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How to Use a Salad Spinner

Updated on March 20, 2019
sharonbellis profile image

Sharon is a certified Human Resources Manager with a passion for health topics, food, non-fiction books and writing

Fresh washed veggies
Fresh washed veggies | Source

What is a Salad Spinner?

The salad spinner is a kitchen stool that not only allows you to thoroughly wash your salad ingredients but dries them too! It has always been one of my favorite kitchen gadgets and when my last spinner broke I went on the hunt for a replacement.

First stop was Amazon as I prefer to buy recommended products and I eventually purchased a recommended spinner has so far lived up to the high ratings.

I find the salad spinner is great accessory for the kitchen especially if you experience water drenched lettuce in salad. However, even worse than soggy lettuce is dirt in your lettuce leaves! This is not a very appetizing and you don't want your guests or family members to find dirt in their salad; a good quality salad spinner can prevent both these issues from occurring.

Salad Spinner Purpose

The spinner l is basically a salad "dryer". It does an amazing job of keeping not only the lettuce crisp but any other ingredients that need washing will remain crisp as well. There is nothing better than a tasty salad that has a bit of crunch. Waterlogged lettuce is anything but crunchy!

I can now thoroughly wash my salads with this gadget without the worry of how to drain it. You could see how much hidden dirt particles you were removing from your lettuce just by looking at the rinse water in the spinner. It was amazing that I could wash and spin it many times until the water ran clear without sacrificing the crisp texture of the lettuce.


Types of Salad Spinners

There are several types of modern salad spinners and some of these, like the stainless steel variety, are heavy duty and will last forever. I still have my original salad spinner, its not very pretty, and has recently stopped working properly. It is a white plastic version and has taken a lot of abuse over the years but it still did its job for an incredibly long time. My hope was to purchase another spinner that would give me years of service like this one!

There are four types of mechanisms that run the spinners. These are a crank handle, a push pump, a pull cord or even electricity. Electric spinners used mainly for commercial settings and can be expensive. These are not usually necessary for home use.

Salad spinners are more stylish now then they were when I bought mine. They now come in a range of colours and designs but still retain their functionality.

Tossed Salad

A crisp salad should be able to stand high on a plate like this photo and not be sunk down in a watery mess in a salad bowl.  Which would you rather serve to your guests?
A crisp salad should be able to stand high on a plate like this photo and not be sunk down in a watery mess in a salad bowl. Which would you rather serve to your guests? | Source

How to Use a Salad Spinner

Salad spinners are very easy to use and clean. Review the steps below to ensure you make a nice crisp salad every time. You can create a salad you will be proud to serve to guests - no more soggy salad!

  1. Prepare your salad ingredients by chopping up your vegetables and fruits, do not add any ingredients that do not require washing.
  2. Remove the strainer basket from the salad spinner
  3. Put your prepared salad ingredients in the strainer basket. Be careful not to over stuff the basket as it will not spin as strongly and may remain wet.
  4. Flush the basket thoroughly with water, shaking it gently, ensuring the salad is well washed. Note the colour of the rinse water and keep rinsing until it runs clear.
  5. Put the strainer back into the salad spinner and put the lid on it. Make sure it's on tight and in the correct position.
  6. Start the spinning the salad. Depending on the type of spinner you will either turn the crank on the lid, push the plunger up and down, or pull the cord!
  7. Spin it for at least 15 seconds.
  8. Take off the top and put your freshly spun salad into your salad bowl, you can now add additional ingredients such as croutons.

OXO Salad Spinner - My New Spinner

The OXO brand salad spinner is a popular and highly rated kitchen gadget.
The OXO brand salad spinner is a popular and highly rated kitchen gadget.
OXO 1155901 Good Grips Green Salad Spinner Large
OXO 1155901 Good Grips Green Salad Spinner Large

This is the best selling spinner that I now own. I purchased it based on great reviews and I wasn't disappointed.

It drys your greens and herbs to perfection. I have recently changed my diet to plant based and now my spinner is a necessary kitchen tool not just a "nice to have". A spinner helps to create healthy and delicious salads that are nice and crisp.

OXO is an excellent brand name. In my research I noted that this company has taken the time to research and develop the mechanics of spinners to ensure their durability and function.

As a result of the OXO research solutions to the problems that cause spinners to break down or not dry the salad properly were addressed. The result is this reasonably priced salad spinner for home use that can benefit all home cooks!

I noted that this product had been rated very highly by thousands of purchasers. I always read reviews before I make any purchase and Amazon is one of my favorite places to shop.


Top Spinner: Oxo Spinner Demonstration

The Best Spinners Improve the Taste of your Salad

Did you know that the taste of your salad can actually be improved by the use of a spinner?

The reason for this is because the spinning dries out the lettuce and this allows the oils and dressings to adhere to the salad ingredients and as a result adds to the taste and texture. When your salad is full of water the dressing oils will not cling but will rain through to create a puddle in the bottom of the bowl. I have had this happen to me on many occasions.

There is nothing worse than serving soggy lettuce to guests. As you can now see the spinner does double duty by not only ensuring the lettuce and vegetables are well washed but by preventing a waterlogged salad as well.

Crisp lettuce is always the center of any great salad but there are an infinite amount of combinations that you can add.  A salad spinner will ensure that lettuce is the crisp foundation that it should be!
Crisp lettuce is always the center of any great salad but there are an infinite amount of combinations that you can add. A salad spinner will ensure that lettuce is the crisp foundation that it should be!

How Do They Work?

Salad spinners all work with the use of centrifugal force to separate the salad ingredients from the water. As demonstrated in the video above they are most often manual devices that use a hand pump.

There are commercial versions that are electric but for home use this is not necessary, the manual spinners work well for serving smaller groups.

The History of the Salad Spinner

It is a relatively new invention that was first patented in France in 1972. It was also know as a "salad dryer" or a "salad washer" and even a "salad tosser" The name "spinner" was patented in the version created by an inventor in Hong Kong. The various patents were for the different mechanisms that could move the spinner such as cranks, pull cords, pumps and electric.

This gadget made its way to the American mass market in 1974 and was a huge success. There were some critics who thought it would not last because they thought it was a new gourmet "fad" but that proved to be untrue. It is still a common household appliance today!

To Spin or Not to Spin

Do you own a salad spinner

See results
Healthy salads are one of  the best ways to eat your vegetables.  Cut up anything you like and throw it in, nothing could be easier.
Healthy salads are one of the best ways to eat your vegetables. Cut up anything you like and throw it in, nothing could be easier. | Source

© 2012 Sharon Bellissimo

Do You Use A Salad Spinner

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    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 

      6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Always. I won't make a salad without my salad spinner. :)

    • ismeedee profile image


      6 years ago

      Now I see the benefits of these I'd really like one!

    • MBradley McCauley profile image

      MBradley McCauley 

      6 years ago

      I sure do. Am on my third one. Love the crispiness of my salads. Very informative lens. Thanks.

    • sharonbellis profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Bellissimo 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      @wrapitup4me: Try it you will like it!

    • wrapitup4me profile image


      6 years ago

      I have a salad spinner and never used it. Too lazy. Guess I should get unlazy and actually take it out of the cupboard and give it a try.

    • chas65 profile image


      6 years ago

      Never used a salad spinner, but it sure makes sense.

    • MarcoG profile image


      6 years ago from Edinburgh

      I miss my salad spinner - this lens has reminded me that I should I get another one!

    • banapple profile image


      6 years ago

      I need one of these. My salads are always runny after I put the dressing on.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      I've had my salad spinner for years and years and used it a lot until recently, when I started buying ready-prepared bags of salad from supermarkets. A bit extravagant, and you have reminded me to go back to making my own! Angel Blessings for an attractive lens


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