Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a simple natural ingredient that has been used in different ways for quite a long time. The white substance can clean white clothes, rise dough when baking and relieve heartburn and acid reflux. According to recent studies, baking soda is also a great insecticide and can destroy 96% of all pesticide residue from fresh produce.
The study from the University of Massachusetts was conducted on the so-called gala apples. These apples contained traces of thiabendazole and phosmet, two of the most common pesticides found on fruit. Phosmet managed to stay on the surface layer, but thiabendazole penetrated through a few layers of the apple.
The team then washed the apples with 3 different liquids – tap water, baking soda and water and commercial bleach solution. The results showed that a 2-minute soak in baking soda removed 50% more pesticides than the other solutions, although it took the baking soda-water solution 15 minutes of soaking compared to 2 of the other solutions in order to be effective.
How To Use Baking Soda To Wash Your Produce?
Thanks to its alkaline and mild exfoliating properties, baking soda can be used on hard-skinned fruits such as apples. To do this, simple pour water in a bigger bowl, then add a few tablespoons of baking soda in it. Leave the fruit to soak in for 5 minutes, then rinse under a stream of cold water. That’s it – most of the pesticide residue from the fruit you’ve bought should be removed.
This method works great for almost any hard-shelled fruit including melons and musk melons. These fruits have tiny holes on their surface in which dirt can accumulate but a soak in baking soda can remove it all.