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How to Wash Fresh Spinach

author image Amelia Allonsy
A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.
How to Wash Fresh Spinach
Wash spinach before eaating to remove trapped sand. Photo Credit: Sam Lee/Hemera/Getty Images

Without thoroughly washing spinach before eating, your meal will likely feature the unwanted taste and texture of gritty sand in each bite. This nutrient-packed super food grows best in sandy soil, but the tiny sand particles tend to hide in the wrinkles and creases of spinach leaves. If you have a large amount of spinach, you can wash it all at once, and store it dry in your refrigerator to use as needed. After washing, you can steam spinach, eat it raw as part of a salad, or blend it with fruit to make a green smoothie.

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Step 1

Clip long stems from the spinach leaves with a pair of kitchen shears.

Step 2

Rinse the spinach leaves thoroughly under cold running water to remove as much of the dirt and debris as you can see. Although the process is time-consuming, you get best results when you rinse the leaves individually.

Step 3

Fill a large pot or bowl with cold water. Submerge the spinach leaves in the cold water in the pot or bowl.

Step 4

Allow the spinach leaves to soak for between five to ten minutes to allow the remaining dirt and sand to settle to the bottom of the pot. Wave the spinach leaves back and forth every 2 to 3 minutes in the cold water to shake the dirt and sand from the leaves.

Step 5

Pick the spinach leaves out of the cold water by hand; do not pour them off because the settled dirt will mix in with the leaves. Place the spinach leaves in a colander and set aside.

Step 6

Drain the cold soak water from the first pot or bowl and rinse out the dirt and sand that settled at the bottom. Dry the pot or bowl thoroughly with a dry paper towel.

Step 7

Fill the cleaned pot or bowl again with cold water. Place the spinach leaves back into the soaking pot or bowl. Swirl the spinach around in the cold water every two to three minutes while soaking to remove any remaining dirt and sand from the leaves.

Step 8

Pull the spinach leaves from the soak pot or bowl and place them into a salad spinner. Pull the cord on the salad spinner to spin the basket, forcing the water away from the spinach. Remove the basket from the salad spinner and pour out the excess water then wipe dry with a paper towel. Repeat this step until the spinach leaves are as dry as possible. If you do not have a salad spinner, blot the excess water from the spinach leaves with a paper towel to dry the leaves.

Step 9

Place the spinach leaves on dry paper towels to air dry for about an hour until the leaves are completely dry.

Step 10

Wrap the spinach leaves in clean, dry paper towels and place them in a plastic bag for storage. Store spinach in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator to keep it fresh.

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