Whenever you walk through the produce section of your local grocery store, have you ever noticed how bright and shiny the fruits and veggies look?
What about when you pick your own fresh apples or carrots – do those usually have the same sheen and visual appeal as their commercial counterparts?
Generally speaking, the answer is no, they do not. And the reason why is pretty unsettling.
In order to keep fruits and vegetables looking fresh and appealing for as long as possible, most stores treat their produce with a variety of chemicals through a fogging process and then douse them with a shiny coat of wax to make them prettier and to preserve their shelf-stability for much longer than nature intended. Sounds yummy, right? And healthy too? Yeah, we didn’t think so either.
One option for avoiding these contaminants is to only buy produce from local farmers, but that isn’t always the best option if you want more of a variety of fruits and vegetables. Of course, we always recommend growing your own or buying locally, but most of us will still need to supplement with store-bought, pesticide-sprayed, waxy produce on occasion. The good news is that our highly effective DIY Produce Wash is one of our easiest recipes yet, requiring only a small amount of liquid castile soap and clean water, plus an optional produce scrub brush if you plan to wash heartier (and dirtier) veggies like carrots, beets and yams.
There are two primary ways of using castile soap as a produce wash. The first method using a bowl is best if you want to clean several pieces of produce at once. Alternatively, the second method using a spray bottle is more convenient if you prefer to wash your fruits and veggies individually as you need them.
How To Use Liquid Castile Soap as a Produce Wash
Materials needed for First (bowl) Method:
- ¼ teaspoon Liquid Castile Soap (any scent)
- Clean bowl
Note: Choose a bowl that is large enough to hold the produce you intend to clean, with enough room for them to move around freely (no cramped bowls). You can also wash your produce in smaller batches if you don’t have a bowl large enough to do them all at once.
- Enough fresh, clean water to fully cover the produce in your bowl
Materials needed for Second (bottle) Method :
- 1 teaspoon Liquid Castile Soap (any scent)
- Clean spray bottle
- 1 cup of fresh water
Note: In order to prevent microorganism growth, distilled water is the best choice when preparing cleaning solutions that will be kept for more than a few days.
- Produce scrub brush for fruits and vegetables with tougher, dirtier skin (carrots, beets, yams, etc).
- Soft cloth for gently scrubbing delicate produce
- Soft cloth for drying
Procedure: First (bowl) Method
Add about ¼ teaspoon of liquid castile soap to your bowl.
Fill the bowl about halfway with clean water.
Swish the water and soap around in the bowl to combine and create a few suds.
Gently place your produce into the bowl.
Note: If your produce is not fully submerged, add more clean water to your bowl now.
Using your hands, move the produce around in the soapy water to create more suds. These suds are what will loosen and remove most of the wax, pesticide residue, and/or other dirt and debris.
Note: If you find your produce is not coming clean enough from the soapy water alone, you can use your produce scrub brush to loosen and remove stubborn particulates from tougher-skinned fruits and veggies. For softer-skinned or more delicate produce, you can rub gently with a soft cloth instead.
Remove your produce from the bowl and rinse with fresh water. Dry with a soft cloth or allow to air dry.
Discard the bowl of used produce wash.
Procedure: Second (bottle) Method
Add one teaspoon of liquid castile soap (any scent) to an empty, clean spray bottle.
Add one cup of fresh, clean water to your bottle. (Distilled water is preferred.)
Shake the bottle to combine the soap and water and create suds.
Spray your produce with the sudsy solution.
For tougher-skinned produce, give a scrub with your produce brush to remove any lingering dirt or wax. For more delicate or thinner-skinned produce, gently rub with a soft cloth instead.
Rinse produce with clean water. Dry with a soft cloth or allow to air dry.
If using distilled water, your spray bottle of DIY Produce Wash can be safely kept and used until it is empty. If using non-distilled water, any remaining solution should be discarded after a few days due to the possibility of microorganism growth.
Because our DIY produce wash contains no synthetic binding ingredients, you can expect the soap and water to separate upon settling. This is normal and does not affect the usability or effectiveness of the produce wash. Simply give the bottle a quick shake to recombine the soap and water before using.
Check out our brand new Liquid Castile Soap in the “Soap + Shampoo Bars” section of our shop. This is the latest addition to our Lactosoapcillus line of all-natural probiotic and vegan soaps, and you can count on it to deliver all of the same skin-loving probiotic benefits that you have come to love. We are happy to offer four customer-favorite, all-natural scents of liquid castile soap, including “Frankincense, Tea Tree & Lavender” “Lavender”, “Patchouli”, and “Peppermint and Eucalyptus”, as well as an “Unscented” option.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or feedback, as always please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.