How To Wash Blueberries – Removing Pesticides & Dirt

Published Categorized as Ingredients, Journal Tagged

Blueberries are one of the tastiest superfoods and have huge benefits for our health!  Blueberries are anti-inflammatory and full of antioxidants, making them healing as well as being one of the tastiest berries. To make sure you’re eating them at their best quality, you will need to know how to wash blueberries.

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In this article we will share tips for how to naturally wash blueberries. We’ll also talk about why it’s important to wash this fantastic fruit. Lastly, we’ll share some of our favorite recipes for an effective blueberry cleaning soak.

Table of Contents

How To Clean Blueberries

So, what is the best way to wash blueberries?

We wouldn’t say there’s one best way to wash blueberries. But we would 100% recommend washing with natural ingredients you can find in your cupboard, instead of wasting your money on cleanser that most likely won’t do as good of a job.

When cleaning blueberries, the main goal is to wash off any chemical pesticides, bacteria and possibly “bloom”, depending on your preference.

Bloom is the white chalky wax that coats the blueberry. This white coating is completely natural and produced by the blueberry to protect it from external factors like pests and bacteria. Bloom is safe to eat but not the most pleasant, so depending on your preference you may want to wash this off.

Washing your blueberries before freezing them will help kill bacteria. When rinsing your blueberries, make sure to fully dry them and seal them in a plastic bag to avoid your blueberries becoming icy and inedible.

How Do You Remove Pesticides From Blueberries?

Ready to be shocked? Blueberries have been tested to see how many pesticides they carry and the answer is 42 different types of pesticide residue. This fact makes it very clear that you need to start washing your blueberries before consuming.

We have some simple and easy-to-follow recipes involving vinegar, salt and baking soda. These recipes will make sure to properly clean your blueberries and remove nasty pesticides.

unpicked blueberries

Washing Blueberries With Vinegar

You may be asking yourself, can you wash blueberries with vinegar? Yes, and it’s super effective.

White vinegar contains a small amount of acetic acid which is the cleaning agent in this recipe. Liquids that contain acetic acid over 20% are used as agricultural cleaners. Vinegar also kills spores and bacteria.

Want to try white vinegar to clean your blueberries? Follow our step by step quick method:

  • Step 1: Combine 1 cup of white vinegar with 2 cups of plain water in a large bowl
  • Step 2: Place your blueberries in the mixture and leave to sit for 15 minutes.
  • Step 3: Rinse your blueberries under running water and serve.

If you’re not a lover of vinegar then there are ways to wash blueberries without vinegar. 

Instead of adding vinegar to water, just use cold water to let your blueberries soak in. Water may not contain acetic acid, but it is still an effective cleaner.

fresh blueberries

How To Wash Blueberries With Salt

Pesticides and bacteria may not be the only thing your blueberry is hiding. Drosophila insects, or fruit flies, can lay their eggs in ripe fruit such as blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. These eggs are not toxic to humans, but ideally we’d just like to eat the blueberry without any fly eggs on it, right?

When the eggs hatch they appear as tiny little worms. The most effective way of removing these worms from your fruit is to do a salt wash. If you place your fruit in a salt water mixture, the worms crawl out and can be found in the water.

If you’ve heard about this and are looking for a salt water recipe asap, we’ve got you covered.

  • Step 1: Mix 1 cup of table salt with 3 cups of lukewarm water.
  • Step 2: Place your blueberries in the mixture and leave for 20 minutes.
  • Step 3: Rinse the blueberries with running water.

How To Wash Blueberries With Baking Soda

If your main focus is to wash off the bloom and remove all dirt from the berries, your best bet is washing baking soda.

Baking soda acts like a scrubbing agent and is great at seeping into the berries and removing any dirt that has made its way inside.

When using baking soda to wash blueberries, it’s a more hands on process. Here is our easy to follow method:

  • Step 1: Combine 1 tablespoon of baking powder to 2 tablespoons of water. Mix these two ingredients until it turns into a paste.
  • Step 2: Use your hand to massage the baking soda and water mixture into the blueberries, scrubbing off the bloom, pesticides residue and dirt.
  • Step 3: Wash thoroughly to rinse off all the leftover baking soda.
ready to eat blueberries

How To Wash Blueberries For Baby

Blueberry puree is a great snack for babies. As blueberries are antioxidants and full of vitamins, they’re the perfect superfood to help babies grow strong. Blueberry puree only takes two minutes to prepare, but taking the extra added time to wash the blueberries can help the puree be the best for your baby.

We suggest washing with white vinegar to make sure all bacteria and pesticides are removed. Here is a recipe that will take 10-15 minutes:

  • Step 1: Combine 1 cup of white vinegar with 2 cups of plain water in a large bowl
  • Step 2: Place your blueberries in the mixture and leave to sit for 10-15 minutes.
  • Step 3: Rinse your blueberries under running water and use.

Wash This Superfood To Keep It Super

We know that blueberries are great for us. But we also know pesticides and bad bacteria are not. Therefore, we think it’s best to take an extra ten minutes to prepare and wash your blueberries thoroughly.

Vinegar kills spores and bacteria, Baking soda scrubs bloom. Salt extracts the eggs drosophila insects lay inside ripe fruit. These are all great, inexpensive natural ingredients that can be used to wash your blueberries.

Do you commonly wash blueberries? What do you think is the best natural way to wash blueberries?

FAQs

Do You Need To Wash Blueberries?

We would recommend always washing your blueberries before consuming due to the dirt, bacteria, pesticides, pesticide residue and insect eggs that may be on them. A simple 5-10 minute wash before you serve them could make them a lot tastier and be better for you.

We would recommend only washing blueberries before you’re about to eat them, as washing off the bloom (aka the white waxy film coating the blueberry) will mean the blueberries won’t keep fresh for long. This is because the bloom not only protects against external factors, but also locks in the berries moisture.

By Anna

Hey, I’m Anna; writer, editor and amateur cook extraordinaire! Food has been my life and my passion for the most of my life – it’s crazy to think I didn’t pursue a career in cooking. I’m obsessed! However, keeping cooking as an obsessive hobby has worked for me – my passion grows as the years pass by – maybe I wouldn’t say the same if it was also my day job! I hope you find cooking inspiration, entertainment and “stop and think interesting tid-bits” throughout my writing – and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you want to share. Food feeds the soul – so get eating!

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