How to Wash & Store Iceberg Lettuce


Crisp, crunchy iceberg lettuce stores well without losing its texture. Prewashing the leaves before storage makes it a quick choice for adding bulk to a salad or topping your favorite sandwich. Wet lettuce spoils quickly, so too much moisture after washing shortens its shelf life. Avoid this by drying the lettuce thoroughly and packaging it properly.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Bowl
  • Colander
  • Salad spinner
  • Paper towels
  • Storage bags or container
  • Insert the tip of a knife into the lettuce, cutting around the core. Pull the core out and dispose of it. Alternatively, bank the core firmly against the counter top to break it loose, then pull it out.

  • Separate the head into individual leaves or chop or tear the lettuce into the desired size pieces.

  • Fill a large bowl with clean water. Submerge the lettuce in the water and swirl it around to dislodge any dirt. Rinse with clear, cold water.

  • Drain the leaves in a colander. Shake off the excess moisture by hand, pat the leaves dry with a towel, or spin them in a salad spinner until the lettuce is completely dry.

  • Place the cleaned lettuce into a plastic bag or storage container. Lay a dry paper towel on top of the lettuce to absorb any excess moisture.

  • Store the lettuce in the refrigerator crisper drawer for three to five days. Replace the paper towel with a fresh one when it becomes damp. Discard the lettuce if it discolors, becomes slimy or shows other signs of spoilage.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you prefer to wash and store whole heads, take out the core and run cold water over the head to dislodge any dirt. Drain thoroughly and wrap in paper towels before storing as usual.

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