawberries would be covered. I couldn’t find how long I was supposed to soak the strawberries, so I had to do some guesswork in this area as well.
I decided to soak them for the same amount of time as the baking soda solution, which was about 20 minutes. This batch was also strained, rinsed, and patted dry. Again, I think that 10-12 minutes would have been perfectly fine for this so that they won’t get soggy.
*Update*: I’ve since tried this pesticide remover for 10 minutes on both solutions, and I was right! My produce looks clean, and its texture was much more robust because it didn’t just spend nearly half an hour soaking in water. So save yourself some time and just soak for 10 minutes!
The Results of the Vinegar Pesticide Wash
The strawberries also came out perfectly clean, just like the baking soda solution. There wasn’t any kind of gunk or dirt left behind in the bowl. Although I do think that I got all the visual gunk off when I washed them with water first.
I was fully expecting a slight vinegar taste, and I could get just a slight acidic tinge of it when I tried a strawberry right after. I gave the rest of the strawberries a quick rinse, and they tasted fine after that. Overall, these results were just the same as the baking soda solution, and the strawberries tasted great.
So What is the Best Homemade Pesticide Remover?
The anti-climatic answer is…both! If you’re more concerned for how they will taste afterward, I would go with the baking soda solution. But you could get both solutions to taste perfectly fine after a quick rinse in the sink.
There isn’t a surefire way for me to test if there are actually any pesticides left behind, because they are completely tasteless, and I fully acknowledge that. I can only rely on the research I found on trustworthy sites.
Overall, if you’re looking to go the extra mile on cleaning your produce, you can use either a diluted baking soda or white vinegar solution. Either one will do the trick, and you will have peace of mind that your produce is fresh and clean.
Would you try this homemade pesticide remover? Let me know in the comments below!
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Vinegar and Baking Soda Pesticide Wash