How to wash fruit and vegetables at home

How to wash fruit and vegetables at home

There’s nothing quite like tucking into a juicy punnet of fruit with your friends before noticing a teeny tiny bug creepy-crawling its dirty little footprints over the berry that – pop! – your best mate’s just gobbled right up. And is that a slightly chemical taste on your tongue? Fresh fruit and vegetables do us a world of good, but it’s important to know how to clean fruits and vegetables properly before eating, and before sharing! Your pals will thank you for it.

Before we get on with the cleaning tips and how to clean fruits and vegetables thoroughly, we’re going to start by delving a little deeper into why it’s so important.

Why washing fruit and vegetables is important

Learning how to fruits and vegetables really thoroughly could make the difference between getting sick and staying healthy. When fruit is picked, packed, transported, and handled in shops, there are plenty of opportunities for germs to land on the packaging, on the skin, or even the flesh. Yes, flies really do vomit when they land on the food you want to put straight in your mouth. And you know where else they like to dip their little toes? In poo. So, knowing how to wash vegetables and fruit correctly is crucial to getting rid of nasty germs and diseases and making them safer to eat.

Learning how to clean vegetables and fruit effectively isn’t only about the health benefits, though. With thorough washing and prep, you’ll help keep the produce fresher for longer. When you wash the items properly you can remove the kind of debris that can spoil your fruit and veg. So, a proper clean can make stocking your kitchen easier and reduce food waste too.

How to clean fruits and vegetables – a step-by-step guide

Now that you’ve got an idea about why learning how to clean vegetables and fruit and veg is so important, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to wash vegetables and fruit:

  1. Remove produce from their packaging and lay them on clean worktops.
  2. Cut out or throw away any rotten or spoiled pieces, as this can cause further tarnishing when storing.
  3. Remove any stickers or labels.
  4. Give your hands a good wash.
  5. Rinse your fruit and veg thoroughly under a running tap. 
  6. If you like, you can gently rub or scrub with a dampened sheet of Plenty kitchen paper to help manually remove dirt and bacteria.
  7. You can be quite firm with items like root vegetables, but be gentle with soft fruits like strawberries.
  8. Always clean fruit and veg before you peel the skin. Even though you may not be eating it, bacteria can still easily transfer through your hands.
  9. Inspect each item to check that all debris has been removed. 
  10. Dry and either eat or store for later. Kitchen paper is great for keeping fruit and vegetables fresh in storage, as a protective wrapping or to soak up moisture.


After washing fruit and veg, it’s a good idea to soak up excess moisture. Line punnets with super-strong and absorbent Plenty kitchen paper  to stop the produce from going soggy.

Want to know how to disinfect fruits and vegetables more thoroughly? Using disinfectant products on anything you’re going to eat is never a good idea, so your best option is to heat them until they’re piping hot to kill any lasting germs. Boiling or roasting vegetables will do the trick, and you can make cooked fruit into a delicious hot compote to eat with yoghurt.

That’s everything you need to know about how to wash fruit and vegetables. Do this every time and you'll be safe in the knowledge that you’ll never accidentally eat any animal poop, or other nasty germs, again.

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