Eating your fruits & vegetables would be easy if they were all as delicious as strawberries. But before you can enjoy the delicious taste of these berries, you need to properly wash and remove pesticides from them. Washing your fruit is such an essential step to clean-eating, and yet many remain unsure of how to do it properly.
In this article, we’ll look at the best way to wash your strawberries to fully clean and sanitize them while preserving that delicious taste!
Should You Wash Strawberries?
The first question that many have about this topic is whether it is even necessary. Simply put, unless you have purchased strawberries that you know to be pre-washed and pesticide free, then you have to wash them.
The reason for this is quite simple, to remove any impurities, and to make the strawberries safe to eat. This is especially important with modern fruits and veggies, because you don’t always know what chemicals they were grown with, and you don’t know what they’ve been in contact with throughout the production and shipping process. In fact, strawberries are at the top of the list for containing the most pesticides.
Of course, you can also buy organic produce to alleviate these worries quite a bit.
When to Wash Strawberries
You might think the answer to this question is obvious, but it’s a little bit more complicated than you might think.
Basically, you should only wash strawberries when you are ready to use them. Don’t wash your strawberries when you get them, and don’t wash them all at once.
The reason for this is very important. Strawberries are quite “spongy”, meaning that they tend to absorb water and moisture very easily. If you wash your strawberries too far ahead of time, they’ll absorb too much moisture, become “mushy”, and go bad a lot sooner.
You want to retain that firm, plump strawberry texture, which is why you need to wash the berries right before you eat them or cook with them.
How to Properly Clean Strawberries
Washing strawberries isn’t overly complicated, but there are a few methods of note.
First, it’s going to depend on the quality of your berries. If you’ve purchased from a trusted source, and you know the berries are free from chemicals and pesticides, then you won’t have to do nearly as much. Let’s cover both methods:
How to Wash Organic Berries
If you’ve purchased from a reputable source, and you know that the berries are free of chemicals and pesticides in the growing process, then washing them won’t be as hard. They mostly just require a rinse. Here’s how to do it:
- Place strawberries in a colander or strainer.
- Rinse the strawberries in cool water for 20 seconds.
- Let drain.
- Lay strawberries on paper towel or dish towel to soak up some moisture.
- You’re ready to go!
How to Wash Non-Organic Berries
Washing organic berries is super easy, but what about berries of which you are unsure the origin. Berries bought from a grocery store may have been grown with unsafe chemicals, or may have encountered a number of substances throughout the shipping process. In fact, strawberries are one of the most frequently sprayed crops, so you want to give them a good clean.
Here are two of the best methods for cleaning these berries:
Washing Strawberries with Vinegar
Vinegar is a great ingredient for cleaning berries. It’s natural, safe, and effectively removes contaminants. Here’s how to properly wash your berries without leaving any trace of vinegar taste:
- Make a vinegar solution with eight parts water and one part vinegar. Use the solution to fill a bowl.
- Soak berries in bowl for 15 minutes.
- Remove berries and place in colander or strainer.
- Rinse under cool water for 20 seconds.
- Pat dry with paper towels, and then rest berries on paper towels.
- You’re ready to go!
How to Wash Strawberries with Salt
Here’s another great method for washing berries. This one utilizes salt instead of vinegar, and is a very effective method as well. Here’s how to do it:
- Make a salt solution that contains 1 tsp. of salt per cup of warm water. Add to a large bowl
- Let mixture sit for 20 minutes, and add berries
- Soak berries in salt solution for roughly 5 minutes
- Remove berries, add to strainer, and soak in cool water
- Pat dry berries with paper towel, and then rest on paper towel bed
- Let dry for 5 minutes, and you’re ready to go
Can You Wash Strawberries With Dish Soap?
You might be wondering why we’ve omitted an ingredient that is commonly used to wash fruits – dish soap. And while you may be accustomed to washing fruits with dish soap, it is actually not recommended. The reason is quite simple, the soap may linger!
Unlike the salt and vinegar solutions, dish soap might not be so easy to rinse off the strawberries. The result is both an unpleasant taste, and a potentially unsafe product to ingest.
We wouldn’t recommend this method. You don’t want to spoil your perfect berries with a soapy aftertaste.
Thanks for checking out our guide to washing your favorite berry. As you can see, the main thing is paying attention to where you bought the berries, and whether they might contain traces of potentially unsafe materials. Needless to say, this speaks to the benefits of buying organic, all-natural produce!