How Should Strawberries Be Cleaned?

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On the infamous “dirty dozen” list of produce, strawberries are one of those foods people know they need to clean. Berries are less protected from pesticides, the environment, processing, packaging, and handling without the hard skins that bananas and citrus fruits have. Thankfully, washing strawberries is easy and simple. In addition to advice on how to enjoy this juicy, tart-sweet fruit at its peak freshness, find your preferred cleaning method below.

How To Store Strawberries

No matter where your strawberries are grown—in your garden, at a supermarket chain, or at a farmers market—proper cleaning is important. However, whether in their original container or an airtight mason jar, it is best to store berries in the refrigerator unwashed.

When cleaning strawberries, wait until you’re about to eat them or use them in a recipe. Avoid the urge to wash the entire container when you only need a few berries. The amount of water in strawberries is already quite high. Fruit may remain fresher for a longer period of time by remaining in their original container without the addition of moisture, as moisture hastens mold development and spoiled fruit. That said, discard any strawberries that look moldy or bruised as you notice them to keep these signs of spoilage from spreading.

What Is The Shelf Life Of Strawberries?

Strawberries should last five to seven days in the refrigerator if stored well, but a few factors can shorten that time period, such as excess moisture and mold. The entire package can be quickly ruined by one spoiled strawberry. Local strawberries should outlast strawberries that travel across the country on a truck.

How To Clean Strawberries

You should always wash strawberries before eating them raw or using them in recipes, whether you purchased them at a farmer’s market or in the grocery store. Fresh berries that haven’t been washed, as well as any other fresh produce, may have dirt, bacteria, or even tiny insects living on or in them, in addition to pesticide residue on the fruit’s skin, which can cause foodborne illness. Here are a few strategies you can use to empty a box of strawberries.

  1. 1. Simple sink rinse: Rinsing each strawberry thoroughly under cold, running tap water is the quickest and easiest method of washing strawberries. As you gently rub each strawberry to get rid of any lingering dirt, place the strawberries in a colander and run cold water over them. Use a paper towel to pat your strawberries dry before eating them or incorporating them into a strawberry dish like strawberry rhubarb pie or strawberry cobbler.
  2. 2. Vinegar wash: It’s very likely that pesticides have been applied to your strawberries if they were grown for market. Strawberries should be submerged in a vinegar bath for the best results in removing pesticide residue. Put the strawberries in a bowl and add four parts water and one part white vinegar. Let the strawberries soak for 20 minutes. To remove the vinegar, give the strawberries a thorough rinse in cold, fresh water.
  3. 3. Baking soda rinse: If you don’t have vinegar on hand, you can clean your strawberries by soaking them in a solution of baking soda and water. Strawberries should be submerged in a large bowl of four cups of water with one teaspoon of baking soda for five minutes. Next, give your strawberries a quick rinse under cold running water before patting them dry.
  4. 4. Saltwater rinse: To get fruit fly larvae out of your organic fruit, use salt water to clean your strawberries. For every cup of warm water you use, add one teaspoon of salt. Strawberries should first be soaked in completely cooled water for 5 minutes before being rinsed and dried.

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Here are some pointers for cleaning off fresh strawberries.

  1. 1. Wash your hands before cleaning. It would be a waste to clean your strawberries only to contaminate them later with dirty hands. Hands should always be washed before handling any fresh produce.
  2. 2. Only wash your fruit before you’re about to enjoy it. Just before you’re about to eat or use the fruit in a recipe, wash it. Washing your strawberries and putting them in the fridge can cause the fruit to become soggy or spoiled.
  3. 3. Discard any too-soft berries. Find any strawberries with too-soft skin or bruises while you are washing them all. The berries that are moldy or mushy are already going bad, so throw them away.

How To Clean Strawberries With Vinegar

You might be concerned that water alone won’t be enough to remove pesticides from conventional (non-organic) fruit, even though rinsing strawberries with cold tap water is a simple, efficient cleaning method. Never fear; vinegar can assist in cleaning up dirt or bacteria in addition to pesticide residue.

Pour three cups of cold water and a cup of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar into a bowl, then submerge your strawberries for five to 20 minutes. To prevent them from tasting acidic, thoroughly rinse the strawberries with cold tap water before draining them.

How To Clean Strawberries With Baking Soda

You can clean your strawberries by soaking them in a solution of baking soda and water if you don’t have any vinegar on hand or if you prefer to avoid any lingering vinegar flavor. Add 1 tsp. of baking soda to 4 cups of water, and soak your strawberries in a large bowl for five minutes. After that, give your strawberries a quick rinse under cold water and pat them dry.

Fresh fruits and vegetables can benefit from using baking soda to help clean up dirt, pesticide residue, and other contaminants. The taste and scent of your strawberries can be preserved by storing an open box of baking soda in the refrigerator, which can also help absorb other food odors.

How To Clean Strawberries With Salt

If you’re wondering why you would use salt water on your berries, thank TikTok. Videos of people soaking strawberries in salt water show that the remedy gets rid of tiny bugs (residual fruit fly larvae) that you don’t typically see in the fruit. However, the FDA does have restrictions on the presence of insects in food, and all types of berries that attract insects pass the test. You’ve probably eaten these bugs for as long as you’ve eaten fruit, and they are harmless.

Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in water and use it to bathe your berries. of salt per 1 cup of warm water. As you don’t want the berries to cook in warm water, let the mixture cool before soaking the fruit for at least five minutes. Then, pat the strawberries dry after giving them a quick rinse under cold running water.

Lucky Wong

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