I go on frequent long-term road trips, and I don't have access to running water during those times. Is it okay to fill up a bowl of water and just stick the vegetables in there and rub them, take them out and be done? If I wash one veggie after the other after the other using the same water, I'm thinking I'd just be using contaminated water to clean vegetables after the first set.

Any ideas or recommendations? Is the method I'm asking about good enough? I was reading adding white vinegar helps but the articles didn't provide any scientific studies or anything.

  • I've never worked in the restaurant industry but I feel like I've seen them use tubs of water (and maybe something else?) to wash things like lettuce... My guess is that the dirt you're washing off will sink to the bottom.
    – Catija
    Commented Feb 21, 2015 at 5:36
  • See cooking.stackexchange.com/a/23797/3203
    – TFD
    Commented Feb 21, 2015 at 7:33
  • You could always add a little bit of Milton to your water. It's a bleach but very mild and is used to clean baby's bottles and chopping boards. On the side of the bottle it always suggests using it to wash vegetables.
    – Doug
    Commented Feb 21, 2015 at 9:22
  • Use 2 bowls, one for scrubbing and one for a quick rinse. The more bowls, the more dilute the pesticides are in the last bowl.
    – Chloe
    Commented Apr 20, 2017 at 15:19

1 Answer 1


Rinsing vegetables doesn't really "decontaminate" them, whether you're using running water or not. The main purpose of rinsing vegetables is to remove dirt and grit that would make them unpalatable to eat, it doesn't actually make them that much safer to eat. If a vegetable was somehow contaminated with salmonella before rinsing, it would still be contaminated after.

When you're eating uncooked vegetables you're relying on the fact they don't normally harbour things that can make you sick and have natural resistances against acquiring them even after being harvested (eg. they don't go moldy overnight). That and whoever prepared them washed their hands first...

So rinsing multiple vegetables in a bowl of water shouldn't be a problem. Spreading a contamination around won't increase the amount of it you end up consuming.

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