How to clean strawberries

// Learn how to clean strawberries effectively using baking soda and vinegar. Keep your berries fresh and tasty with this easy guide!



Want to know How to clean strawberries? This post shows you how to effortlessly clean strawberries using baking soda, vinegar, and water. Or just water, vinegar, baking soda, or salt.

Eating crisp, sweet, and vibrantly red strawberries is a delightful treat, but cleaning them correctly is crucial for enjoying their natural flavor, taste, and health benefits.

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A glass serving bowl filled with fresh, whole strawberries on a wooden cutting board, with a kitchen knife and sliced strawberries visible in the background

Who doesn’t love a big basket of fresh strawberries, especially on a warm summer day? Whether you just bought a packet of fresh strawberries from your local grocery store or a farmer’s market, or you hand picked them yourself, you need to make sure that they are clean.

It is crucial before you dig in, because, let’s be real—nobody wants to eat dirt, grime, bugs, or leftover chemicals with their berries. Washing them properly is the best way to keep them fresh and clean. Isn’t it?

I will show you the best and easiest ways to clean strawberries!

Overhead view of a glass serving bowl filled with ripe strawberries, set on a wooden cutting board alongside a kitchen knife.

Why Cleaning Strawberries Properly is Essential

Strawberries are very juicy and delicious, but they are often exposed to dirt and residues during their journey from the farm to the dessert table. The proper cleaning method not only removes these impurities but also helps in preserving their freshness and increases their shelf life. Whenever you can, go for organic or even grow your own to avoid pesticides.

I will also be sharing four strawberry cleaning methods in this post. These simple and effective guides to washing strawberries make sure they are perfect for eating, or to add to your next snack or dish.

Cleaning strawberries is pretty easy. Here are some easy methods of how to get those strawberries nice and clean so that they are tantalizingly tasty and safe!

Recipes where you can use delicious strawberries: Strawberry Salad, Strawberry Jam, Strawberry Milkshake, Strawberry Ice Cream,  Strawberry Yogurt Bark, and Strawberry Overnight Oats.

Learn the Best 5 Ways to Clean Strawberries: This guide will help you keep your strawberries fresh and tasty.

1. How to Clean Strawberries with Vinegar and Baking Soda

This is a perfect solution to loosen dirt and stuff from the strawberries, making them easier to clean off. Many might say that baking soda and vinegar neutralize each other, so why mix baking soda and vinegar?

The fizzing action actually serves a practical purpose in this context. This reaction helps to lift soil and residue from the strawberries, making it easier to rinse them clean. After the brief fizzing action, thorough rinsing ensures that the strawberries are left with no residue from either the vinegar or the baking soda, just pure freshness.

Here is the Step-by-Step Guide to Flawless Strawberries:

  • Toss away spoiled or bruised strawberries to prevent bacteria spread during the cleaning process. Add them to a bowl. Drizzle them with baking soda and then pour 1/2 cup of vinegar. Add 2 cups of chilled water and mix. This powerful natural cleaning mixture works wonders in breaking down residues and impurities.

  • Keep them aside for 10 minutes for the solution to work on the berries. Give them a mix, and rinse them under cold running water to remove leftover dirt and cleaning solution.

  • Scrub each strawberry with your hands to make sure there is no cleaning solution left.

  • Carefully place the strawberries on a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to dry. Remove excess moisture by gently dabbing paper towels. Once they are dried, they are ready to be enjoyed in their purest form.

2. How to Wash Strawberries with Water

If you picked up some fresh strawberries from a farm, or you have fresh and chemical-free organic strawberries that have not been sprayed with chemicals, then you can just give them a quick rinse under cold water. 

Dry them off on a towel, and they are good to eat or add to a dish. This is a wonderful option if you want to know how to clean strawberries without vinegar.

Here’s a step-up with a water rinse

1. Rinse them: Put the strawberries in a colander and give them a good rinse under cold water.

2. Dry them: Turn off the water, shake the colander to drip excess water. Lay the berries out on a clean cloth or paper towels to dry. Your nice and fresh strawberries are ready to eat.

Close-up of a single ripe strawberry on a wooden cutting board, with sliced strawberries and a glass serving bowl in the background.

3. How to Clean Strawberries with Vinegar

If your strawberries are regular store-bought strawberries, which are a bit dirty, then you can try this vinegar washing method.

  • Mix some vinegar water: Add four parts water to one part white vinegar to a large bowl and mix well.

  • Dip the berries: Dip the fresh strawberries in the vinegar water solution. Let them sit in this water for about 20 minutes.

  • Rinse and dry: Once the strawberries are soaked in the vinegar solution, transfer them to a colander to drain off the solution. After their vinegar bath, rinse them off with clean water and pat them dry. After cleaning thoroughly, you won’t taste any vinegar in them!

4. How to Wash Strawberries with Salt

Salt is wonderful for getting rid of bugs and pesticides. So, salt water makes a perfect cleaning solution for strawberries.

  • Make salt water: Add a tablespoon of salt to warm water and mix until it dissolves completely.

  • Soak them: Once the water comes to room temperature, drop the strawberries in it and soak them for about five minutes.

  • Rinse & dry: Once soaked, give them a good rinse, and pat them dry on a kitchen towel. Your deliciously clean strawberries are ready to be devoured.

5. How to Clean Strawberries with Baking Soda

Baking soda is another great way to get your strawberries clean:

  • Make a soda & water mix: Add about one teaspoon of baking soda to four cups of water and mix well.

  • Soak them: Drop the strawberries in the baking soda & water solution and let them sit for 10 to 15 minutes. This resting time will remove all the impurities.

  • Clean them: When they are soaked, rinse them off under running water. Let them dry on paper towels, and your strawberries are good to go.

Storing Strawberries

Here is how to keep them fresh

Refrigerate: Once the strawberries are cleaned and dried, transfer them to an airtight container lined with paper towels in a single row. This way, they will keep fresh for about 5-6 days. Or simply store them as they are and clean them right before serving to get the best taste and texture.

Freeze: If you have a large batch that you can’t finish, then freezing strawberries is the best option for you. To freeze, place them on a freezer-safe tray in a single layer and freeze for about 4 hours or until firm. Once frozen, transfer them to a ziplock bag or an airtight container and enjoy them in smoothies or desserts later on. When stored properly, they can keep their best quality for about 6 to 12 months.

Tips to Know Before You Start Washing Strawberries

You need to keep some tips in mind before you wash strawberries or any other berries. Check out these quick tips before you get those strawberries under the water so that the strawberries don’t get moldy or spoiled before you can eat them.

  1. Hold off on washing: Do not wash your strawberries until you are ready to eat them or planning to use them in a dish. The strawberries last longer when they are unwashed. It is because they have a spongy texture, so they soak up water. So if you wash them and then store them, they will go bad faster. So keep them dry and enjoy your strawberries fresh and clean!

  2. Storing: If you have a large batch that might go bad soon, then you can store strawberries in the refrigerator or freeze them to extend the shelf life.

  3. Throw away the bruised berries: If any of the strawberries are looking a bit moldy or bad, chuck them out. The bacteria in the spoiled strawberries will make you sick, and if you keep them in the container with the fresh ones then the mold will grow on the good ones. So all the batch go bad quicker.

  4. Wash your hands, too: Start with clean hands, this isn’t just for strawberries but it applies to any food to avoid transferring germs.

FAQ

Best way to wash strawberries?

Soak them for 10 minutes in a vinegar-baking soda solution, give them a good rinse. Pat them dry and enjoy fresh berries.

Can I use hot water for washing strawberries?

Some people use hot water to wash berries, but I personally don’t prefer washing them in hot water as it can destroy the delicate texture of soft strawberries.


How to clean strawberries (Step-by-step photo instructions)

How to Clean Strawberries with Baking Soda and Vinegar

  1. Start by checking your strawberries thoroughly and discard any that are bruised or spoiled to prevent bacteria spread during the cleaning process. Add them to a large bowl. Then add baking soda, and pour in the vinegar to see the amazing fizzing action.
  2. Image of the recipe cooking step-1-1 for How to clean strawberries
  3. Add 2 cups of cold water and set it aside for 5-7 minutes for this powerful natural mixture to work. The vinegar and baking soda will gently penetrate and cleanse without harming the delicate flesh of the berries, and this resting time will break down residues and impurities.Drain the strawberries in a colander, and rinse your strawberries under cold running water to wash away any leftover dirt and cleaning solution. Scrub each strawberry gently to remove any leftover solution.
  4. Image of the recipe cooking step-1-2 for How to clean strawberries
  5. Carefully place the strawberries on a clean kitchen towel or paper towels and dab with a dry towel to remove moisture. Once dried, clean strawberries are ready to be eaten in their purest form. Slice them, eat them whole, or use them in your strawberry baked oatmeal, strawberry chia pudding, strawberry banana oat smoothie, strawberry panna cotta, or other dishes.
  6. Image of the recipe cooking step-1-3 for How to clean strawberries

Recipe Card


How to clean strawberries [Recipe]

Recipe Image
Learn how to clean strawberries effectively using baking soda and vinegar. Keep your berries fresh and tasty with this easy guide!
★★★★★
(Rating: 5 from 6 reviews)

Prep time 🕐 Cook time 🕐 Total time 🕐
11 mins
Category ☶ Cuisine ♨ Serves ☺
Howto International 300 grams strawberries
Nutrition Info ⊛ Serving size ⊚
10 calories 1

INGREDIENTS

Things you need:
  • Fresh strawberries
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda

INSTRUCTIONS:

How to Clean Strawberries with Baking Soda and Vinegar
  1. Start by checking your strawberries thoroughly and discard any that are bruised or spoiled to prevent bacteria spread during the cleaning process. Add them to a large bowl. Then add baking soda, and pour in the vinegar to see the amazing fizzing action.
  2. Add 2 cups of cold water and set it aside for 5-7 minutes for this powerful natural mixture to work. The vinegar and baking soda will gently penetrate and cleanse without harming the delicate flesh of the berries, and this resting time will break down residues and impurities.Drain the strawberries in a colander, and rinse your strawberries under cold running water to wash away any leftover dirt and cleaning solution. Scrub each strawberry gently to remove any leftover solution.
  3. Carefully place the strawberries on a clean kitchen towel or paper towels and dab with a dry towel to remove moisture. Once dried, clean strawberries are ready to be eaten in their purest form. Slice them, eat them whole, or use them in your strawberry baked oatmeal, strawberry chia pudding, strawberry banana oat smoothie, strawberry panna cotta, or other dishes.

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NOTES:

  1. If you have a large batch that might go bad soon, then you can store strawberries in the refrigerator or freeze them to extend the shelf life.


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