Where Faith, Food and Life Converge

Easy Homemade Veggie Wash

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I kind of live in the boonies.  No, not like the tundra of Alaska or anything, but if I want to get to a “real” shopping/dininng area (as in Target, movie theaters, Old Navy, shoe stores, froyo, Panera, fabric & craft stores, Home Depot, etc…) I have to drive an hour or more.  So I’ve often learned to “make do” as my thrifty granny frequently recited. Sometimes our more local stores have what I want and need; sometimes they don’t.

Like veggie wash to rinse the dirt and pesticides off produce, for instance.

Sometimes I can find it locally, but more often than not, it’s out of stock.  I don’t do manufactured or chemical pesticides in my garden, but somehow, my veggies are always dirty. Like the toys in Toy Story, do my garden vegetables come alive when my back is turned or they go muddin’ while I’m sleeping?  And the fruits and vegetables I buy at the grocery… well… I can’t always be certain that they aren’t contaminated with something unpronounceable and likely toxic.

Like pressure washing (one of my favorite chores on the planet, seriously!), I love watching all the yucky stuff on grapes and lettuce wash away when I’ve sprayed them first with veggie wash. It’s so satisfying to see the dirt swirl down the drain, and I feel like my body is just a wee bit healthier because I’ve cleaned my fruits and veggies.  Silly me.

Several years ago, though, I ran out of the manufactured wash I bought at the store.  I drove to 3 different stores “close” to me (a drive of about 40 minutes total to get to all 3!), and not one single store had any in stock.  Since I had to take grapes as a snack to our Sunday School class the next morning, I was determined that those grapes needed to be clean.  Again, silly me.

Thank goodness this was the age of the internet, because I Googled the ingredients of a bottle of veggie wash, and found a homemade version could be made for just a fraction of the price, with ingredients already in my pantry.

I LOVE those kinds of Google searches, don’t you?  Considering that a bottle of the stuff is about $5 at the grocery – assuming it’s in stock – and I can make a full bottle for less than 20¢, well, booyah!  I don’t think I’ve bought the grocery kind in over 5 years. I use it every single day, and I love it so much, I want to share the recipe with you so you can save that $5 bucks too!

  • 1/8 C baking soda
  • 3 T white vinegar
  • a couple drops of Dawn dish detergent
  • water

Dump your baking soda into the spray bottle using a funnel.  I often make a nifty funnel out of scratch paper for such a small amount, but so you can see the reaction, I’m skipping it today.

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Set the bottle in your sink just in case.  Pour in 3 T of white vinegar.  Depending on the bottle, the reaction might cause the mixture to overflow a bit.  I LOVE this part!

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Squeezing in a couple drops of the Dawn dish soap helps with that.

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Wait a couple minutes for the mixture to settle, then fill the rest of the bottle with water.  Put the cap back on and give it a vigorous shake or two.  If the baking soda isn’t broken up, it can clog the spray mechanism, so try to make sure it’s dissolved.

That’s it!

The reaction from the vinegar and baking soda helps to lift the dirt off the vegetables, and the Dawn washes away any grease or oil residue from chemicals applied to the produce.  I see the same amount of dirt rinsing off my produce as I did when I was buying it from the grocery store.

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I still use the same bottle from the last time I bought it, because it’s easy to find under my kitchen sink, but you could certainly go find a spray bottle at Walmart if you need one.  I always feel vaguely like a middle schooler working on a science fair project when I make this because there’s the awesome reaction when you mix vinegar with baking soda. Shades of homemade volcanoes, etc…

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It’s super easy to make, and so inexpensive and effective too.  It’s one of my favorite kitchen “tricks!”  Do you have any that you swear by too?  If so, I’d love to hear what they are!



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