I’m sometimes asked how would a homemade cleaner work exactly if the oils do not mix into the water and disperse evenly. Well the answer is it’s all in the composition of the oil itself. The power in any essential oil is due to the constituents that make up that oil!
So in lemon (and most every citrus oil) the rockstar constituent is a monoterpene called d-limonene. It has the ability to dissolve dirt + pesticides which are petroleum based. You can read research on that here:
Properties of limonene: http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol56/mono56-9.pdf
It is best to add a natural castile soap to the water that you’re adding the citrus oils to so that the castile soap can help disperse the essential oil with the water. (Castile soap such as D.Woods, is made of coconut olive and hemp oils and has lots of uses around your home – it’s natural, and safe if ingested which makes it great for this use) The Best way to soak produce is to use a large bowl that will fit in the sink and add approx 1 tsp castile soap and 5-7 drops of citrus essential oil such as lemon or grapefruit or tangerine. Mix it around and then add your produce to sit for 10 min. Then rinse really well because that soaking water now contains soap, pesticides, dirt and bacteria.
This method will cost you a total of about $0.25!
Essential oils inhibiting cell attachment and biofilm development indicates a promising tool for reducing microbial colonization of food processing surfaces. Use of natural antimicrobial agents could provide alternative or supplemental methods for the efficient disinfection of microbe-contaminated industrial surfaces.