Cleaning Mushrooms

Any advice on how to get mushrooms REALLY clean? We're living in a -----stan country, and food-born illnesses, including typhoid, are all too common. I've always been a tiny bit cavalier in other parts of the world and just gave local fruits and vegetables a good swish in distilled water. Here -- a bit of bleach in a cool water bath is the only reliable deterrent since some of the yucky bugs aren't killed by cooking. It works for most produce, but mushrooms....not so sure about them not absorbing the bleach aroma, if not the bleach itself.

  • Posted by: Melusine
  • September 10, 2012


Melusine September 12, 2012
Hmmm...never heard of the colloidal silver method, and hadn't thought of a pressure cooker or iodine. I hate using the bleach... I may end up trying one of those "grow your own mushrooms in compacted old coffee grounds" kits.
Once again, thank you all -- I just love this site.
Wicko September 11, 2012
According to Alton Brown and contrary to popular opinion, mushrooms absorb a negligible amount of water. He encourages everyone to wash mushrooms in water as necessary. When I lived in Honduras, I washed all my veggies in water with a few drops of colloidal silver. Kills e. Coli, salmonella and giardia.
Sam1148 September 10, 2012
Soak them in clean water and white vinegar a bit. You'd be surprised just how little fresh mushroom soak up...Alton Brown did a a bit on it; after few mins soak a cup of so of mushrooms only soaked up 1 tsp of water. I'd avoid the bleach tho.
Author Comment
What about the iodine tablets used for treating drinking water? I'm not sure how much of the iodine flavor the mushrooms would suck up, but it might be worth a try.
HalfPint September 10, 2012
Do you have a pressure cooker? It's the only sterilization method that I can think of that isn't chemical or radiation. The ability to bring the temperature to higher than 212F should be enough to kills a lot of those bad bugs. That's why it's recommended for canning low acid food.

Maybe a combo of pickling the mushrooms and then processing a pressure cooker is the answer. But I'm not an expert.

It might be wiser to avoid mushrooms altogether.
ChefJune September 10, 2012
Mushrooms are like sponges and soak up any liquid you expose them to. I'd be very careful about cleaning them in anything that's not edible.
Recommended by Food52