I bought rucola and lettuce at the grocery store today and on the packaging is said in Dutch Drie keer gewassen in ijswater which translates to washed three times in ice-water.

Is there a reason why ice-water seems to be the water washing of choice, instead of water in general? Is it for a longer shelf life or freshness? I might be missing something obvious here. Could someone clarify?


2 Answers 2


Using cold/ice water helps crisp up leafy vegetables.

  • 4
    I had a feeling it was gonna be something like this, combined with marketing. Would it be possible to add some of the conclusions to your answer here? That way if the link breaks the info is still available. Thanks again!
    – Tom Sol
    Mar 4, 2021 at 12:09

I would suspect advertising speak. No-one these days can sell anything at all without some form of hyperbole.
We all know that rinsing salad in warm water won't be great for the leaves, so we'd rinse in cold water.
… but 'cold' doesn't really sell it, does it.

You can't sell 'just water'. Look at the advertising on any bottled plain water… it's got to be mineral, or spring, or highland, or naturally filtered, or organic, or made by celibate monks in the highest mountains of wherever* … anything except just water.

Ice-water just sounds better than cold.

*…or filtered through mountains for a thousand years - Best before Sept 2022 - after all, the palindrome of Evian is naive ;)

  • Yeah advertising does seem to go overboard with claims. My own irritation is himalaya salt advertising, you'll need to eat a kg to get any benefits of the minerals inside. The answer of Max touches on the subject that it does work better with "ice" water. But the triple wash seems like marketing. I find both your answers to be on point. One looking at the marketing aspect and the other on the the biological reason to do it.
    – Tom Sol
    Mar 4, 2021 at 12:13
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    The reason for using cold water is that warm water causes the vessels of the leaf to dilate, allowing them to release water and pressure. If you've got already wilted lettuce, a quick soak in warm water actually helps as the dilation stage encourages the leaf to open up and take in water to rehydrate itself. Once the leaf is hydrated, cold water causes the vessels and pores to constrict and the leaf to hold onto the water and firm up.
    – J...
    Mar 4, 2021 at 13:37
  • 2
    @J... That would actually make a decent answer.
    – Tom Sol
    Mar 4, 2021 at 14:24

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