I have asked many people about "best to way to clean cauliflower" before cooking. I got several answers, like keeping in salt water or add soak in turmeric mixed water. And also how do you remove worms from cauliflower?


5 Answers 5


A bucket of salty water is the best way to get rid of bugs. That said, I've never had a problem with bugs in store-bought cauliflower.

You need to completely submerge the head in water, so a bucket that can fit the whole head is best. Add about 2 Tbsp salt per quart warm water to get it nice and salty. Submerge the head, florets down (they float, so a weight to keep it submerged will help). Let sit 5-10 minutes, remove, rinse, and eat as you please.

The salt in the water helps to kill the bugs and encourage them to let go. It also might kill some surface contamination if it exists, but this isn't really the point. You should see bugs either floating or at the bottom when you remove the cauliflower.

If you don't need the head whole when cooking, core and cut into desired size prior to soaking.


Tap Water is what I've used.


I actually break it apart into the size you want to cook it and then let it soak in salt water (this help get into the crevices). Then, toss into a colander and spray with a sink sprayer while shaking it. I do this with similar veggies as well.

  • what's a sick sprayer?
    – Sam Holder
    Sep 15, 2010 at 19:16
  • 1
    I think he meant sink sprayer. Apr 4, 2013 at 16:31

Ok peoples....what you have to do with store bought or garden fresh...is soak the broccoli in salt water...now here is the catch....after a few minutes you will see white flat works swimming at the top of the water...its absolutely disgusting...scoop them out...wait for more...once no more come up..rinse it very well. Unfortunately I have been so grossed out after seeing those white babies that I haven't eaten cauliflower in years...but hey...go for it.

  • 1
    did you mean to say cauliflower because you used broccoli which is similar, but not the same? As part of your sentence you use the saying "white flat works" I am unsure what this is, this seems unclear and could use a reference or a better description.
    – Chef_Code
    Apr 10, 2015 at 7:15
  • I think he or she meant "white flat worms". But I also am wondering whether this post is about cauliflower or about broccoli.
    – Mien
    Apr 10, 2015 at 11:51
  • It may well be a process that works for both, but OP definitely needs to clarify that. And also the last sentence is pretty superfluous.
    – Erica
    Apr 10, 2015 at 11:54

boil in salt water before u eat

  • 1
    This is how to cook, not how to clean
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Dec 15, 2013 at 15:01
  • I can imagine that the OP meant that a cursorily cleaned cauliflower is safe to eat after this boiling, so in my opinion, this is a terrible answer instead of a not an answer. But I will leave the new flag unhandled because maybe other mods see it in a different way.
    – rumtscho
    Dec 16, 2013 at 13:59
  • Agreed, just a terrible answer.
    – Cascabel
    Dec 16, 2013 at 17:07

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