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Some people rinse their produce with water and call it good. Then there are folks who wipe the apple on their shirt with one swift motion before taking a bite. Remember the good old days when you could wash or not wash your strawberries as you pleased without the internet being up in arms about your methods? 

TikTok and social media ruined that. Now, if you post a video of yourself cooking and you wash your produce differently than viewers, you're sure to hear all about how wrong you are. So, is there a right way to wash fruits and veggies? According to a viral — you guessed it — TikTok video, there is definitely a wrong way, and it's a method plenty of people use.

@alisonistoxinfree I see this all the time, and the response is usually I don't care. Well I know you care enough to wash your produce so let's do it right. If your mixing your baking soda and vinegar you really are wasting your money, because you have just made a neutral solution. Baking soda is typically regarded as the best way to wash your produce, because it's alkaline and will remove most of the pesticides since many of the pesticides used are acidic. But soaking berries in baking soda is not recommend so use your distilled white vinegar. When I make my green juice everything gets soaked in baking soda; kale, cilantro, celery, parsley, and apples. I also soak my leafy greens in baking soda with no issues. This is just for educational purposes, there is no shame here; when you know better, you do better! #washingproduce #fruitsoaking #cleaningproduce #healthyliving #healthylivingtips #vinegarhacks #vinegarandbakingsoda #vinegar #bakingsoda #washyourproduce ♬ original sound - Ali

Baking soda, water, and vinegar are some of the most common household items people use to wash their produce (along with store-bought produce sprays and cleaners), and some people use all three items to bathe their fruits and veggies. 

TikTok user @alisonistoxinfree, on the other hand, is sick of seeing it. She explains that baking soda is alkaline, and vinegar is acidic, so using both to wash your produce makes no sense. Those "beautiful bubbles" you see when you mix vinegar and baking soda into your berry bath are not bubbling because they're cleaning. Instead, the vinegar and baking soda are merely neutralizing each other. 

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She goes on to say that certain fruits and vegetables should be washed with vinegar, and others baking soda (more on that below), but not both. According to the TikToker, baking soda is usually the best bet since most pesticides used on produce are acidic, so the alkaline baking soda will counteract the acid of the pesticides, stripping them away from your fruits and veggies. If you're using vinegar in addition to baking soda, not only is it not getting the job done, but you're wasting money. 

How to Wash Produce With Vinegar

When it comes to soft produce, vinegar is the way to go. 

  • Blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries: Soak for about 10 minutes in a bath of 3 cups water and 1 cup vinegar. Rinse and dry completely before refrigerating. 
  • Raspberries: Never soak them or they will get mushy. Instead, spray them with some vinegar, rinse, and pat dry.

Related: You Can Stop Spending All Your Money on Organic Produce. Here's Why

How to Wash Produce With Baking Soda

Hard produce, like cucumbers, celery, broccoli, and carrots, should be washed with baking soda. 

  • Sprinkle baking soda in a bath of water and soak for ten minutes. Rinse and dry before refrigerating. 

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