Do You Need to Wash Mushrooms?

Ask the TeamTipsMushrooms

What is the best way to clean a bunch of gritty mushrooms? Can you rinse them in the sink? SHOULD you rinse them in the sink? You have questions, we have answers!


READER QUESTION: Can you wash mushrooms? Some say wipe with a damp cloth but mushrooms are so dirty it seems smart to rinse. 

If they’re fairly dry and clean, then a damp paper towel will do the job. But if, as you say, they are really dirty, then YES! You can definitely wash them.

Here’s what to do: Put the mushrooms in a strainer or colander in your sink and rinse them with water. You can pick them up and rub any stubborn bits off with your hands. Once you’re done, lay the mushrooms out on a clean kitchen towel and pat them dry before cooking.

There’s a bit of a kitchen myth that if you wash mushrooms, they’ll absorb water and become waterlogged. As long as you’re just giving them a quick rinse and not letting the mushrooms soak, you don’t need to worry about this.

Hope that helps! Enjoy your delicious mushroom feast!

Emma, Editor-in-Chief and avid fan of all things mushroom


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Emma Christensen

Emma Christensen is the Editor-in-Chief of Simply Recipes, and has over 10 years of experience creating food and content for web and print. She was formerly the recipe editor for The Kitchn and is the author of three books on home-brewing, True Brews, Brew Better Beer, and Modern Cider. Emma is a graduate of The Cambridge School for Culinary Arts and Bryn Mawr College. She lives in San Jose, California.

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No ImageDo You Need to Wash Mushrooms?

  1. Juan Charles

    Thank you very much for your explanation. I was just wondering about this.

  2. Melba

    Emma good answer. Exactly how I wash mushrooms. Colander, a good shower, good rub-in and they come out squeaky clean. Thanks

  3. Nancy

    Someone did a test – weighed mushrooms before washing, and after a good thorough soaking wash, and found next to no increase in weight. So there! (I’ll try to find that link). I just trim, put in plastic bag with slug of ‘abrasive’ (salt or cornmeal), a slosh of water, and then do a rough ‘squish, tumble, squish, tumble, squish’, then rinse in colander and they are squeaky clean (I notice that the drained water appears to contain all the ‘debrit’ that was on the mushrooms :) Pat dry (hmm I wonder about blow drying them with hair dryer?)

  4. Harry pounced

    Oh yea! Especially if you can see or taste dirt.
    If you only knew where mushrooms came from and what they grow out of.
    I only clean/wash them as I use them. That way they stay dry and keep longer.
    So to answer the question, “YES YOU DO!”.

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Linda Fairchild

    In France mushrooms are swirled in a cool bath of white vinegar and water. They clean beautifully and quickly. Dry immediately. Voila!

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Emma Christensen Ask the TeamDo You Need to Wash Mushrooms?