Some fruits-such as apples-are coated in food grade wax. How can I remove this wax from the apple without peeling it,boiling it,cooking it or coating it in anything inedible?

  • Are you sure it's wax? Some apples have a naturally waxy layer on their skin. Wash it off with warm water.
    – RedSonja
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 7:02
  • This is not "natural" wax. This is added food grade wax.
    – user23758
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 18:29
  • FYI, Carnauba wax (also called Brazil wax, or palm wax) is used.
    – Stan
    Commented Apr 8, 2018 at 15:19

3 Answers 3


Many fruits (such as apples) and vegetables are treated with pesticides by spraying from the air and also from tank trucks that pass through the farmlands.

The pesticides don't work if they are easily "washed off" by simple rain so they are mixed with materials that are less water soluable. Removing or neutralizing the pesticide coating requires some attention.

It's a good idea to wash fruits and vegetables. They will last longer, too. Waxier fruits and harder vegetables can sometimes hold on to pesticides better than other kinds, so it's a good idea to give them a nice scrub with a dedicated produce brush. Anything clinging to the produce will be scrubbed away. Buying organic may help, but you're never truly in the clear.

In addition to everything, I found* a great way to keep your vegetables from going bad so quickly. You can prove it to yourself with this simple experiment (using tomatoes this time).

Separate the container of tomatoes into two parts. Treat one part as you would normally. The other part should be rinsed in plain water to remove dirt and loose material. Then, continue by immersing the vegetables in a bowl filled with 1 part white vinegar mixed with 3 parts water. Be thorough but not rough, get the stems and all parts "washed." Then, rinse the vinegar off with fresh water and set aside to dry on clean dish towels or paper towels. After the vegetables are dry, put them into clean (washed) containers.

Do the same for all of your vegetables. Leafy vegetables such as Boston lettuce should be treated with the stock upward to keep the liquid from going and staying between the leaves.

Now, the experiment. See which half last longer. If you don't at least double the life of your veggies, I'll be surprised.

Alternately, I would think the most effective "safe" way to insure the wax is removed after washing is to peel the apple, removing the "wax" that has adhered to the skin of the fruit.

*My sister-in-law showed me.

  • That’s an interesting experiment - and counterintuitive. Thanks for sharing it! I’m guessing that the thorough drying is critical, or it wouldn’t last as long as the control.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 15:31
  • Stan,I hope you don't mean the wax is added with the pesticide,to make the pesticide stick. It's added after post harvest, in processing,to make the apples shiny.
    – user23758
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 23:13

Baking soda mixed with water will remove that waxy film that producers put on apples to make them last longer in stores.

  • Do you mean that I should heat the baking soda and water?
    – user23758
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 18:27

There are commercial produce washes available which can quickly clean residues off of fruits and veggies.

While this study says that distilled water is just as effective at removing pesticide residues as the commercial washes, I personally find that using only water doesn't always completely remove the waxiness.

If you use just water with a washcloth, a light scrubbing is usually enough to remove the waxiness.

This article discusses an experiment with several methods of washing used, and the conclusion was that the best method is having a spray bottle containing a solution of 75% water and 25% vinegar and spraying it on the fruit/vegetable before lightly scrubbing and rinsing it in water.

  • "If you use just water with a washcloth, a light scrubbing is usually enough to remove the waxiness." where do you get that? Did you read it somewhere or did you try it? That wax is tough stuff. It might be a shellac.
    – user23758
    Commented May 2, 2018 at 23:12
  • It’s a method I use often. I don’t recommend using micro-fiber washcloths though because those are too soft. Commented May 3, 2018 at 20:44

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