8 ways to remove the pesticides from fruits and vegetables

Do you know there are more pesticides on our fruits and vegetables than the nutrients? The answer is yes. So we have to do something regarding it. Since consuming them leads us to many diseases like cancer and other foodborne illnesses. It also affects our respiratory, nervous and immune system.

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The reason for using the pesticides on fruits and vegetables:

So why do the producers use the pesticides after all? In order to protect the fruits and vegetables from the insects, diseases and growing weeds. It seems to be good to use the pesticides for the above-mentioned reasons but the thing is there are more chemicals in it. The chemicals like Endosulfan, chlordecone and many others. Pesticides are not only used during the growing period of the plants but also after harvesting them. This is to avoid it from getting rotted and also in order to ripe the fruits faster than its natural rate.

Can we switch to organic produce?                  

Yes, you can. It’s a very good option. But everyone cannot have the option to buy organic produce. As they don’t have any organic store nearby or some of them are way too costly than the conventional ones or certain fruits and vegetables cannot be found there.

And also we can’t guarantee you that there will be no pesticides used in the organic produce. That is because according to the rules the conventional farmers can use the 900 different varieties of synthetic pesticides in their fruits and vegetables whereas the organic farmers have the limit to 25 which should be used in the right amount and at right intervals. So from this, we could say that they can also use the pesticides. I’m not saying that all the organic produce have all these 25 synthetic pesticides. The point which I’m saying here is that they may add as they are allowed to do.

But some use only the natural pesticides in their organic produce which are free of chemicals but not free of bacteria. So it is essential to clean your fruits and vegetables before we eat.

8 best ways to remove the pesticides your fruits and vegetables:

So how do you remove the pesticides from the fruits and vegetables? There are many ways to do that. Let us see them one by one.

Plain water:

Washing your fruits and vegetables with the tap water alone will get rid of most of the pesticides. Just wash them in a bowl of water by rubbing them for 30 seconds. Then wash them once again in the running water quickly. The only problem with this is that the water only removes the residues of the pesticides. So what could you do to get rid of them completely? You can go for the following.


Take a bowl of water and add a tablespoon of salt. Soak your produce for 20 minutes. Then wash them with the normal water. Studies show that washing with the 10% saltwater will discard most of the chemicals from your produce.


Turmeric has the ability to kill the germs which are used generations after generations in beauty remedies, cooking and cleaning. It’s highly grown in south-east Asian countries like India, China, Sri Lanka, Indonesia etc. Take a clay pot or any other container. Add a teaspoon of turmeric to the water. Let your fruits or vegetables be in it from 20 minutes to 40 minutes based on your convenience. Then wash it with the regular water.

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Lemon spray:

Fill a spray bottle with water and add a few drops of lemon juice to it. Now spray it on your produce and rub it for 30 seconds. Finally, rinse them with the tap water.

Baking soda:

Add a teaspoon of baking soda in the water and leave your produce for 15 to 20 minutes to get rid of the pesticides on fruits and vegetables. Finish washing them with your regular water.

Note: You can even combine salt and turmeric or lemon juice and baking soda with the water to wash your produce.

Natural white vinegar:

Wash your contaminated fruits and vegetables with the white vinegar solution. Add one part of vinegar to 10 parts of water. That is, the ratio of water and vinegar should be 10: 1. Then soak your produce in it for 20 minutes then wash it with the regular tap water. Don’t worry. Your produce will not pick any vinegar odour or flavour to it.

Vegetable brush:

There is a vegetable brush available in the Earth hero to clean your produce. You can go for that too. You just simply need to brush your produce and then as any other process, you have to finish washing them with the regular water.

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Last but not least, peel the outer layer of the fruits like apple as they have a wax coating on it to make it look good and fresh. You can peel the outer layers of carrots, potatoes etc. So whenever possible peel the outer skin of the produce to remove the pesticides as much as possible before washing them with water.

Fruits and vegetables with more pesticides:

  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Cucumbers
  • Grapes
  • Hot peppers
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Tomatoes

Fruits and vegetables with least pesticides:

  • Avocado
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Eggplant
  • Honeydew
  • Kiwis
  • Mango
  • Oranges
  • Papaya
  • Sweet corn
  • Onion

These lists are provided by the EWG.

Final notes:

  • After washing your produce make sure to dry them completely by placing them in a towel. You should not keep the produce in your refrigerator right after washing them as the moisture tends to build up more bacteria on them.
  • After all these processes, make sure to clean the produce once with the water right before using them.
  • There are commercial cleaning liquids are available to get rid of those pesticides from your produce. According to some research, it is not mandatory. Simply washing them with water is more than enough.
  • Go for the seasonal and for your own regional fruits and vegetables as they are less contaminated when compared to the others.

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