How to Wash Grapes the Right Way

You need more than a quick rinse to really clean those grapes

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

Before you enjoy that fresh-fruit snack, it’s important to know how to wash grapes—and why they need a healthy scrub to begin with! Lucky for you, everything you need to wash them is probably in your pantry right now. Before you grab a bunch, follow one of our two different methods to wash grapes.

Get Reader’s Digest’s Read Up newsletter for more food tips, cleaning, humor, travel, tech and fun facts all week long.

Why you need to wash grapes

Grapes are part of the “Dirty Dozen,” meaning they’re on the list of fruits and vegetables most likely to be covered in pesticides. When produce has such serious chemicals, you need to take extra time and care to clean them really well. The good news? The cleaning supplies you need to wash grapes are food-safe and probably already in your kitchen.

When is the best time to wash grapes?

It’s tempting to clean your grape bunches all at once, but the best time to wash grapes is right before you eat them. The excess moisture from washing ahead of time will give bacteria more moisture to grow in, speeding up the aging process.

How to wash grapes

If you want to ensure your grapes are super clean, try one of the methods below. Go with whatever is in your pantry, but always ensure you have baking soda on hand, because it also makes a great grape-cleaning ingredient.

Using salt and baking soda to wash grapes

Step 1: Gather the grapes you’d like to eat and rinse them off in cold water.

Step 2: Place the grapes in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon baking soda.

Step 3: Use your fingers to gently shake and scrub the grapes for about a minute.

Step 4: Place the grapes in a fine-mesh sieve or colander and rinse with cold water.

Step 5: Pat dry and eat!

Using vinegar and baking soda to wash grapes

If you’re a big believer in cleaning with vinegar, this method is for you.

Step 1: Place the grapes you’d like to eat in a bowl.

Step 2: Fill the bowl with enough water to cover the grapes.

Step 3: Add 2 tablespoons baking soda and 2 tablespoons vinegar (you can use distilled or apple cider vinegar).

Step 4: Use your fingers to shake the grapes around in the solution to evenly coat them. Let the grapes sit in the solution for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 5: Take them out of the bowl, place them in a sieve or colander and rinse with cool water.

Talk about a great vinegar fruit wash!

How to store grapes

When properly stored, your produce will last awhile. Try one of these grape storage strategies to maintain the ultimate crispy bunch.

Produce keepers

Invest in a quality produce keeper for your weekly grocery haul. Produce keepers are designed to help fruit and vegetables avoid spoilage for as long as possible, and there are so many great containers to choose from. An added bonus? Using produce keepers can help achieve a perfectly organized refrigerator.


One of the reasons produce can expire so quickly is the naturally occurring ethylene gas that fruits and vegetables emit as they ripen. Bluapple was designed to combat that. This apple-shaped container has inserts that absorb ethylene gas to extend the life of your produce as long as possible, which is probably why it has a 4.3-star rating with more than 7,000 reviews on Amazon.

Crisper drawer

You can also store grapes in their original bag, in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer. While this may not be as effective for prolonging life as a produce keeper, it’s better than storing in an airtight container. Just don’t store grapes directly next to other fruit, or everything will spoil faster because of the excess ethylene gas.

Taste of Home
Originally Published on Taste of Home