#AsktheGreenScientist: The Power of Produce Wash

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Should I clean my fruits and veggies with a produce wash?

Now more than ever, we’re looking for simple ways to safeguard our homes and our families.  While most of us have our own tips and tricks to maintain a clean and healthy home, I’d like to take a minute to talk about one thing you may forget to wash: your produce.

Some of you may think, “I buy triple-washed lettuce, so I don’t need to wash it.”  Others may think, “My fruit is already clean and waxed when it gets to the store.” In both cases, using fruit and veggie wash is still a smart choice.

Let’s start with organic produce: One thing you may know and “love” about organic produce is that it’s much more likely to still have dirt and even little critters on it. Have you ever had a fresh bunch of organic cilantro and it seems like you have to wash it forever to get the dirt out? (Shout out to my fellow gardeners out there, nodding in unison right now.) That’s where our ECOS Fruit + Veggie Produce Cleaner comes in handy. For leafy greens like herbs, you can soak them in a solution of 1 part Fruit + Veggie Wash to 10 parts water and wait for the magic to happen.

If you tuned in to @ecoscleans on Facebook or Instagram last week, you may have seen my video demo on how surfactants (the active ingredients in our cleaners) work: They break the surface tension of the water to speed up the cleansing process. This penetrates deep at the cellular level to quickly release soils. Our new Organic Fruit + Veggie Wash uses the surfactant power of soap nuts, which are actually berries that come from a South American tree. So we’re using plants to clean plants, how neat is that?

In my house, we buy organic when possible, and always organic for fruits and veggies where we eat the skin. There’s a helpful list from the Environmental Working Group called the Dirty Dozen™, the top 12 produce items that are most likely to have pesticide residues. Beyond the known dangers of pesticides to human health, they also have detrimental effects on soil, water and essential pollinators, like bees, that we need to maintain healthy farming systems. But that’s an entirely different soapbox (pun intended).  Back to washing your produce.

As for conventional produce, let’s take a minute to talk about why produce wash can be helpful.  Not only can non-organic fruits and veggies contain pesticides, which we definitely don’t want to ingest, they can also contain waxes and even pathogens. Other shoppers may have touched your produce as they’re selecting, inadvertently transferring infectious particles onto the surface. Because pathogens are top of mind for us these days, its particularly important that we wash everything that comes into our home.

One thing I love about our Fruit + Veggie Wash is that we use non-toxic ingredients that are plant-powered. Our formula is also fragrance-free, and all active ingredients are completely water soluble, ensuring that there’s no aftertaste left behind. 

We know you’re looking for ways to keep your family safe.  We’ve got your back and we’ll continue to innovate solutions that harness the amazing power of plants to wash away all the icky stuff – whether that’s on your floors, your favorite t-shirt, or in this case your broccoli.

-Jenna Arkin, ECOS Green Scientist & VP of Innovation