Salad greens are a vital part of a healthy diet, but you have to wash them before eating them thoroughly because they have dirt and sometimes pesticides or even bugs. You’ve probably experienced that after washing greens, they retain some water which can dilute your salad dressing and make everything soggy. 

Wet greens can ruin your salad and all the hard work you put into making it. Salad spinners are a useful tool to solve this problem, but they take up a lot of space and can be expensive. There are several options you already have in your house that can easily replace a salad spinner to dry your greens and make the best salads. Keep reading to learn what options, and the processes below.

A Towel

This common item in your home is a cheap and easy way to spin your clean lettuce dry. According to Ina Garten in her appearance on the Today Show, a simple towel is efficient to spin greens without breaking the bank or sacrificing space in your cupboards. Any kitchen towel will suffice. Just make sure it is clean. 

Use this simple method:

  1. Place your clean, wet greens on a medium-sized towel
  2. Gather the four corners into your hand
  3. Spin the entire thing around vigorously a few times
  4. Place the towel back on the counter and open it for dry greens!

As a precaution, you should do this method somewhere where you can spin without damaging any surrounding objects. Some water may also seep through the towel, so it is best to do this method outside or in a place that can get wet. 

You can take the towel outside on the porch or deck or just step out the front door for a moment to spin the towel. Doing this near outside plants can also help keep your plants hydrated.

If you do not have a towel you can use, you can also use a pillowcase. This is the perfect opportunity to repurpose an old pillowcase set aside for donation. You can keep it with your clean kitchen towels for just this purpose, and it takes up much less space than a salad spinner.

Plastic Bag

If you are unable to find a safe place to swing a towel that might spray water droplets, then another option is to use a simple plastic grocery bag. Most households have an ample supply of these bags somewhere near the kitchen. 

Do the following:

  1. Choose a clean bag with no holes
  2. Insert a few, lint-free paper towels. 
  3. In a similar method to the towel, grasp the bag and spin it vigorously several times. 

Once you have finished swinging the bag, you can remove the now-dry salad greens and use them in your salad!

A Colander

This is the simplest method for drying your greens. Most kitchens are equipped with at least one colander. If not, you can always buy one on Amazon or at your local discount home store. They vary in price, and some are fancier than others, but they all do the same thing: drain fluid. Dry greens are the goal, so this tool can help instead of a salad spinner.

For this simple method:

  1. Place the wet leaves into a colander set in the sink
  2. Give it a few strong downward shakes
  3. Let it set while you prepare the other food. 
  4. You can place the colander onto a towel or leave it to drain in the sink. 

By the time you’ve finished preparing the rest of the fixings for the salad, your lettuce will be dry and ready to go.

The Pat Dry Method

The pat dry method also uses a towel, but you pat the lettuce dry instead of swinging it around to remove the water. This is a quick and easy method for drying your greens without a salad spinner. 

For this method, as demonstrated by Kristy from FOOD52, you will need a clean kitchen towel or a tea towel:

  1. Spread the greens over the towel so they are in a single layer.
  2. Very gently roll up the long edge of the towel away from you like a Swiss roll. 
  3. Lightly pat the rolled-up towel with flat hands to absorb the excess water.
  4. Gently unroll the towel to find dry greens for your salad!

Now you know everything you can use instead of a salad spinner.

Conclusion: Do You Really Need a Salad Spinner?

There are at least four inexpensive methods discussed in this article using relatively available or common kitchen items that you can use instead of a salad spinner to dry your greens. All vegetables should be thoroughly washed before preparation, especially if they are uncooked. Clean, dry greens make the best and healthiest salads. To your health! Enjoy!