We had taco salads last night for dinner. Cleaning the little bits of shredded lettuce out of the salad spinner seemed to take forever. Despite scrubbing and lots of rinsing, little bits of lettuce were still clinging to the inner bowl (in between the slits in the bowl). I finally resorted to picking out the lettuce bits by hand in order to be sure I got them all. Is there an easy way to clean this thing?

We could try washing the lettuce first, then shredding, but what about the pre-packaged lettuce that's already shredded? I'd heard you're still supposed to wash that too.


4 Answers 4


I've never done this, but what about filling the bowl with water, lowering the spinning basket into it so the lettuce shreds lift off, then dumping it out?

  • That sounds like a good idea. I probably used at least that much water trying to rinse the stubborn pieces off anyway.
    – Kristo
    Nov 9, 2010 at 18:04
  • 4
    I put an inch or so of water in the basket, then spin as fast as it will let me, the water helps pull the little bits out. It usually works well for me, toss in a bit of soap and you have a dishwasher inside the spinner! Just be careful to stop the spinner before you take the lid off or you'll have a very soapy kitchen.
    – FoodTasted
    Nov 9, 2010 at 21:38
  • 2
    I just wanted to add that I tried this solution today and it worked great!
    – Kristo
    Dec 23, 2010 at 2:51

There's a number of ways to avoid this:

  1. You're dead on, wash lettuce and then shred. That will make a huge difference.
  2. Don't buy pre-shredded lettuce as you're paying extra for the grocery store to cut lettuce (really not that hard to do yourself).
  3. Lettuce from the grocery store will often say "pre-washed, ready to eat" or something to that effect. You don't need to wash lettuce if that's the case. If you don't trust the grocery store to wash your lettuce, I'd suggest not shopping there.
  4. If you can't avoid the small bits (maybe you're washing herbs from a garden), I find the easiest thing to do is to use a spray setting on the faucet and spray it from the outside. That seems to be the best approach, but it's still a bit of a pain. Using a sponge on the inside is pretty worthless (at getting rid of small bits).

But in general, avoid the issue by only putting large things in the spinner.

  • I always washed the prewashed lettuce just in case. You aren't sure what chemicals may be on the lettuce. Also mom bought the organic bagged lettuce once and she had a beetle on her plate!! Always check :D
    – Kyra
    Nov 9, 2010 at 17:22
  • @kyra, do you wash lettuce at home twice too? I understand that you're being cautious, and that's up to you. But I trust my grocery store enough not to worry about it. I also eat at restaurants.
    – yossarian
    Nov 9, 2010 at 18:08
  • That came across a little snarky, which it wasn't supposed to. I think prewashed is generally fine. If you disagree, by all means give it another rinse. But don't buy prewashed shredded lettuce and then try and wash it again! Too much hassle.
    – yossarian
    Nov 9, 2010 at 18:08
  • I agree.. just figured I would let whoever reads your answer another reason to not buy bagged lettuce or be careful what kinds they buy.
    – Kyra
    Nov 9, 2010 at 18:59

In practice: If a dishwasher is available, use it. Most plastic cookware (including salad spinners) will survive a dishwasher fine - and the spray and modern detergents (which tend to use enzymatic components that actively dissolve and not just loosen small food scraps) in a dishwasher will usually dislodge these bits out easily.


Just use a simple piece of cotton, a tea towel or slightly larger, hold the four corners in one hand with the lettuce in the middle, go outside and enjoy the fresh air for a while as you spin it around

Give the cloth a quick flick and toss into washing basket

Much better for you and no stupid plastic thing cluttering your cupboards

  • 2
    This is what I do, but... It doesn't answer the question that was asked.
    – Shog9
    Dec 23, 2010 at 3:24
  • @Knives - It does ;-) It's just re-defines what a sale\ad spinner is - from plastic thingy to cloth!
    – TFD
    Dec 23, 2010 at 5:21
  • 1
    heh... Yeah, but re-defining the question such that it doesn't need to be asked is sorta pointless.
    – Shog9
    Dec 23, 2010 at 18:37

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