I love salad (as a side dish... not a meal) and last night I made a big one with red and green oak leaf lettuce, tomato, orange bell pepper, scallion, and red onion, topped with rosemary, honey, balsamic and olive oil. It's our go to salad. We love it. I'm not a huge carrot or cucumber fan, so we just leave them out most of the time.
Anyway, while washing the veggies, I noticed they were extra grimy compared to usual. Recently there was an E.Coli outbreak in Germany. While rinsing them off, I thought about the strawberries we just picked and how I found a few with some tiny slugs on them. Then I thought about that show "Monsters Inside Me" and I got the eeby geebies.
I've never purchased or used a commercial veggie wash before and still believe they are likely unnecessary. Okay, I'll be honest, I've been known to rinse for only a second or two in cold running water - or worse, not rinse at all. But with the fear of illness, parasite and death, I decided to do as my Mom... and wash even my thick skinned fruit, like watermelon and avocado. She's right, the knife touches the skin and contaminates the flesh inside.
Anyway... I heard that vinegar makes a great cleaning solution. I already am a big fan of Baking Soda and Vinegar as cleaning products for the home. So this made complete sense to me.
For a soak wash (great for lettuce, berries, broccoli and other veggies with lots of crevices):
Take 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water + 1 - 2 Tbs of Salt and fill the sink or large bowl. Soak your fruit and veggies for 15-30 minutes then rinse with cool water.
They won't taste like vinegar at all. And the salt draws dirt and bugs (eww) off the plants. I found the recipe here (and have also seen it on other sites).
A spray may be easier to use when washing an apple or pair. Just fill a spray bottle with 1 Tbs lemon juice, 1 Tbs baking soda & 1 cup of water. Spray, let sit for a bit, and rinse. This (less the lemon juice) is my shampoo substitute. That stuff rocks, I can wash EVERYTHING with it.