Cleaning your fruits with water alone can reduce dirt, germs, and pesticide residues remaining on fruit and vegetable surfaces. But is that enough to make your fruit clean?
Yes, says the National Pesticide Information Centre. Holding your fruit or vegetable under flowing water is sufficient and actually removes more dirt than soaking them in a bowl of water. Also, peeling or scrubbing produce like potatoes with a stiff clean brush or rubbing soft items like grapes while holding them under running water works best to remove residues.
However, pesticide residues can stick to waxy or soft-skinned fruits. If the produce was treated with wax, pesticide residues may be trapped underneath the wax and no washing method is 100% effective for removing all pesticide residues; not even a produce wash.
A specialist explained that unlike dishes, fruit and vegetables have pores. Dish soap or bleach can get trapped or absorbed by the pores and become difficult to rinse off the fruit once they have been applied. In addition, using cleaning products may actually add residues to your produce.
Finally, dish soaps and bleach are not meant to be used on fruit or vegetables and may cause health effects if used on food.