How to wash strawberries

Learn how to wash strawberries to make sure they're safe to eat and pesticide free

how to wash strawberries
(Image credit: Getty)

Want to know how to wash strawberries? Learning how to clean strawberries can make all the difference between fruit that's laden with pesticides and berries that are clean and nutritious. We explain why you should wash your strawberries and how to do it effectively below.

Get more food hacks, hints and tips on our hub page. 

Why should I wash strawberries?

Strawberries may seem perfectly clean just picked, but it's very important to wash them. This is because conventionally grown strawberries are one of the most pesticide-laden fruit out there. One American study found traces of over 30 different pesticides one just one strawberry, which is very worrying, especially given the sponge-like nature of strawberries. 

Pesticides aside, strawberries are picked by hand, and unless you picked them yourself, you'll want to make sure you remove any bacteria lingering on them from other people's hands.

Should I wash strawberries I've grown myself?

Yes – to be on the safe side, you should still wash them, even if you've grown yours organically without pesticides. And if you use lawn weed killer anywhere near your strawberries, you absolutely should wash them.

How to clean strawberries


1. Wash strawberries right before consumption or cooking.

2. Fill a large bowl or clean sink with four parts cold water to one part white vinegar.

3. Soak the strawberries in the solution for 20 minutes.

4. Rinse in clean cold water for a further couple of minutes.

5. Pat dry with paper towel.

Tip: Your strawberries won't smell of vinegar afterwards, but if you really don't like using vinegar, you can buy a specialised fruit and veg wash instead. 

Anna Cottrell
Anna Cottrell

Anna is Consumer Editor across Future's home brands. She moved to the world of interiors from academic research in the field of English Literature and photography. She is the author of London Writing of the 1930s and has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening.