The Reason You Should Rinse Oranges

Oranges are a fantastic, delicious, and incredibly nutritional citrus fruit, packed full of vitamin C, fiber, calcium, folic acid, citric acid, potassium, and natural sugars, according to WebMD. They're incredibly bright, a little sour, and immensely sweet — a perfect midday snack, breakfast side dish, or ingredient for any number of sweet and savory dishes alike.

Most people are familiar with the different ways to prepare oranges, either peeling off the rind by hand or with a knife, cutting them into slices, or cutting them in half and juicing them. If you're baking, you may not open up the fruit at all, instead choosing to grate off the skin for orange zest. Since the citrus fruit's flesh is hidden under the thick rind, you may not feel the need to wash your oranges as thoroughly as your other produce, if at all. However, oranges, as well as all other fruits and vegetables with inedible skins or rinds, need to be washed just as well as other produce.

How to wash oranges

Even though the orange's rind largely protects the fruit's flesh inside, that doesn't mean there aren't still dangerous lingering bacteria that need to be washed off. As Veggi Wash explains, the surface of the orange rind contains bacteria, as well as potentially lingering pesticides, dirt, and germs from being frequently handled.

This is obviously an issue if you're zesting the fruit, but it can also be harmful when you cut the fruit open. When you cut the fruit open, the knife could transfer surface bacteria to the inside fruit. Your hands could also carry the rind's germs, which are then transferred to the orange when you touch it.

To wash your oranges and ensure the fruit is safe for consumption, all you need to do is thoroughly run them under cold water for a few minutes, using either a brush or your hands to wash away any lingering bacteria. You can also soak your oranges, along with other fruits and vegetables, in a mixture of three parts water, and one part white vinegar in a clean sink or bowl for roughly 10 minutes, according to Best Food Facts.