Will It Wash? Using Unscented Natural Bar Soap to Wash Fruit

Posted by Conrad Metz on

One thing I love about the spring and summer seasons...the fresh local fruits!

We are starting to get some fantastic oranges...and strawberries.

But how do you wash your fruit?

My father was a baker.  And one thing he taught me was food sanitation.  He's incredibly methodical about it.  It's kind of amazing to see him wash produce.  

Fruits & Vegetable Washes

For me and my family...we take a look at the ingredients of all our products.

Now I'm not saying I haven't ever washed my apple with the dish washing detergent just because...well, it was there.  Because I have.  Clearly it didn't kill me, but it's not something I feel good about, or would use washing my son's apple.

There are some great produce washes available, and some that are not so great.

One of the more popular produce washes available I would not feel comfortable using on my food.  The ingredients on the specific one I researched include Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate.  Delicious!

food safety washing

Safety Data Sheets give all sorts of vague and suspicious answers.  Upon reading the Safety Data Sheet for this popular fruit and vegetable wash it states: 

"The product contains no substances which at their given concentration are considered to be hazardous to health"

Well that just makes me all warm and fuzzy.  My question is "at what concentration does it become hazardous to my family's health?" and "why would I even risk using that to wash food for my family?"

The next thing I found unnerving in this Safety Data Sheet was these two ingredients (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate) are listed under the ecological information to be "harmful to aquatic life".  But apparently it is totally cool to use on our food (sarcastic tone).

One more and then I'll move on...the Toxicological Information.  Here's a screenshot.

fruit wash ingredients toxicological information

"May cause irritation of respiratory tract".

"Contact with eyes may cause irritation".

"Prolonged skin contact may defeat the skin and produce dermatitis".

"May cause irritation".

But again, like they said, it is not hazardous to your health at given concentrations.

The thing is...I don't want to ingest this stuff at any concentration!

Why take the risk?

Have they studied the risks of being exposed to these concentrations over 20 years?  How about 10 years even...or 5?

For me and my family...we're just staying away from this stuff.

Organic Produce Wash

There is a produce wash that is certified organic that I would consider using.  The thing is...I don't like buying something unnecessary. We do our best as a family to be mindful of our spending. Buying an expensive wash where I have something in the house that works just as well is classified as "unnecessary" in my budgeting.

And when I look at the ingredients of this organic fruits and vegetable wash, I see it's the same basic composition of our liquid soaps (I don't know how this big brand got the organic certification with potassium hydroxide in their product...which is a necessity for liquid soap...but you don't want me to go down that rabbit hole right now).

So...being a soapmaker, I can tell you.  This "organic" produce wash is nothing more than soap made with organic ingredients (just like ours!).

Have you ever washed your hands with soap many times in a short period of time?

They get very dry! (Except when you use ours!)

So I'm not a fan of this option either for two reasons:

  1. It will dry out my hands...which is uncomfortable
  2. There is a perfect substitute we already have in the house made from organic ingredients that will not dry out my skin.

Washing Produce with Meiling Skincare's Buttered Up & Naked Soap

washing produce with natural bar soap

First let me tell you...I've been using our unscented Buttered Up & Naked bar to wash our produce for a few years now.  So I'm confident you can expect the same results I've had consistently over these years.

Why Do I Like Buttered Up & Naked to Wash My Fruits and Vegetables?

We designed Buttered Up & Naked as a body wash for those with sensitive skin.  Therefore, it was important that we make a soap with as few ingredients as possible...and that those ingredients act very gently on skin.

Here is the full list of ingredients used to make Meiling Skincare's Buttered Up & Naked.

  • Organic Coconut Oil
  • Organic Olive Oil
  • Distilled Water
  • Sodium Hydroxide (necessary for soap making, but no trace left in final product)
  • Organic Shea Butter
  • Organic Cocoa Butter
  • Organic Mango Butter
  • Vitamin E
  • Vegetable Glycerin
  • Grapefruit Seed Oil

The "Buttered Up" part of the name refers to the use of Shea, Cocoa, and Mango butters...which are incredibly moisturizing and gentle on the skin.

The "Naked" part comes from the fact that the soap is unscented.

This is the other reason why Buttered Up & Naked

works so well to was produce...it's unscented!

As we all know, most soaps are scented.  And usually scented with "fragrance" which is a nice term for synthetic compounds.  That is beyond the scope of this article.  But if you are interested, I cover it in my eBook titled "What's In Your Soap", which you can get on Amazon here.

 We don't use fragrance in our soaps.  We use therapeutic grade organic essential oils.  Except for Buttered Up & Naked.  There is no essential oils added.

So when I use Buttered Up & Naked to wash my produce...I'm left with clean fruits and vegetables.  There is no hint of any other scent beyond that which God intended.

Not only is the produce clean with no additional scent...but my hands feel great!  They aren't dry at all.  They feel well moisturized.  And that is not something I've experiences using other washes and soaps for produce.

So now...how do I wash my strawberries with Buttered Up & Naked Unscented Bar Soap?

strawberry washing with bar soap

  1. Place strawberries in a colander (the fancy name for "strainer", and the colander in a bowl.
  2. As I run the water over the strawberries, I rub my hand with the bar of Buttered Up & Naked over the running water.  This allows soapy water to run over the strawberries and fill up the bowl.
  3. Once the bowl is filled with soapy water, I rub the strawberries and bit, empty the bowl, and repeat.  I repeat this process until there is no more dirt or other particles left in the bowl from straining.
  4. Then I rub more Buttered Up & Naked soap into my hands...getting them well lathered, grab about 3 strawberries, and lightly rub them with my soapy hands.
  5. I then rinse the strawberries well with clean water and set them aside for trimming!

The result has been the same every time since I started making this soap (about 3 years ago).  My produce is very clean from a natural soap (no nasty chemicals on my berries please!), left only with the natural scent from the produce (no fragrance from the soap), my hands feel like I just buttered them (because I did), and I didn't have to buy a wash specifically marketed to washing produce (saving me a couple bucks).


Before we started Meiling Skincare, Meiling and I were simply looking for a better alternative for our family...a soap that was all natural that was great for our skin.

Since we didn't find one we liked...we started experimenting to make our own.  And we were surprised by the results.  The soap really is fantastic!

But don't just take my word for it.  We recently surveyed our customers and asked them one question "Have you experienced improved skin as a result of using our soaps?"

92.6% of customers responded "YES".  You can see the survey here.

So if you haven't tried our soaps yet...give us a try!

If you are not happy for any reason with your purchase, just email us and we will refund your all of your money...plus, you keep the soap!

So you really don't have anything to lose. 


Leave a comment