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Food & Recipes

How to Wash Grapes So They’re Free of Pesticides and Residue Before Eating Them

Learning how to wash grapes may seem like one of those no-brainers, but it takes a little more than a quick rinse to make sure you’re getting the fruit squeaky clean. 

Whether you’re eating them on their own, tossing them into a chicken salad, or even using some as a controversial (yet delicious) pizza topping, you should always clean your grapes before eating them. They’re regularly found on the EWG’s annual Dirty Dozen list along with other fresh produce, like strawberries and leafy greens. This year, grapes are smack dab in the middle at number six with a high pesticide residue score.  

Since no one wants their fruity snack to come with a side of potentially harmful chemicals, we rounded up a couple easy tips that make cleaning grapes a breeze.

How to Wash Grapes

Bobby Parrish from FlavCity shared his go-to method for getting grapes clean in just a few seconds. All you need to do is sprinkle them with two teaspoons of salt and two teaspoons of baking soda, then shake them around to give the fruit a gentle scrub from the mixture. Then use a strainer to rinse them off under the tap when you’re done.

Take a look at his video to see how well it works (plus more produce washing tips!):

As Parrish points out, the residue on grapes is totally natural and not actually evidence of pesticides. The experts at America’s Test Kitchen explain that it’s actually a type of yeast that naturally grows in the soil and gathers on the grapes before they’re harvested. 

It’s totally tasteless and safe to eat, but you might not like the waxy texture. Luckily, ATK says you can get rid of it with a commercial fruit wash (Buy on Amazon, $9.97) or a mixture of three parts water and one part white vinegar. Just spritz the grapes with either and rub them around to get the cleanser all over, then rinse. This will get rid of that coating — and up to 98 percent of any bacteria or pesticides trying to cling to the grapes.

Whichever method you choose, you’ll now be able to enjoy grapes without worrying about hidden gunk messing with your healthy snack!

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