When I buy apples at the market, they always feel sticky. When I buy apples at the supermarkt they feel smooth. When I was younger we had an apple tree, and also that apples did not feel sticky in my memories.

The apples taste fine, but no matter how good I wash them, they keep feeling sticky, like there used to be coating of stickers on them. Is there a reason for this? And should I clean them with a towel after washing? (The only way I can get them less sticky) I assume there is nothing wrong with the apples?

I live in the Netherlands, if that matters.

1 Answer 1


It's wax. Apples contain wax in their peel naturally and the amount varies between different varieties. Some don't feel waxy at all. It is there to prevent the fruit of drying out and the industry sometimes adds wax as well (especially to fruits that will be exported long distances), to keep them fresh longer.

As for removing the wax, you could try this.

  • I couldn't find any information on apples' skin containing wax naturally. Can you share any source for this statement? Sep 21, 2012 at 14:13
  • 1
    @KristinaLopez: My main source is in Swedish, but I also found this, which seems to be a reliable source: postharvest.tfrec.wsu.edu/pages/N2I2A ("The natural wax on apple fruit contains about fifty individual components belonging to at least half a dozen chemical groups. Two major classes of chemicals are often found. The major cyclic component of apple fruit wax is called ursolic acid and is highly water repellent.")
    – citizen
    Sep 21, 2012 at 15:26
  • Thanks citizen, I enjoy learning something new. Thanks for the link! Sep 21, 2012 at 15:32
  • 2
    In addition, the wax coating on in supermarket apples is a uniformly applied coating of (usually) carnuba - an edible food-grade wax that you can remove with a quick dunk in simmering water, like you would before making candy apples.
    – Kogitsune
    Sep 21, 2012 at 16:15
  • industry sometimes adds wax is an understatement. Mass harvested apples have wax added to them. Example youtube.com/watch?v=mJXP4da1XVw
    – Paulb
    Aug 17, 2016 at 4:08

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