No more need for a big salad spinner

Mighty Haus, Maggie Mason’s home shopping blog, recently reviewed Green Feet’s Reusable Salad Spinner Bags. The bags caught my attention as being perfect alternatives to the bulky, yet efficient, salad spinner. From Green Feet’s website:

Yes! No more bulky salad spinners, paper or terry towels! These Spin n store bags are compact, reusable bags that spin freshly washed salad, collect water in the attached reservoir (which can easily be drained), store the salad and then can be reused over and over again.

Store bags conveniently in a kitchen drawer. Perfect for campers, RV’s, boats and apartment dwellers.

Have any of you tried these bags? If they’re worthwhile, I may actually get rid of the large salad spinner I have that takes up an inordinate amount of space in my kitchen cabinets.

59 Comments for “No more need for a big salad spinner”

  1. posted by Angela on

    My issue with these would be actually getting them clean, aired out and not ripping. At least with a normal salad spinner it can double as a strainer and is easy to clean.

  2. posted by Moe on

    My mother uses a pillow case for the same thing. I can’t imagine it, but she says it works. I think I’ll stick with my spinner.

  3. posted by Deb on

    Wouldn’t a ziploc bag with a paper towel in the bottom serve the same? Then store the lettuce in the bag.

  4. posted by Michele on

    I use my kitchen towels (or tea towels, as my Canadian grandma would call them) for “spinning” salad greens dry. I don’t find them unnecessarily bulky — they go from the linen closet to the kitchen to the laundry. It seems to me that these bags are just another kitchen gadget, albeit in low-profile plastic bag form.

    I’d echo the concern about cleaning them, and whether they’re flimsy and would rip easily. So I’d also like to hear from people who have used them.

  5. posted by Jasi on

    Yah, it’s called a tea towel. Super multi tasker, obviously.

  6. posted by Sydney on

    Yeah, I’m a tea towel user, too. Works great.

  7. posted by Danny on

    I find that my salad spinner does a good job of keeping the salad fresh for longer, since the basket keeps it from sitting in its own water.
    Not that this makes it a multitasker…

  8. posted by The Success Professor on

    I too love my salad spinner. I wouldn’t change it for a bag.

  9. posted by The Green Routine on

    Although reusable, I’d guess that people will end up breaking, losing, or throwing these away after several uses. In the long run, these will be more expensive than a salad spinner in money and environmental waste.

  10. posted by Kuri on

    I tried these and I found them way too hard to clean and dry properly to make them reuseable.

  11. posted by infmom on

    Cheeee… I avoid the problem completely by buying prewashed, prespun, prebagged salad greens. :)

  12. posted by ralphleon on

    I hate to be “that guy” but what does one even need a salad spinner for? I’ve been eating [yummy] salads my whole life and have never needed a spinner (or spinner like device). Am I missing out? Will it make the salads much more delicious & nutritious?

  13. posted by Brian on

    @ralphleon: if you get your greens from a farmstand, it often has a lot of dirt and either pesticide residues (conventional) or bugs (organic). The spinner lets you dry the greens quickly and thoroughly.

  14. posted by Maxie on

    I’ve always used flour sack towels, as did my mom, and her mom, and I’m sure her mom. Roll up the greens in them and stick in the fridge and they dry and crisp up nicely.

    If there’s not time for that, just put them in the towel, hold all four corners and swing it around–do this outside of course–and you’ve got yourself the original salad spinner that doesn’t take up any storage room.

  15. posted by Brooke on

    I’ve tried the cloth salad spinning bag, and I’m still more fond of my honkin-huge salad spinner. The first problem with the bag is that you either have to a) go spin the salad outside (not that big of a deal if you live in a nice climate), or b) be prepared to have water all over your kitchen. The second problem, already pretty much covered by Brian, is that the salad spinner is better at also removing any leftover dirt that didn’t get washed off the first time, which is particularly important for folks who grow their salads in the backyard and who have s serious gag reflex to gritty salad. Possibly that’s just me…

  16. posted by Jess on

    I always have salad in the house and whilst i was at first reluctant to get a salad spinner (I have the worlds smallest kitchen) I must say I wouldn’t ever get rid of it, especially as it comes with an extra lid to enable you to store the salad in the fridge – http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/o.....tterer-20/

  17. posted by Jacki Hollywood Brown on

    I use my salad spinner (which separates into bowl and strainer) for rinsing and storing berries and grapes. I have also used the strainer for pasta (not angel hair but the big chunky stuff) and have used the bowl for salads, chips and popcorn. I had a unitasker salad spinner at one point but I like my multitasker one better.

  18. posted by Ann on

    The salad spinner also does a fantastic job of deseeding fresh tomatoes in less than a minute. Chop the tomatoes, quick rinse and spin and delicious tomatoes with no seeds or goo.

    @ralphleon – if you do indeed wash your lettuce (which is a good idea, even for “prewashed” salads, if you’ve kept up with the news) then drying the lettuce first helps the dressing adhere. Oil and water don’t mix and all that.

  19. posted by MAM on

    I love my salad spinner. After washing greens I use it to store them in the fridge. (I put in a paper towel to absorb any residual moisture.) I haven’t thrown away any lettuce in a couple years now; I used to throw away a lot. To me it’s been worth the space it occupies, to avoid waste.

  20. posted by ChristineB on

    I love my OXO salad spinner. It’s good for the usual salad spinning, but it also works really well for cleaning leeks (fill it with cold water, swish and lift out the basket which separates the grit), and after I spin greens in it, I use the bowl to make and store the salad. It’s good for cleaning berries,too. I’ve also heard that it’s a good way to dry a hand washed, cashmere sweater. I haven’t tried that one yet ;)

  21. posted by auntiemichal on

    The pillowcase would be excellent for spinning large quantities of greens; a tea or dish towel works really well. The only drawback is having to step outside (or into a waterproofed room!) to do the spinning.

  22. posted by TerriLyn on

    The first time I saw an episode of Mr. Bean, he was building a sandwich while sitting on a park bench. He rinsed the lettuce in the drinking fountain and used his sock as a spinner to dry it! Worked for him! :P

  23. posted by Jenny on

    Since these don’t look like they’re designed to be reusable, your salad spinner is a *much* more ecological option! Bulky or not, you don’t throw anything away after you’re done! :)

  24. posted by karen on

    After years of not having one of these, I love my salad spinner! Its large clear bowl functions not only as my sole salad serving bowl, but also as the perfect bowl for serving large fruit salads, etc. When not spinning, the lid stays on the bowl while stored in the fridge. The colander multi-tasks as an all-purposed one for fruit, vegetables, pasta, etc. My spinner and/or its components are used at least a couple times a week in my kitchen, more frequently in the summertime. It is one of the handiest, most frequently used gadgets in my kitchen. All pieces go in the dishwasher. It’s not a storage problem at all; when not in use, the colander portion stores neatly inside the bowl with the spinner lid on top. There are a lot of things in my kitchen that I would gladly give up; my salad spinner is not one of them!

  25. posted by Kaila on

    I was never really sure what exactly a person would use a salad spinner for… but now I know. :)

    But I’m not sure what’s ineffective about rinsing your vegetables in a sink and letting them drip dry through a colander?

    This has always worked really well for me… usually I let my greens dry while I’m preparing the rest of my meal… and by the time I’m finished with that, my greens are dry.

    I’ve also never quite figured out a perfect system for storing used plastic bags. Typically they end up floating around in a drawer or cupboard, driving me crazy until I eventually throw them away.

  26. posted by sullijo on

    I find my salad spinner a great multitasker. In fact, I tend to use it for potatoes more than salad. It’s a great way to keep potatoes in water (which keeps them from oxidizing and turning brown) and then drying them off quickly before I make fries or hash browns. I’ve also used it to clean off/dry other vegetables (fresh green beans, etc.).

  27. posted by michelle on

    with the bag, if i spin it around me in the kitchen, won’t i sprinkle water all over?

    i LOOOOOOVE my salad spinner. i buy 2-3 heads of local organic greens from the farmstand once a week, and have quickly-prepared greens ready for the rest of the week.

    (i used to buy pre-washed/bagged greens, but was trying to reduce my plastics consumption. also seemed silly to buy california lettuce when it’s in abundance locally.)

  28. posted by michelle on

    (whoops – now i see how it works without spraying the kitchen.)

  29. posted by sarah on

    I think I’ll keep my salad spinner, it seems like it would keep the greens more aerated in the fridge and they would keep longer without getting mushy, since I usually store salad for about a week in my spinner.

    Also I agree with the idea that it is already annoying to clean out plastic bags. And I have this image of someone thwacking me in the head with a spinning bag of salad.

  30. posted by Susan Perry on

    Do you mean that all this time I’ve been avoiding getting a salad spinner (and risking eating a little grit with my lettuce), just to save buying one more bulky thing, and I could have been using a spinner as a colander for pasta etc as well?! So what’s the best one for both uses?

  31. posted by Bakelite Doorbell on

    salad spinner = unitasker

  32. posted by ralphleon on

    @Ann and @brian

    I do actually purchase lettuce for salad (but mostly spinach) from local growers (when I can) and whole foods otherwise. I normally just wash it in the sink and let it drip dry for a few minutes in a colander. Maybe I’m being elitist, but it just seems unnecessary.

    It _is_ nice that there is appreciation for such a device however. The true offense is when people purchase/own things without ever caring for them, or using them. This, of course seems to not be the case with the “Salad Spinner”, “LOOOOOOVE”ed by many :)

  33. posted by Joyful Abode on

    When I was living with my mom, stepdad, and 6 siblings and step-siblings, we had salad with dinner every night. The amount of lettuce we ate wouldn’t fit in a regular salad spinner, so we used a clean pillowcase.

    With 7 kids around, my mom could always find someone willing to take the greens-stuffed case outdoors for some crazy twirling action.

    http://www.joyfulabode.com/

  34. posted by tara on

    to comment on something said a few posts back… about prewashed greens. you really need to wash even your prewashed greens. i’m not super squeamish about much, but even organic triple washed spinach has been knows to carry around some serious yuck.

  35. posted by KateNonymous on

    @inf, the pre-washed bagged lettuce can still need rinsing. The spinach issues a while back were attributed to bagged, pre-washed spinach.

    And local, organic growers can still produce greens that require rinsing.

  36. posted by Sasha on

    “The spinach issues a while back were attributed to bagged, pre-washed spinach.”

    Yes, but it wasn’t a contamination that you could wash out–it was on the inside of the spinach, just as more recently tomatoes were contaminated on the inside.

  37. posted by Celina on

    There exists a metal mesh thing for spinning salad, it folds flat after you are done whirling it around, ours hung flat from a peg board. We used to use ours before we got the plastic one. You could clip the handles down onto the bottom to make it stand up like a colander.

    Honestly, I like the plastic one better because I don’t have to go outside in the winter. I’d never thought of the potatoes trick, that’s a good one.

  38. posted by Chris on

    Wait, so this unitasker is okay because it takes up less space and will likely be harder to clean than a regular salad spinner?

  39. posted by Celina on

    No, it just doesn’t take as long to dry as a pillow case.

    You could use it as a colander, but it was a real pain to clean. The one time I tried that was the last time.

    It pre-dates the plastic salad spinner. By about 30-40 years.

  40. Profile photo of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Chris — A salad spinner of any kind isn’t a unitasker. Like many other commenters have said, you can put much more than lettuce in a salad spinner. Also, the drying mechanism works as storage … which is a secondary use.

  41. posted by EMM on

    My very old simple plastic salad spinner is worth the space in the cupboard. Buying all my greens fresh from the neighbors means there is always some extra dirt or bugs in them and a salad spinner does a far better job of both cleaning and drying. I may only use mine for salad and greens due to its construction but I sure wouldn’t waste money on those bags, too environmentally bad plus too hard to clean out safely.

    I’ve tried the tea towel method but it bruises delicate salad greens so I still prefer the spinner.

  42. posted by Lynoure on

    I actually had to google “salad spinner” to find out what it is. I’ve used a pasta drainer for all my salad rinsing and drying needs. One can shake it over the sink or put it in a bowl for a off-sink spin.

  43. posted by Matthew Jarsky on

    wat?
    As so many have suggested, just use a tea towel.

  44. posted by Lia on

    I always toss it in a “towel pillowcase” (two linen towels sewn together) and into the washer for a couple of quick spins. Works great no matter how much I have! :)

  45. posted by Tania on

    My brother loves his spinner but I’ve never owned one. Small house = less space for gadgetry so I use tea towel. Aren’t these bags plastic? I’m not into that. I try to seriously limit my plastics use…

  46. posted by Tobia on

    My mother has two salad spinners: one for salad and the other one for hand-washed garments, like wool and some underwear. She swears by it.

  47. posted by Renee on

    I <3 my OXO salad spinners (yes, I have two–a small one and a big one) and use them for things other than salad as well (though I haven’t tried them for drying woolens…yet). They work wonderfully as colanders (large pasta, berries, etc.), as others have mentioned. I think a salad bag would drive me crazy. (BTW, you can get a machine-washable, cloth salad bag at http://www.lehmans.com.)

  48. posted by Our approach on

    Haven’t read all the posts… however, I agree with at least the first few posts on tnis topic:

    Angela: My issue with these would be actually getting them clean, aired out and not ripping. At least with a normal salad spinner it can double as a strainer and is easy to clean.

    and

    Michelle: use my kitchen towels (or tea towels, as my Canadian grandma would call them) for “spinning” salad greens dry. I don’t find them unnecessarily bulky — they go from the linen closet to the kitchen to the laundry. It seems to me that these bags are just another kitchen gadget, albeit in low-profile plastic bag form.

    I’d echo the concern about cleaning them, and whether they’re flimsy and would rip easily. So I’d also like to hear from people who have used them.

    So my comment (perhaps redundant) is this – why do uncluttering columns sometimes seem to identify new products we all need, in order to do simple tasks? I do use a salad spinner (invented in the 80’s, and I believe quite useful!), or just a colander lined with kitchen towels, to prepare salad greens. Why a new product to accomplish a very simple task?

    Thanks, and sorry if this post seems negative – not my intent!

  49. posted by Our approach on

    First, let me state that I have no purpose in conparing products, nor product pricing, in this post. My comments are factual, based on our family’s specific experience, and are NOT meant to detract any business from the lettuce / salad spinner bag product being promoted above.
    By comparison, just an fyi really:
    My stainless-steel colander was purchased in the late 1970’s, and I expect that this will last for a very long time.
    My 1980’s salad spinner was in the same range – certainly no more thant $25US, or I would not have purchased it.
    You do the math!

  50. posted by DIYGuy on

    A lot of great suggestions — liking the flour bag and tea towel ideas. Thanks.

    Aside from that, I find your idea about ditching the salad spinner for plastic bags a bit hypocritical. Your whole premise is about uncluttering your life, home, etc. And yet, even though you would be uncluttering your house, you’d actually be adding to the landfill.

  51. posted by Michael G on

    @DIYGuy

    Would it really need to go to the landfill right away? How about donate, give away, garage sale? lots of other options.

    Also I’ve done away with salad altogether. I’ve recently taken to a program that involves eating nothing but blueberry Poptarts. I don’t need a colander, tea towel or pillow case for those. Well actually the pillow case has come in handy for slamming them against the side of the cupboard to break them up so I can pour milk on them and eat them like cereal when the mood strikes me. It does get old after a few weeks always eating the same way. So I’ve decided to keep my blender too, as they they make a nice smoothy. They come in a space saving hermetically sealed mylar packet. This move to BPTs has been uncluttering at its best. And what with the blueberries, they’re so loaded with antioxidants that I really don’t need to eat any other foods at all. Also no bugs. No dirt. There’s just no downside here. I should start another blog just about this diet.

  52. posted by Sisterfunkhaus on

    I put my greens in a strainer, put a bit of microfiber toweling on top and within 5 minutes, they are dry.

  53. posted by spiffytj on

    On the plastic-bag-salad-washer subject, there is a device that lets you wash bags in the dishwasher…yes it may be a unitasker, but it doesn’t take up much space. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say the product’s name.

    Anyway I’ve always hated making salads because growing up I’d have to hand wash each individual piece of lettuce (I don’t want to eat bugs or dirt) and lay them out to dry on a cloth or a paper towel. It took FOREVER.

    I don’t like the idea of using cloth b/c I fear dust and germs would be on the cloth by the time I used it after washing, so then that would be in my salad.

    An older lady raved about salad spinners and bought me a cheap one, but it was made with holes in the bottom of the outer bowl and I don’t understand how the lettuce can get clean if the leaves can’t be rubbing against each other like clothes in a washing machine because the holes won’t allow that to occur. Plus, the spinner is sometimes hard to operate because the crank and the basket aren’t always aligned properly. I don’t cook much so when people have me bring something over for dinner they tend to say, “Oh, just bring a salad!” and I absolutely HATE making them because it’s too much work….so I buy bagged salad and pray over each meal :)

    Please advise and be nice. I know this sounds like a joke. I do have a smile on my face as I’m typing, but my question is real and I’ve never had a place to ask it..I never thought people would be conversing so much about making salads. Thanks!!

  54. posted by hyrcan on

    Ugh. Just what this planet needs.

    Another plastic bag.

    This product has FAIL written all over it. And GreenFeet should be ashamed of even offering it.

    As for “Salad Spinners” in general… It’s amazing how the ancient Romans and Greeks ever got around to enjoying salads at all without the use of a specialized device to shake the water off the greens. I mean really how could anyone ever stand to eat a salad if there were a few drops of water on the greens…

  55. posted by Alison on

    I’ve used these, and they’re okay. I had to tug on the bottom of the bag to open up the drain channels to let the water out of the main compartment, but I washed and dried a small amount of greens quite quickly.

    They are, just like ziplock bags, a nuisance to clean. I wouldn’t use them daily, but they would be great for camping or the like.

  56. posted by gypsypacker on

    The metal mesh spinners which fold flat are great, and can be used for carrying produce in from the garden and washing it. Someone out there will object to them because it requires that you do your own spinning. Take it outside, sling it around, and the water is gone. Just a smaller yard sprinkler! Lordy, I hate plastic bags!

  57. posted by Nine on

    My salad spinner doubles as a washing bowl for the salad (or even a mixing bowl if one of the housemates has confiscated the actual salad bowl). The basket doubles as a strainer. Not a unitasker at all ;)

    On holiday I use a colander and a teatowel to spin the salad leaves dry. But I like the convenience of a ‘solid’ spinner because I don’t have to step outside to use it!

  58. posted by kcpaull on

    I just got my salad spinner last year. Until then I’d either used a colander or tea towels. The salad spinner is so much more effecient and easy to use. Plus I don’t have so many tea towels to wash. As for multi-tasking, my salad spinner has endless uses. I haven’t used it for laundry, but then I don’t have anything that is so delicate my washer can’t handle. I have a cat who has to have meds twice a day and I wash the oral syringes in my salad spinner and spin the water out of them. I also use the salad spinner for my home grown veggies, pasta and occasionally for salad. If you think it’s a uni-tasker, you just have no imagination.

  59. posted by Donnaorleans on

    I saw Alton Brown from Good Eats use one the other night for making fresh hashbrowns. I’ve always been unable to get all the liquid out of the grated potatoes for hashbrowns and it comes out a gray glue. I bought a salad spinner today for $1 at a thrift store just to try this. He also added fresh, diced onions to the potatoes before he spun them. Sure looks like it would work and I can’t wait to try it!

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