Strawberries are among the “dirty dozen” produce items consumers are aware of but often neglect to wash before consumption. Unlike bananas and oranges, strawberries don’t have thick skins to shield them from pesticides, the weather, treatment, packaging, and handling. Cleaning strawberries is not a breeze, especially if you do it first. Read on for advice on cleaning and enjoying this tangy-sweet fruit at its peak.
Simple Sink Rinse
Strawberries can be cleaned quickly and easily by rinsing them under cold running water. Put your strawberries in a colander and rinse them under cold water, rubbing each one gently to get rid of any remaining dirt. Wipe your strawberries with a paper towel and enjoy them right away, or put them to use in a strawberry food such as strawberry raspberry pie or strawberry cobbler.
Strawberries grown commercially are more likely to have been sprayed with pesticides. Submerging strawberries in vinegar is the most efficient method for removing pesticide residue. Put the strawberries soak for 20 minutes in a solution of four parts water to one part white vinegar. If you want to remove the vinegar from the strawberries, give them a good rinse under cold running water.
How to Wash Strawberries
If you purchase strawberries from the supermarket and know they were grown conventionally with pesticides, you should take precautions before eating them. You and your family probably want to reduce the pesticides you and your children are exposed to, yet strawberries are among the most heavily treated conventional crops.
Your berries have traveled considerably, from a large farm to a supermarket shelf. They have been touched by many individuals and subjected to various environmental factors along the way. It is, of course, worthwhile to spend the extra time washing your fruit thoroughly.
- Pour four gallons of water and one cup of white vinegar into a large bowl.
- Use a colander that will fit inside the bigger basin to strain the berries. Ensure the berries are well soaked in the vinegar wash before you lower the colander into the dish.
- Soak for around 20 minutes (any longer, and the berries will be soggy; any less, and they won’t be as receptive to the liquid).
- Raise the colander and cool water over the fruit to completely clean it. Use a clean cloth or some paper towels to dry the fruit. If you give it a good rinse, you won’t taste any vinegar, just the refreshingly sour and sugary summer flavor.
Clean Your Strawberry With Baking Soda
Among the many household cleaning products you probably already have in your kitchen, baking soda is well-recognized as one of the most efficient. Did you recognize that you may use these two to clean your freshly picked strawberries?
- The best part is that it takes approximately five minutes to clean your strawberries thoroughly.
- Put four times as much baking soda as cold water into a bowl.
- Rinse the strawberries with cold water after letting them sit for about five minutes.
- Use a clean cloth or wet wipe to pat the berries dry after cleaning them. Washed berries won’t have a vinegar flavor because the vinegar-to-water ratio is so low.
Wash Strawberries in Hot Water
The goal here is the same as in the vinegar approach: to kill any mold or bacteria that might have colonized the strawberries’ surface without harming the berries themselves.
It’s recommended to use a reliable thermometer for this purpose. Soak your berries for about 30 seconds in water that has been heated to about 125 degrees Fahrenheit. If there are any bacteria present on the berries, this will eliminate them without harming or boiling the fruit. Then, dry them on a towel, and put them away as described previously. A two-week storage period is reasonable.
How to Wash Strawberries with Salt
Strawberries can also be quickly and easily washed in salt water to remove any remaining pesticides or microorganisms. Any fruit fly larvae, which look like small white worms, will also be extracted using this approach.
Advice mixing salt with two and a half tablespoons of warm water in a big dish, yielding eight cups. Put the salt in the water and let it dissolve, then wait until the water is cool to add the strawberries. For about five minutes, submerge the strawberries in the salt bath, then drain and pat dry. It is recommended to rinse the berries to remove any remaining salt.
Important Tips for Washing Strawberries
You must know a few things about washing strawberries before pouring water over them. Don’t forget to consider these suggestions.
Wash your Hands First
Before touching your strawberries, you should wash your hands to remove any bacteria on your hands, kitchen counters, reusable shopping bags, marketplace totes, etc.
Discard Moldy Berries
Throw away any berries that have become mushy as you clean the rest. Mold, insects, and bacteria may thrive in soft berries. Inspect strawberries for indications of bruises or tiny cuts if you won’t be eating them right away. If the strawberries are damaged, the mold will spread quickly and infect more berries.
Wash just Before you Plan to Enjoy
Strawberries have a high capacity for soaking up liquid. Mold and decay spread quickly in the soft fruits when water is present. Try not to wash your berries before using them in a recipe. All parts, berries, and stems should be dried completely after an early washing.
Common Strawberry-Washing Mistakes
One can go too far in cleaning fruit, and as stated above, strawberries only need a light scrub under running water. To clean fruit and berries, you do not require anything fancy. There’s no need to use soap, detergent, bleach, or a professional fruit wash on your strawberries, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give them a good scrub down every once in a while. The use of a paper towel or a quick rinse is insufficient.
The Final Thoughts
Even though cleaning them under cold running water is quick and easy, soaking them in a solution of salt and water for a few minutes is the most effective method. Salt is the best option for cleaning strawberries, despite some resources advising using baking soda or purified white vinegar instead.
The soft skin of the fruit can absorb cleaning agents like baking soda and prevent them from being washed away fully, which can negatively impact the fruit’s taste and texture.