Written by Rachel, Contributing Writer
It’s berry picking season and that means strawberry shortcakes , blueberry banana smoothies  and berry jams & crisps  but if you are like me, you make sure your fruits (and your veggies) get washed before you ever eat or make anything with them.
Did you know that simply rinsing them under water does not get all of the contaminants like pesticides, bacteria or even other toxic chemicals off of your produce? You might as well not even rinsed them. In my opinion, I think produce should be washed in the great debate about washing fruits and veggies . Where do you stand?
The World Health Organization states that “Pesticides are known to cause millions of acute poisoning cases per year, of which at least one million require hospitalization.” One of the simplest ways pesticides and other toxins  get into our bodies is through the food we eat, by washing your produce prior to eating them, will help to keep you and your little ones safe.
We have been using fruit and veggie washes for a few years now and the bottles do last quite some time, but making your own is much more frugal, it’s fast, and you can be in charge of the ingredients, so here is a easy, fast and frugal recipe for this homemade natural produce wash.
Note: buying the extract and essential oils can be an investment, however, they last a long time and there are several other uses for them including: Non-Toxic Home Cleaners , Sunburn Soothers , Ear Infections  among many others.
Steps to make your own wash:
- Gather ingredients & supplies
- Start off by cutting lemon in half and getting your fork ready
- To juice a lemon, simply place fork into one of the lemon halves, sqeeze and twist over a bowl
- Add baking soda, essential oils and extract (about 10 drops of each) to the freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Next, pour in the vinegar which will cause a bubbling effect (your kids will think this is neat!)
- Pour in water, stir until ingredients are dissolved
- Carefully pour mixture into your spray bottle
- Spray on your produce, wait for about 20-30 seconds, if it’s a fruit or veggie that can be gently scrubbed use a scrub-brush specified for produce washing only
- Rinse thoroughly and enjoy your freshly washed & cleaned produce!
Following the EWG’s 2012 list  of Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 List is a great way for your budget and to help you to know the produce that you need to buy organically and the produce that is safe to buy conventionally, that just needs to be washed thoroughly.
Click here  for this free printable great for your purse.
If you simply do not have time to make your own, please don’t beat yourself up. Veggie Wash  is an organic brand that works great! I hope you enjoy this produce wash. Store wash in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks before having to make another batch, you can also cut recipe in half to make a smaller batch.