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Cleaning & De-Waxing Citrus for Garnishes, Punch, etc.


Chris Amirault
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After a few experiments, I've been finding that a quick douse in boiling water followed by careful wiping with a paper towel and is, by far, the most effective method for removing the wax from citrus fruit. I did a comparison between the surfactant method and the boiling water method, and the results were pretty spectacular. I suppose you could add some soap to the boiling water but I don't think it's needed. The trick is wasting an entire paper towel per lemon and then using the lemon within a day or so. Otherwise, the damn things start turning brown very quickly -- proving the utility of the wax in the first place....

Chris Amirault

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... I did a comparison between the surfactant method and the boiling water method, and the results were pretty spectacular.....

How did you measure the effectiveness of your methods?

I do my fruit cleaning with almost blind faith that I am having some impact.

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Is it possible that even the brief immersion in boiling water contributes to the browning as much or more than the lack of a wax coating? Sam, even when using tepid water does your fruit brown within a short time as well?

Pip Hanson | Marvel Bar

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  • 2 weeks later...
Why a paper towel rather than a dish towel? Does it have more abrasive properties?

No, I have more abrasive properties if I generate twenty dirty dish towels. Just laziness.

Is it possible that even the brief immersion in boiling water contributes to the browning as much or more than the lack of a wax coating? Sam, even when using tepid water does your fruit brown within a short time as well?

Not sure I understand why that would be. The fruit stays room temp, for example.

Chris Amirault

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Not sure why it would be either, but it seems to be the case from my experience.

I've tried several methods now including near-boiling, warm and lukewarm water, with and without detergent.

The warm water + detergent combination seems to work best for me; the fruit doesn't turn brown. When I try very hot water it usually results in fruit that has started to brown before the end of the night. The flesh itself is fine, but the skin seems to brown easier. Perhaps some kind of shock to the system, at least at the surface, from the sudden heat?

Pip Hanson | Marvel Bar

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  • 5 years later...
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