The prevalence of bacteria and pesticides on some vegetables may make you think that a special vegetable rinse is necessary. The best vegetable rinse may simply be distilled or pure water, which you can use to wash away bacteria. Commercial vegetable rinses are available, but they are expensive and not much more effective than water. You can also try to make your own vegetable rinse at home to save money.
An easy and cost-effective vegetable rinse involves simply soaking vegetables and fruit in a bowl of distilled water. If the tap water in your area is very clean and does not contain a great amount of minerals, you can use that as well. Soaking vegetables in clean water will remove a great deal of bacteria, pesticides, and other contaminants from the skin. The vegetables should be left in the water for at least one minute.
Using water that has a lot of minerals or added chemicals will not effectively rinse the vegetables. Distilled water is preferable over other types, including spring and tap, as any contaminants have been removed from the water. You can find distilled water at most grocery stores.
There are times when it is not a good idea to fill a large sink or bowl with water. If water is scarce or you are living in an area that is experiencing a drought, you may prefer to use a spray to remove dirt from produce. Commercially available sprays can be costly but reduce the amount of water you need to use drastically. Most sprays have been shown to remove bacteria and dirt from the surface of produce. To use the sprays, spritz it on the vegetables and let sit and then rinse away.
If soaking vegetables in water and buying a commercially available vegetable rinse are not options for you, you can easily make your own rinse at home. Homemade rinses cost considerably less than ones you see on store shelves. They also use common household items and ingredients.
A simple rinse consists of two parts white vinegar to three parts water. Mix the vinegar and water in a spray bottle. To use, spritz on the vegetables and let sit and then rinse off. To make a slightly nicer vegetable rinse, add the juice of one lemon and two teaspoons (10 mg) of baking soda to the bottle. The lemon will add a nice scent and the baking soda will provide scrubbing action.