After fruit is harvested, commercial growers often wash off the fruit to remove surface dirt and grime. They then apply a wax coating to the fruit to protect it from moisture loss, prevent mould growth, minimise bruising and enhance appearance. Only a drop or two of food-grade wax is used on each piece of fruit, and the wax must meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration food additive regulations, according to the agency. While commercial washes and liquid soap are not recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for washing fruit, you can still use water and a household tool to help remove the wax coating from an orange.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Warm running water
- Soft-bristle or vegetable brush
- Clean towel
Rinse the orange thoroughly under warm, running water to remove any surface dust or dirt.
Gently rub the entire outer skin of the orange with a soft-bristle or vegetable brush, as you hold it under the warm, running water, to help remove the wax.
Rinse the orange again before turning off the water. Dry the orange with a clean towel.
Tips and warnings
- The USDA does not recommend commercial fruit and vegetable washes, but there are some on the market that claim to break down the commercial wax on fruits and vegetables.
- Wax is hard to remove because it often adheres to the natural wax that was present before commercial wax was applied, according to the U.S. Apple Association.
- Organic produce does not usually have wax applied to it. If you want to avoid waxed fruit, you can purchase organic.
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