Baking soda, not to be confused with baking powder, has a list of potential health benefits and uses, thanks to its antifungal and antibacterial properties. You can use it as a natural household cleaner, toothpaste, deodorant, or even as a deodorizer for your gym bag. It’ll even remove some of those unwanted pesticides from your produce.

One study even found that mixing baking soda with water can remove more pesticides than washing or rinsing produce with water alone. When soaking apples for about 8 minutes with baking soda and water, it was found that the pesticide residue was reduced on the surface.

If you have access to organic produce, I’d suggest opting for that. But for the times when you don’t, try this simple DIY fruit and vegetable wash at home.

Exceptions to using this wash are berries or other soft fruits and vegetables that may get soggy if soaking. For these, rinse in the baking soda solution quickly.

For root vegetables, such as carrots, potatoes, or greens that may have a little dirt on them, gently scrub with a brush.

How to make your own homemade fruit and veggie wash in three easy steps:

  1. Fill a large bowl or your kitchen sink with cold water and add 3-4 Tbsp baking soda.
  2. Soak fruit and vegetables for about 5 minutes.
  3. Rinse with cold water and pat dry.

McKel Hill MS, RDN, LDN is a registered dietitian nutritionist and founder of Nutrition Stripped, a healthy living website dedicated to helping women feel amazing by offering a modern, yet scientific approach to nutrition and living, and making it accessible, inspirational, and digestible. With 10 years of experience, Hill understands the solutions to real-life struggles that have helped people feel their best. Her cookbook, “Nutrition Stripped,” was an Amazon best-seller and she’s been featured in Women’s Health, Bon Appetit, and on Oprah.com.