Cleaning fresh mushrooms is an important step before cooking your favorite dishes, as it helps to remove any dirt or debris that may be clinging to the surface. Here I will show you a practical way of cleaning mushrooms using water.

steps on how to clean and wash mushrooms

Cleaning Mushrooms: Washing in Water vs Brushing

Washing fresh mushrooms with water and brushing both have their advantages and disadvantages. Which method you choose may depend on personal preference and the type of mushroom you are working with.

Here’s why using water is an effective way to clean fresh mushrooms:

  • Washing with water is quick and easy, and can help to remove dirt and debris from the surface of the mushrooms. Brushing can be time-consuming, especially if you are working with many mushrooms.
  • It is a gentle method that won’t damage the delicate surface of the mushrooms.
  • It is effective for removing small bits of dirt that may be stuck to the surface of the mushrooms.
slicing mushrooms

What you need

To wash mushrooms with water, you will need the following:

Large bowl

Use a large transparent glass or plastic bowl container so you can easily see the dirt and debris coming off from the mushrooms.

Tap Water

Use running tap cold water both for soaking and washing. There’s no need for specially filtered or bottled water.


Use a colander with a large mesh to drain and rewash the mushrooms. You can also use the basket of your salad spinner which usually has large holes and is detachable.

Kitchen Towel

To wipe the mushrooms dry after washing, use a lint-free kitchen towel or tea towel. Paper towels should also work as long as they are strong, absorbent, and don’t easily disintegrate.

How to Clean Fresh Mushrooms

Here are the steps to clean and remove dirt from fresh mushrooms using water:

Step 1 – Submerge the Mushrooms

pouring water to a bowl of mushrooms

Start off by placing the fresh mushrooms in a large bowl. Pour cold tap water. The mushrooms will float on the surface. That is normal because mushrooms are made up of 90% water.

Step 2 – Swirl

clean mushroom with hands

Using your hands swirl the mushrooms around the bowl to loosen any dirt or debris. Do this as swiftly as you can. Make sure the mushrooms are not soaked in the water for too long or they will start to act like sponges and absorb water.

Step 3 – Drain and dry the mushrooms

dry mushrooms in tea towel, kitchen towel

Drain the mushrooms in a colander. Inspect them for any remaining dirt. If you notice any more dirt, place them in running water and gently agitate the mushrooms with your hands to remove the remaining debris.

Transfer them to a lint-free kitchen towel. Pat dry and lay them out to continue air-drying.

dirty water from washed mushrooms

More Tips

  1. Don’t soak the mushrooms in water for too long as can absorb water easily. Excessive water can cause the mushrooms to become slimy or discolored, which can affect their overall appearance.
  2. Dry the mushrooms thoroughly before cooking to prevent excess water from affecting their texture and flavor.

Type of Mushrooms

Most types of mushrooms can be cleaned with water, this includes:

  1. Whole mushrooms/button mushrooms
  2. Portobello mushrooms
  3. Cremini mushrooms
  4. Porcini mushrooms
  5. Shitake Mushrooms
  6. Enoki Mushrooms
  7. Shimeji or Beech Mushrooms
  8. Oyster Mushrooms
  9. Chanterelle mushrooms

And that’s it. Your mushrooms are ready to be used for your favorite recipes!

Recipes with Mushrooms

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