Dana Slatkin

How to Clean Mushrooms


Many types of mushrooms actually grow in trees, not in dirt, and thus are brought to market relatively clean. However, it is always best to give all mushrooms a good wash before using them, even if you buy them pre-washed and sliced. Though most cooks will tell you to never wash mushrooms or they will become soggy and lose their flavor, I have not found this to be true. In fact, I still use a little trick I learned in France to wash all my mushrooms, and the mushrooms come out squeaky clean and free of unwelcome grit.

Fill a large bowl with cold water. Add a handful of flour and swish around the water with your hand (The flour is both abrasive and bleaching.). Dunk the whole mushrooms into the water and quickly swirl them around (leave the stems on, as they prevent the mushrooms from soaking up too much water). Immediately lift out the mushrooms and put them onto a dish towel to dry gently and thoroughly.

Learn how to make Dana’s Pappardelle with Wild Mushrooms, Rosemary and Light Tomato Sauce.

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  1. Charlene Sax says:

    See, I learn something every day!! Thanks.

  2. sarah says:

    this is cool, I was thinking of using Bicarb solution but will see if this works, (I will know tonight when I serve up the offending mushrooms, must remember to eat some myself) i used the same water to rinse the leeks and then wash a few saucepans!  I will report back, the pots certianly came up shiny enough!

  3. dana says:


    How did it go with the bicarb powder? Wondering if your mushrooms came out squeaky clean? Would love to share with my readers.

    All the best,


  4. oyita says:

    The flour cold water trick is just perfect; they are easier to peal too!!

    ps. I think the mushrooms would soak all the bicarb; it is not a very good idea. But I would recommend adding a little vinegar to the cold flour water ;)

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