We eat many fruits and veggies at home and I am concerned about the amount pesticides on fruits like strawberries. Is washing the fruit effective enough? Does a thorough wash vs. a quick rinse make any difference?


6 Answers 6


A long term answer would be to grow your own if possible. That way you have complete control over your food. Or at least purchase from a local farmer that is willing to let you see how he/she grows their produce.

Even organics need to be washed. Most all commercial organics use a form of pest control (most likely diatomaceous earth), they also use natural fertilizers like manure and compost. None of those things are items you need to directly ingest.

The best advice I have is to wash then soak fruits and vegetables in lukewarm water. After a soak wash again. For foods with pitted surfaces, strawberries, potatoes, etc, use a soft bristled brush to gently scrub the food. That will get most anything off the outside.

Of course there will be trace amounts of anything that was sprayed on the item inside of the item.

Hope this helps.

  • +1 for the advice of purchasing from local farmers and growing your own. Commented Dec 18, 2011 at 11:59
  • Diatomaceous earth is edible. They sell it in food-grade.
    – Chloe
    Commented Oct 2, 2016 at 21:08

This might be very dependent on where you live and how 'good' the environment/pesticide guidelines are where you live.

Most fruits with a hard 'skin' won't let any pesticides leak through choose those when in doubt.


Since you don't know which pesticide (or herbicide) was applied to your produce/fruits, you should opt for both a regular wash, and a wash with acetic acid (vinegar).

Many pesticides are non-polar - meaning they're not soluble in water; therefore washing with plain water won't do much good for you.

  • 1
    I do sometimes use vinegar as well for row-eaten ones; after washing them I put a few drops of vinegar in a water full bowl and leave them in water a few minutes and then use/eat without washing them again. Commented Dec 18, 2011 at 11:46

I always wash the fruits under water for about a minute, even if they are organic. To remove pesticides from fruit skins, I add a teaspoon of sea salt to a litre of clean water and soak the fruits in it for about 25-30 minutes. And then rinse with clean water afterwards.

Soaking this way will remove pesticides from the skin of the fruits. Another alternative would be to soak the fruits in vinegar and water solution for about 15-20 minutes. Add one part of vinegar to 4 parts of clean water and soak fruits in it.

Note: Fruits like berries can become soggy when soaked for a longer period of time. Limit the soaking time for such porous fruits.

The best way to stay away from pesticides from fruits or vegetables is to grow your own produce. This way you can enjoy your fruits and vegetables without having to worry about the harmful chemicals and pesticides and save money too!


Whip up a solution with 10 percent white vinegar and 90 percent water and soak your veggies and fruits in them. Stir them around and rinse thoroughly. Be careful while washing fruits like berries, and those with a thin peel as the solution might damage their porous outer-skin


A lot of pesticides are applied while the fruits is in bloom meaning it becomes embedded, and can’t be washed off.

  • "Organic" does not at all mean it has no pesticides or chemicals applied, and depending on the product, may involve more of them than otherwise necessary. This isn't only not an answer, it's a misleading anecdote.
    – Nij
    Commented Nov 12, 2021 at 7:47

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