How to Use a Salad Spinner

Updated on May 18, 2020
sharonbellis profile image

Sharon is a human resources professional who enjoys sharing simple recipes that make mealtime deliciously easy!

One of my favorite tools in the kitchen is the salad spinner. If you have ever experienced water-drenched lettuce in your salads or tried to prepare and wash any salad ingredients, you will appreciate this handy tool.

Dirt in your lettuce leaves or a fruit salad sitting in a pool of water are other common problems and a good quality salad spinner can prevent both of these issues from ever occurring.

Rinsing fresh strawberries
Rinsing fresh strawberries | Source

What Is A Salad Spinner?

The salad spinner is a versatile kitchen tool 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 and couldn't be fixed, I went on the hunt for a replacement.

My first stop was Amazon. I prefer to review ratings and purchase recommended products when I shop online. I eventually purchased a highly recommended spinner that has so far lived up to the high ratings.

What Is The Purpose Of A Salad Spinner?

The spinner 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 can see how much hidden dirt particles you've removed 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.

Crisp lettuce piled high!
Crisp lettuce piled high! | Source

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; it's not very pretty, and it 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, and an electric mechanism. Electric spinners are used mainly for commercial settings and can be expensive. These are not usually necessary for home use.

Most home use spinners use the crank or push top button. I have used both these types and like them equally. The crank is a handle that you turn in a circular motion on the side or top of the spinner. The push button is on top and you continually push it down as it pops up. I have never used a corded spinner but they work by a pull cord that you just keep pulling as it snaps back.

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

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. Follow 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

    Chop up your vegetables and fruits and do not add any ingredients that do not require washing.

  2. Lift out strainer basket and place your ingredients in it

    Be careful not to overstuff the basket as it will not spin as strongly and may remain wet.

  3. Fush thoroughly with water

    You can rinse right under the tap then lift shake the basket gently, ensuring the salad is well washed. You are essentially using the strainer basket as a collander.

  4. Put the the lid on the spinner

    Make sure it's on tight and lined up correctly in position.

  5. Start spinning the salad

    Depending on the type of spinner you will either turn the crank, push the plunger button, or pull the cord! Spin it for at least 15 seconds or longer.

  6. Remove your ingredients

    Place your freshly spun salad into your salad bowl. You can now add additional ingredients such as croutons, bacon bits, seeds, or nuts.

Oxo Good Grips Salad Spinner
Oxo Good Grips Salad Spinner | Source

I now own the OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner. I purchased it based on great reviews and I wasn't disappointed.

It dries 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.

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! | Source

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 emerged when the different mechanisms such as cranks, pull cords, pumps and electric were invented.

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

Questions & Answers

  • Should you cut up the head of lettuce before spinning?

    Yes, you should cut to ensure proper washing between the leaves of the lettuce.

  • Is there any difference between the OXO White and OXO Green salad spinners?

    Not if they are the same model.

© 2012 Sharon Bellissimo

Do You Use A Salad Spinner?

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    Post Comment
    • sharonbellis profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Bellissimo 

      6 days ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      I have not heard of that brand but I am glad to hear it works well for you! I can't imagine preparing a salad without spinner, it makes preparation so much easier.

    • profile image


      7 days ago

      I use a Gourmia I bought on Amazon. I love it. I wish I had purchased one years ago. After cutting up my romaine lettuce I always completely submerge it in the spinner to wash it. Then drain it before spinning.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 

      7 years ago from Land of Aloha

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

    • ismeedee profile image


      7 years ago

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

    • MBradley McCauley profile image

      MBradley McCauley 

      7 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 

      7 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      @wrapitup4me: Try it you will like it!

    • wrapitup4me profile image


      7 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


      7 years ago

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

    • MarcoG profile image


      7 years ago from Edinburgh

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

    • profile image


      7 years ago

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

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 

      7 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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