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Equipment

Have You Been Using Your Salad Spinner Wrong? I Have.

This new-to-me method opened my eyes and gave me the cleanest greens I’ve ever had.
By Published May 5, 2022

One thing I love about cooking is that there’s always more to learn. It can be something involved, such as a cooking technique, or—in the case of my most recent aha moment—something straightforward, such as a different way to use an everyday kitchen tool like a salad spinner.

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With my CSA subscription and backyard raised beds, I’ve been using my salad spinner a lot this summer. Until a few days ago, this was how I did it: I’d place my greens, herbs, or vegetables in the perforated basket; run it under water in the sink; return the insert to the salad spinner’s bowl; and then spin it dry.

Simple, yes. But not always very effective.

This technique never got all the dirt off the food, but I figured it was the best it could do. That is, until I came across this article on how to use a salad spinner. I’d been using it incorrectly—or at least inefficiently—this whole time.

To get greens and vegetables really clean, here’s how our ATK Reviews team recommends using a salad spinner:

How to Use Your Salad Spinner

1. Place your food inside the basket. Keep the basket of food inside the outer bowl and fill it with water to thoroughly soak the contents.

loading salad spinner

2. Lift out the basket, let water drain out, and empty the outer bowl. Repeat until the food is free of dirt and grit.

pulling bowl out of salad spinner

3. Return the basket to the bowl and spin its contents dry. If a lot of water has come off the food, remove the basket, dump the excess water, and spin again.

gif of using salad spinner

The insert and bowl are a colander-and-container combination! Running water over my ingredients in the sink was never going to be as effective as submerging them in water and sloshing them around. Using the two parts of the salad spinner this way made all the difference.

At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, this method has been a real game changer. It opened my eyes and gave me the cleanest greens I’ve ever had.