A Simple Solution to Remove Pesticides From Apples



It is common for apples to contain pesticides whether they are from a grocery store, a farm, or a local fruit stand. However, the types of chemicals used can determine whether or not the apple is considered organic.

According to Newsweek, “After a 15-minute baking soda soak, almost all of the chemicals had been removed from the surface.” Even though most of the pesticides are gone from the skin, the baking soda does not seep into the fruit’s flesh to rid it of the pesticide chemicals.

Luckily, these small amounts left over will not cause or increase the chances for major health issues.

Something else to note is using baking soda as an apple wash there is a chance of it changing the flavor of the apples. Much like anything soaking in a solution, there runs a risk of change because of pH and other chemical imbalances.

According to USA Today, “if you decide to rinse your apples under the sink or just grab a towel and wipe them down, you’re doing it wrong.” These options do not take care of any of the pesticides. Studies show that consumers have also tried commercial bleaching solutions as a way to kill the pesticides, yet it still does not equal the cleaning power of the baking soda.

The American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry reported the findings of a study conducted using the baking soda solution on apples containing pesticides, comparing it to other solutions such as bleach or water. The two pesticides selected for the study were thiabendazole and phosmet.

The findings of the study revealed, “the baking soda solution was the best option. After 12 minutes, 80% of thiabendazole was removed, while 96% of the phosmet was removed after 15 minutes. The thiabendazole was more difficult to remove because it was able to penetrate more deeply into the apple’s skin, the study found.”

If consumers would like to remove a large quantity of the pesticides without using the solutions, USA Today suggests removing the skin from the apples. Doing so removes a large quantity of the nutrients.

For the record, organic apples are also sprayed with pesticides. According to Quartz, these are sprayed with organic pesticides versus synthetic.

While these studies appear to have been conducted using Gala apples, one should not assume that the baking powder solution would not work on other types of apples.

Written by Alexandria Martin
Edited by Cathy Milne


USA Today: This is the best way to wash an apple, according to a scientific study of washing apples
Quartz: The best way to clean your apples, according to science

Featured Image Courtesy of Mike Mozart’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Top Image Courtesy of Simon Q’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License


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