How to Clean Strawberries Easily

Learn how to properly wash your strawberries using vinegar, baking soda, or salt to prepare them for eating.

Few things scream summer like a fresh batch of strawberries. But before you dive into that basket of vibrant reds from the store, it’s essential to clean them up. Washing strawberries ensures you’re not munching on any dirt, bugs, or chemicals that might be lingering on them. Here are some simple methods to clean your strawberries with vinegar, baking soda, or salt.

Before You Clean Your Strawberries:

1. Get Rid of Moldy or Bruised Ones: Before anything else, toss out any berries that look moldy or bruised. They’re not safe to eat.

2. Wait to Wash: Hold off on washing your strawberries until you’re ready to eat or use them. Washing them too early can make them spoil faster.

3. Clean Hands: Before handling any fruit, including strawberries, make sure your hands are clean to avoid transferring germs.

4. No Soap Needed: Skip using soap or commercial produce washes. They’re not recommended by the FDA.

5. Try Natural Cleaners: Vinegar, baking soda, or salt can help clean your strawberries effectively without any harmful chemicals.

How to Wash Strawberries Simply

If you’ve got organic strawberries from a farmer’s market or another local source, a quick rinse with cool water should do the trick. Lay them out on a dish or paper towel to dry, and they’re good to go for slicing, baking, or snacking.

Here’s how:

1. Place the fresh strawberries in a colander and give them a rinse under cold running water for a few seconds. Use your clean hands to rotate the berries around, ensuring each one gets cleaned.

2. Turn off the water and give the colander a shake to get rid of any excess water. Lay the strawberries out on a clean cloth to pat them dry. Now they’re ready to eat.

For Strawberries That Need Extra Cleaning

If you’re picking up strawberries from the grocery store, especially conventionally grown ones that might have been sprayed with pesticides, you’ll want to take a bit more care in cleaning them. Strawberries are often heavily sprayed with chemicals, so using vinegar and water can help to gently cleanse them.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Mix four parts water with one part white vinegar in a large bowl.

2. Place your strawberries in a colander that fits inside the bowl. Lower the colander slowly into the mixture, making sure all the berries are fully submerged.

3. Let them soak for about 20 minutes. Any longer might make them soggy, and shorter won’t be as effective.

4. Lift the colander and give the strawberries a good rinse under cool water. Pat them dry with a clean cloth or paper towels. Don’t worry about a vinegar taste; rinsing well will leave you with nothing but the sweet, tangy flavor of summer.

How to Clean Strawberries Using Salt

Saltwater is a simple yet effective solution for getting rid of any bugs that might be hiding in your strawberries. Here’s how to do it:

1. Add around a tablespoon of salt to a bowl of warm water and let it dissolve.

2. Place the strawberries in the saltwater solution and let them soak for about five minutes.

3. Rinse the berries thoroughly, and they’re good to go.

How to Clean Strawberries With Baking Soda

Baking soda, a pantry staple, is great for cleaning fruit and removing pesticides, dirt, and insects from strawberries.

1. Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with four cups of water until it’s dissolved.

2. Add the strawberries to the mixture and gently toss them with your hands.

3. Let the strawberries soak in the baking soda solution for 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Rinse the berries well, and they’re ready to eat.

Why Clean Strawberries?

Strawberries are notorious for absorbing pesticides, making them the top contender on EWG’s Dirty Dozen list for pesticide contamination. Properly cleaning strawberries helps ensure you and your family don’t ingest these harmful chemicals.

Consider opting for organic strawberries from the store, farmer’s market, or even growing your own to avoid pesticide exposure.

How to Store Washed Strawberries

After washing your strawberries, there are a few methods to keep them fresh:

1. Use an airtight glass container, like a food storage container or mason jar.

2. Lay unwashed strawberries on a paper towel inside a food storage container and refrigerate.

3. After rinsing strawberries with vinegar, dry them and place on a clean paper towel in a glass container.

4. Freeze the strawberries for longer storage.


1. What’s the best way to wash strawberries?

– Rinse them with water and then soak them in vinegar for 20 minutes or in a water and baking soda mixture for 15 minutes.

2. How do you remove bugs from strawberries?

– Wash strawberries in salt water to remove bugs and dirt. Soak them for a few minutes to dislodge any insects before rinsing them clean.

3. Do unwashed strawberries last longer?

– Yes, unwashed strawberries last longer. It’s best to wait until you’re ready to eat or cook with them before washing. Washing and then storing them back in the fridge can encourage mold growth.

How to Clean Strawberries

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