Learn How to Clean Mushrooms the best and easiest way with either a paper towel, a colander, or a quick wash in a bowl of water!

Wiping a whole mushroom with a paper towel.

It’s most effective to wipe your whole mushrooms, either with a damp cloth, kitchen towel, or paper towel, to make sure they’re clean. Mushrooms are like sponges, so wiping them minimizes the amount of moisture they can absorb.

With any of the below methods, you’re aiming to expose them to as little water as possible so that come cooking time, your mushrooms will have every chance to soak up all the flavors in your sauces.

(But do note, it’s always best to store mushrooms before cleaning!)

Method 1: Wipe with a Paper Towel

Using a damp towel is the best way to get all the extra moisture off raw mushrooms. Simply place your fresh mushrooms cap up on a dry, clean surface, and wipe the caps and stems off. You can use a paper towel, kitchen towel, or any kind of cloth to do this.

If you want to reduce time, you can use a sharp knife to remove the stems. This is the least invasive way to clean mushrooms and gives them a long shelf life in your refrigerator.

Method 2: Shower in a Colander

Place a colander in your kitchen sink and turn on cool running water. Place mushrooms in the colander, and use your hand to move water all over the mushrooms. The colander prevents you from soaking mushrooms—which is the last thing you want to do!

Additionally, using a salad spinner is a similar way to wipe your mushrooms. You do the same thing by placing the salad spinner in the kitchen sink, turning a stream of water on, adding the mushrooms, and coating them lightly in water.

Then you’ll push down the spinner button to get the excess water off. Afterwards, you can use a dry paper towel to wipe off the mushroom cap and mushroom stem.

Whole mushrooms sitting in a colander.

Method 3: Quick Rinse in a Bowl

Fill a large bowl with cold water and place a clean towel (preferably lint-free) nearby. Add only a handful of mushrooms in the water at a time; do this in batches if you need to. Swirl the mushrooms around for a short soak—less than 10 seconds and immediately remove them to the towel nearby.

Pat them dry and lay them mushroom cap up, so they can air dry while you do the next batch. Once you’re finished cleaning all of your mushrooms this way, check each mushroom again for any visible dirt or specks of water. Use a very damp paper towel to remove any excess dirt, and you are now finished cleaning your mushrooms.

Whole mushrooms, stems down, in a glass bowl of cold water.

Should you wash or wipe mushrooms?

It’s best to “wipe” mushrooms to get rid of visible dirt instead of “washing”. You never want to soak your mushrooms for more than a few seconds in a bowl of water. If left in water longer than this, they will absorb too much liquid.

Why shouldn’t you wash mushrooms?

Mushrooms absorb any moisture they can and washing them will dilute their flavor. Once wet, mushrooms can never fully dry, so you won’t get that golden color and crispy edges when you cook them.

Should you wash mushrooms before or after cutting?

Clean them before cutting because it’ll be a lot easier to wipe off a whole mushroom cap, compared to sliced mushrooms.

Is it okay to cook unwashed mushrooms?

It’s always a good idea to quickly wipe off any excess dirt that you see.

How long do washed mushrooms last in the fridge?

Fresh, whole mushrooms can last up to 10 days in the fridge.

How long should you wash mushrooms?

No more than 10 seconds.

Do you wash mushrooms in hot or cold water?

Cold water; it prevents a waterlogged mushroom.

Best Mushroom Recipes

To get a simple sear on your mushrooms, try out this Sautéed Mushroom recipe. If you’re into stuffing mushrooms, you don’t want to miss out on these Crab Stuffed Mushrooms and Spinach Stuffed Mushroom recipes! If you like only a little bit of mushroom in your dish, try out this Green Bean Casserole from Scratch. For a cold, winter night, this Instant Pot Chicken Wild Rice Soup will hit the spot.

Wiping a whole mushroom with a paper towel.
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5 from 1 vote

How to Clean Mushrooms

Learn How to Clean Mushrooms the best and easiest way with a paper towel, a colander, or a quick wash in a bowl of water!
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 mushrooms
Author: London Brazil

Equipment

  • Mushrooms
  • Paper Towels
  • Colander Optional

Instructions

  • Wipe with Paper Towel: Place your fresh mushrooms on a dry, clean surface, and wipe the caps and stems off with a damp paper towel. If you want to reduce time, you can use a sharp knife to remove the stems.
  • Rinse in Colander: Place a colander in your kitchen sink and turn on cool running water. Place mushrooms in the colander, and use your hand to move water all over the mushrooms. Allow the mushrooms to dry thoroughly before using.
  • Wash in Bowl: Fill a large bowl with cold water and place a clean towel nearby. Add a handful of mushrooms in water at a time, doing this in batches. Swirl the mushrooms around for a short soak–less than 10 seconds and immediately remove them to the towel nearby. Pat them dry and lay them mushroom cap up. Use a very damp paper towel to remove any excess dirt and allow the mushrooms to dry thoroughly before cooking.
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