Grapes are the perfect addition to a variety of foods. Whether eaten fresh by the handful or tossed into a salad, or used in baking recipes, grapes add a burst of natural sweetness to many dishes and are a staple of any refrigerator. But before you pop that fresh bag of grapes in the fridge to enjoy later this week, it's important to know how to clean these little gems properly so they last as long as possible and are safe to eat.
A quick rinse isn't enough. Even if your grapes are organic, you still need to properly wash them to remove any bacteria that might be growing on their skin. Conventional and organic fruit are both at risk for contamination from pesticides sprayed on other fruits during the growing process. Washing grapes with a simple solution can help remove any residue left behind by the pesticides and other chemicals sprayed on them.
The best way to clean your grapes is by using salt and baking soda, which can act as a food-safe abrasive to scrub off bloom and residues. Start by rinsing your grapes in cool water and then adding them to a bowl with salt and baking soda. Use your hands to scrub the grapes gently, making sure you get in between each individual clump of grapes. Once the dirt has been removed, the grapes will have a more appealing appearance and will keep much longer than unwashed.