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Homemade Vegetable Wash Put to the Test

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Homemade Vegetable Wash Put to the Test

By Jordan Laio,

So you want to know if homemade vegetable wash is really effective? I gathered a few common recipes from the interwebs and put them to the test.

I started out with some seriously (read: visibly) aphid-infested greens. Like, veritable ladybug smorgasbord material. Then I mixed three sample batches of homemade vegetable wash.

The first noteworthy observation was that upon immersing the greens in each solution and agitating them, a lot of the aphids broke loose into the liquid, although there were still visibly significant numbers on the leaves. After the agitation, I left each batch to soak for 15 minutes. Here are the results of my homemade vegetable wash trials:

Recipe #1: Adapted from


  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 cups water

After the 15-minute soak and another light agitation, most of the aphids had abandoned ship and were floating loose in the liquid solution, but there were still some clinging resolutely to the leaves. While this recipe was not 100 percent effective, it did nicely preserve the appearance of the leaves and best facilitated the removal of the last aphids when I rinsed and rubbed them under running water.

Recipe #2: Adapted from


This half and half recipe rendered very similar results to the salt and vinegar recipe. The only noticeable difference was that the leftover aphids were slightly more difficult to remove under running water.

Recipe #3: Adapted from


  • 1/4 tsp liquid dish soap
  • 2 cups water

This solution appeared to be the most effective at initially removing aphids, but again, there were still some clinging to the leaves. Also, this was the only solution that ruined the appearance of the leaves they became splotchy and discolored. Not to mention that I personally don’t prefer my food soaked in soap before I eat it. When I rinsed each leaf under a stream of water to eliminate the last of the aphids, these leaves were the most difficult to inspect because of the splotches.

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Read more: Basics, Conscious Consumer, Food, Green Kitchen Tips, Health & Safety, Home, Household Hints, Nature, Non-Toxic Cleaning, Soups & Salads,

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+ add your own
10:12AM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

I would try the first two recipes but not the third, but thanks for the info Jordan

10:17PM PST on Jan 24, 2012

I'm game, I'll try!

7:50PM PST on Jan 23, 2012

good information

4:14PM PST on Jan 23, 2012

Thank you, Chaya. Aphids can be such a headache. I think I'll stick to my tried and true methods.

1:13AM PST on Jan 22, 2012


11:37PM PST on Dec 28, 2011


2:30AM PST on Nov 20, 2011

Great post, thanks for sharing

1:30AM PDT on Nov 6, 2011

Is there a more effective recipe that leaves the food looking fresh?

11:47AM PDT on Nov 3, 2011

I'm going to try all - YAY!

Thank YOU!

3:10PM PDT on Nov 2, 2011

Great info, thank you !

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