A Simple Guide to Washing Fruit and Vegetables

Why Washing Your Produce Matters and How to Do It Right

Washing your fruits and vegetables is more than just a good habit - it's essential for your health and safety. From farm to grocery store, your produce encounters numerous contaminants, including pesticides, bacteria, and even animal faeces. Not to mention the dirty hands of people handling them along the way. This is why giving your fruits and veggies a proper wash before storing them in is crucial. Let's dive into why washing is important and the best way to do it using a vinegar bath.

Why Washing Your Produce Is Crucial

Your fresh produce goes through a long journey before reaching your kitchen. During this journey, it can pick up a variety of harmful substances:

  • Pesticides: These chemicals protect crops from pests but can be harmful to humans if ingested in large amounts.

  • Bacteria and Mould: Produce can carry bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella, as well as mould spores that can cause illness.

  • Dirt and Animal Faeces: Farm environments and transportation can lead to contamination with soil and animal waste.

  • Human Contact: From farm workers to grocery store customers, many hands touch your produce, increasing the risk of contamination.

Just imagine kids sneezing on the apples in the supermarket or customers squeezing the tomatoes to check for ripeness - these are only a couple of examples of why a quick rinse under the tap won’t cut it! Washing your fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consumption should be non-negotiable, and we’re here to guide you through the simple process.

The Vinegar Bath: Your Best Bet for Clean Produce

A simple and effective way to clean your fruits and vegetables is by giving them a vinegar bath. Studies show that a vinegar soak can remove up to 98% of bacteria, making it a powerful method to ensure your produce is safe to eat.

How to Give Your Fruit and Vegetables a Vinegar Bath

1. Prepare the Solution: Mix one part white vinegar with five parts tepid water in a large bowl or your kitchen sink.

2. Soak the Produce: Place your fruits and vegetables in the solution and let them soak for about 15 minutes. Give everything a good rub using your hands or a Swag veggie brush. You’ll probably be surprised at the amount of dirt and grime left in the sink water! Pro Tip: cut the ends off your produce such as herbs, lettuce or broccoli so they have fresh ends.

3. Rinse Thoroughly: After soaking, rinse the produce thoroughly under cold running water to remove any vinegar taste.

4. Dry Properly: Allow your washed produce to drain on the side of the sink and pat dry with a clean towel, especially berries, which are delicate and can easily become mushy if not dried properly.

By incorporating this vinegar soak into your routine, you not only ensure the cleanliness of your produce but also protect the integrity of your Swag bags by not introducing any unwanted contaminants. Plus, it saves you time when cooking as everything is pre-washed. 


Special Tips for Specific Produce


Berries are particularly sensitive and can quickly become soft and mouldy. You can keep your berries in their punnets during the vinegar bath. After washing, it's essential to let them drain and pat them dry gently. To keep them fresh longer, store them in their original punnets within your Swag bags. This provides extra protection against bruising and keeps them dry.

Read more on how to keep your berries fresh for longer here.


Potatoes and Large Vegetables

For potatoes and other large produce, use The Swag Veggie Brush. This brush is designed to remove dirt and grime effectively without damaging the skin of your vegetables. Simply scrub the produce under running water and then follow with the vinegar bath.


The Swag: Your Partner in Produce Preservation

The Swag bags help extend the life of your produce, keeping it fresh and nutritious for longer. By washing your fruits and vegetables before placing them in your Swag bags, you significantly reduce the risk of contamination and spoilage. Your Swag bags will therefore stay cleaner, helping you maintain a healthy kitchen environment. 

By taking a few extra minutes to clean your produce properly, you can enjoy the health benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables without worrying about hidden nasties. 

Shop The Swag veggie brush here and explore our range of Swag produce bags here.