How to Clean Fresh Fish Slime


Fresh fish often have a layer of slime on them when they come out of the water. This fish slime may contain parasites and bacterial growth that could contaminate the flesh of the fish if it were exposed. The slime is also very slippery and can make it difficult to hold a fresh fish while it is being sliced. Remove all the slime from the body of the fresh fish before slicing it open to cut out the fillets.

Things You'll Need

  • Sponge
  • Spray bottle
  • 1/4 cup bleach
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • Cutting board (optional)
  • Cold running water
  • Sanitize the counter or work surface with a sponge and spray bottle filled with a solution of one part bleach to ten parts water. Most on-site fish cleaning stations are covered in caked-on fish guts and bird poop. A clean cutting board is helpful when the table at the cleaning station is dirty.

  • Turn the faucet up to blast out as much cold water as possible and hold a slimy fresh fish with both hands as you move it under the powerful stream.

  • Rub the fish all over with your fingers and turn it constantly until the cold running water splashes away all the fish slime on the surface. Lift the fins and spread the tail to let the cold water rinse every part of the fish.

  • Place the rinsed fish onto the clean workstation or cutting board and move on to clean the slime off the next fish.

Tips & Warnings

  • Clean and sanitize all slicing and boning equipment, including knives, gloves and cutting boards, after every use to avoid dangerous contamination.

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  • Photo Credit a fishing trophy image by Alexei Novikov from
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