How-To & Diy

How to Wash Greens (Without a Salad Spinner)

March 27, 2013

Inspired by conversations on the FOOD52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.

Today: Our go-to way to wash greens -- no salad spinner necessary.

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The weather is getting greener, and so are our diets: pea shoots, dandelion greens, and arugula (and other springy lettuces!) will join our usual ranks of kale, escarole, and romaine. But before we slice them into salads, toss them with vinaigrette, and eat them by the bushel, we need to wash them first. Watch Kristy demonstrate an easy way to wash your greens, using simply a bowl and a tea towel -- no salad spinner in sight. 

Do you have tips for washing greens? Share them in the comments!

This video was shot and edited by Kyle Orosz.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Wendy McPeake
    Wendy McPeake
  • Deborah1654
  • kathylou
  • Antonia AT
    Antonia AT
Brette Warshaw

Written by: Brette Warshaw

I'm a reader, eater, culinary thrill-seeker, and food nerd.

8 Comments February 6, 2015
This is fine if you only have 5 leaves! I use a much bigger bowl and a pillowcase. Take the pillowcase full of wet greens outside and whip it around in circles. Then store the whole thing in a plastic bag in the fridge.
Wendy M. May 7, 2014
I use a couple of tea towels and layer the wet lettuce in the towels. Then I roll then up, put them in a plastic bag and store in the fridg. Clean lettuce always available for a salad or sandwich.
Deborah1654 November 15, 2013
I always use this method. No spinner to clean and take up storage space.
kathylou April 24, 2013
Have always placed the tea towel with the greens in the refrigerator. They are crisp and ready at dinnertime.
Antonia A. April 17, 2013
My Italian grandmother taught me to put the washed greens in a cotton pillow case and swing it, something like cloudshaper's method.
cloudshaper March 28, 2013
I rinse the leaves, load them in a tea towel, and take it out to my balcony and swing my greens around like Xena. Hilarious, fast, and keeps the neighbours wondering about my mental state.
Greenstuff March 27, 2013
The first time I saw a salad spinner, I think it was the early 70s, we'd received it as a gift and thought it was the silliest thing ever. But we came around.
Erum @. March 27, 2013
Thanks for the demo! I have to say that I do love my salad spinner because I can use it to wash, drain, spin and crisp lettuce in the fridge (the bowl can also be used for serving the salad). But the tea-towel approach is great as well!

Anyway, here's a tip: One of the most effective ways to remove dirt and bacteria from your lettuce leaves is to wash them in a simple mixture of 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts water. Cook's Illustrated conducted a study comparing different ways of washing fresh fruits and vegetables, and they found that the best result was from using a vinegar-water solution, which removed 98% of the bacteria present!

Erum @