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5 effective methods to remove pesticides from vegetables and fruits at home

While fruits and vegetables are essential for a healthy diet, concerns about pesticide residue linger. While complete removal isn't possible, several effective methods can significantly reduce pesticide presence on your produce.

Written By: Rahul Pratyush New Delhi Updated on: May 02, 2024 14:35 IST
fruits & veggies
Image Source : GOOGLE 5 methods to remove pesticides from fruits & veggies

In today's world, where the use of pesticides in agriculture is widespread, ensuring the safety of the food we consume has become more critical than ever. Pesticides, while necessary for protecting crops from pests and diseases, can leave residues on fruits and vegetables that may pose health risks if ingested over time. Fortunately, there are several effective methods you can employ at home to reduce pesticide residues and enjoy cleaner produce. Here are five proven techniques:

Washing with vinegar solution:

One of the simplest and most effective ways to remove pesticides from fruits and vegetables is by washing them with a vinegar solution. Mix one part white vinegar with three parts water in a bowl or sink. Soak the produce in this solution for 5-10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with clean water. Vinegar is known for its ability to break down pesticide residues, leaving your fruits and vegetables cleaner and safer to eat.


While it may seem obvious, peeling fruits and vegetables can significantly reduce pesticide exposure. Many pesticides are concentrated on the surface of produce, so removing the outer layer can eliminate a large portion of these residues. However, keep in mind that peeling may also remove some nutrients and fibre, so it's essential to balance the benefits with the loss of nutrients.

Using baking soda:

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is another effective agent for removing pesticide residues. Simply mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a cup of water and soak your fruits and vegetables for 15-20 minutes. Then, rinse them thoroughly under running water. Baking soda works by breaking down pesticide molecules and helping to wash them away, leaving your produce cleaner and safer to consume.

Scrubbing with a brush:

For fruits and vegetables with thicker skins or surfaces, such as potatoes, carrots, or cucumbers, using a brush to scrub them under running water can be highly effective. A gentle scrubbing action helps to physically remove pesticide residues that may be clinging to the surface. Be sure to use a clean brush designated for this purpose and pay extra attention to crevices and hard-to-reach areas where residues may accumulate.

Soaking in saltwater:

Saltwater can also be used to remove pesticide residues from produce effectively. Dissolve two tablespoons of salt in four cups of water and soak your fruits and vegetables for 10-15 minutes. Then, rinse them thoroughly with clean water. Saltwater works by drawing out pesticides and other impurities from the surface of the produce, leaving them cleaner and safer to eat.

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