How to Properly Wash Leafy Greens Before Making a Salad

by Maria Konou

Most leafy greens can be found year-round in stores and markets. However, it is safe to say that it is best to enjoy them in the spring. The reason for this is not only that spring is the season when they are the freshest, but also the fact that in spring time our body experiences a deficiency of iron. And, leafy greens are abundant in it! However, all leafy greens must be very thoroughly cleaned and washed before consumption. In a recent study of lettuce, spinach, and other leafy greens, scientists found nitrates in over 15% of them and the bacterium Escherichia coli in over 60% of them. This bacterium is particularly dangerous for young children, pregnant women and people with digestive issues. This study does not concern organic produce, but it is good to be aware that deviations from the norms are often found there too. In fact, to claim that there is a product that is 100% organic and healthy is nearly impossible. Fortunately, we are here to show you how to properly wash leafy greens to radically reduce the amount of toxins that they might contain.

It is very important to know how to properly wash leafy greens 

wash leafy green vegetables

How to Properly Wash Leafy Greens Before Making a Salad

Remove the outer leaves before washing

Before you wash the leaves, it is important to remove the outermost layer because that is where the most toxins are contained. This is especially true of lettuce and spring salads, which are not in the organic category. In addition, remove any damaged leaves and ones that are mushy or soggy. You don’t want them to spoil the rest of the leaves!

Carefully inspect the leaves and remove what is not needed

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Make a vinegar or lemon juice bath

The optimal cleaning of leafy greens requires soaking them for about 15–20 minutes in a vinegar or lemon bath. Just take a large bowl, fill it with cold water, and add a splash of an organic acid like vinegar or lemon juice. These natural acids easily disinfect and clean the bacteria in salads and leafy greens.

Natiral acids like vinegar can kill bacteria and disinfect salads and greens

best way to wash leafy greens

Lemon juice is another organic option that you can use

how to clean leafy greens

Then just soak the veggies for about 15–20 minutes

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Soak in baking soda

Another great way to remove pesticides and bacteria is using baking soda! Baking soda is an all natural powerhouse that has the most uses out of any household ingredient. In this case, it can help us clean our leafy greens thoroughly. The recommended amount to make this baking soda soak is around 1 tsp of baking soda per 1 liter of water. Then just soak the veggies for a couple of minutes, and voilà!

An easy way to remove pesticides and bacteria is using baking soda

how to properly wash leafy greens

Just soak the salads in a baking soda bath

how to wash leafy green vegetables

Rinse with cold water

No matter what solution you choose and soak the leafy greens in, it is IMPERATIVE to wash them afterward with fresh water. Just take the greens to the sink and give them a quick final rinse. This will remove any residue, and make your salads super fresh.

Always rinse your leafy greens in cold water for a final time

washing leafy greens with vinegar

The lazy “no-soak” method

Very often, due to lack of time, we do not get around to soak the leafy greens and salads. In such cases, it is possible to instead wash each leaf thoroughly under running water. Then you need to remove any excess moisture using a cotton kitchen towel or a vegetable spinner. Only then can you proceed to prepare a salad. Again, this method is for emergencies and for organic produce only. You should always try to disinfect your greens before consuming them!

Wash each leaf thoroughly under cold running water

what is the best way to wash greens

Then thoroughly dry the leaves, and use them to make a salad!

how to clean collard greens with baking soda

Voilà! Now you know how to properly wash your leafy greens before consuming them. This is especially important if you have kids, if you are pregnant, or you have someone in your family that struggles with digestive issues.

This is how to actually wash leafy greens before consumption!

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Maria Konou

Maria Konou is a specialist in the field of digital marketing and fashion. However, she has always had a way with words. That’s what led her to her dream job here at Archzine. She has worked in many different fields over the years, but according to her, being an author has been the most rewarding. Maria is a huge plant enthusiast, loves everything fashion-related, is very sustainably aware, and is always open to learning about new things.