Six legged stowaways are a possibility on any produce. Yes, I mean bugs. Are they toxic? Not usually. Do I want to eat them? Not personally. Even without the critters, produce just needs a little bath. And even moreso, non-organic produce that might be waxed – such as apples or cucumbers – definitely need a scrub.
This is me during the annual farm tour at JR Organics in Escondido. They host this “pick your own” moment only during their tour.
As I’ve established before, critters with exoskeletons perish in the presence of Castile soap and I still don’t know why. However, it is a great help with buggy leaves. Here’s a fabulously effective remedy when you come across a head of lettuce or bunch of kale with some tagalongs:
1 or 2 big bowls filled with cool water
Castile soap (I use the Citrus in the very off chance that it doesn’t get fully rinsed. A little citrus would blend right in, where eucalyptus or tea tree might not.)
Squirt the castile soap into one of the bowls of water. (I don’t measure this, but I would guess about half a tablespoon. And it doesn’t get bubbly, but it might get cloudy.) Separate the leaves from the head or bunch and plunge them whole into the bowl of slightly soapy water. You can put many leaves in at a time as long as there’s still room for swishing the water around them. Swish, swish, swish the leaves. You’ll notice a lot of floaters in your bowl. Then, take the leaves out, shake the water off a bit and plunge them into the bowl of clear water. (Or if you only have one bowl, dump the soapy water and add clean water and do the same.) Dry the leaves however you prefer.
“But Lisa, that’ll take FOREVER!” Honestly, it’s taken me much, much longer to write this description that it takes me to wash a head of lettuce. Once you’ve identified the bowl and grabbed the soap, it’s really a quick thing to do.
If your produce just has a bit of field dust on it, either the Castile Soap or Sal Suds will get rid of it. I prefer using a big bowl of water with either one added to it, as opposed to washing under running water. I think it saves time and water in the long run for me, but then, I’m usually washing a lot at one time.
With Castile Soap: Fill a big bowl with water; add a small squirt of castile soap. Swish your produce and rinse.
With Sal Suds: Add just a drop or two to a big bowl of water and swish away.
The wax that is put on certain non-organic produce to make it more presentable and even preserves it a bit can be trickier to eliminate. However, Sal Suds is the best option for this job. Take that big bowl of water and add the two drops of Sal Suds. Dunk the produce and take a soft cloth to rub the wax off gently. Rinse and dry and there you go. Check out a quick video about it here.