I like grapes. It’s on the top of my list of preferred fruit, especially because of how convenient and ready-to-eat, it is (compared to let’s say a pineapple or durian). That said, I normally rinse them under running water before popping them into my mouth, but I just learned that it’s important to take the time to clean each portion of grapes properly before you eat them.

So here is the proper way to clean your grapes before eating them:

Here’s Why You Need To Wash Grapes 

Grapes belong to the Dirty Dozen—an annual list of produce with the highest levels of pesticides, compiled by the Environmental Working Group. While splurging on organic grapes is the healthiest option, I seriously don’t make enough money as a writer to be able to afford to buy organic produce. So if like me, you opt for regular, non-organic grapes, take extra care when you’re cleaning them to remove as much pesticide residue as possible. 

Before you begin to panic and google ‘signs of pesticide poisoning’ be rest assured that the whitish film you often see on grapes isn’t from pesticides; it’s called “bloom,” a waxy coating produced by the plant itself to protect the fruit. While the bloom is safe to eat, it can taste bitter and chalky, so we suggest thoroughly washing your grapes, whether or not they’re organic.

When You Should Be Washing Your Grapes 

Don’t wash your grapes until you’re ready to eat them. This is because the washing process adds excess moisture, which can cause your grapes to rot faster. In fact, you should only clean those that you plan to eat right then and there, and refrigerate the rest.

The bloom helps keep the grapes fresh, so it’s best to avoid washing it off until you’re ready to eat them. For ultimate longevity, keep unwashed grapes in a plastic bag in the refrigerator until you’re ready to consume them.

Here’s How You Should Be Washing Your Grapes 

While it’s not rocket science, there are certain steps you should follow to ensure your grapes are as clean as possible.

  1. With clean hands, empty the grapes from their container into a colander.
  2. Hold the colander under cool running water, and using your hands, move the grapes around so that every side gets cleaned.
  3. To remove the bloom, sprinkle a little baking soda or salt over the grapes in the colander and gently scrub them with your hands. This light exfoliation will remove the bloom and make the grapes sparkle.
  4. Rinse off the baking soda or salt and dry the grapes with a clean dish towel or paper towel and eat!

How To Store Your Grapes After Washing 

If you didn’t take my advice and decided to wash all your grapes in one go, here’s what you should do to store them safely without them going bad. First, let them dry as completely as possible after they’ve been washed. This is because excess moisture can lead to faster spoiling. Once dry, store grapes in a ventilated bag in a cold spot of the refrigerator. The air flow and chill will help preserve the fruit for about three weeks.

Obviously after all this research, grapes are no longer top on my list of favourite fruits to eat, but since they are still easier to prepare compared to other tasty fruits I like, I will still be buying them weekly on my grocery run.