Can You Wash Cilantro?



Can You Wash Cilantro

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Do you love adding cilantro to your meals, but find yourself wondering if you should wash it before using it?

The answer is yes, you can and should wash cilantro before consuming it. Washing cilantro has advantages and disadvantages. To prevent losing flavor or damaging the leaves, you should learn how to clean them properly.

Washing cilantro can help reduce the risk of harmful bacteria and pesticides, but it can also lead to waterlogging and flavor loss. Additionally, some people argue that washing cilantro can strip away some of its beneficial nutrients. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision about whether or not to wash your cilantro.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of washing cilantro, how to properly clean it, and ways to avoid flavor loss and waterlogging. By the end, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to make the best decision for your cilantro usage.

So, let’s dive in!

The Pros and Cons of Washing Cilantro

You’re missing out on the benefits of clean cilantro if you don’t take the time to rinse it. While it’s true that washing cilantro can be time-consuming, the benefits are well worth the effort.

Not only does washing cilantro remove any dirt or debris that may be present on the leaves, but it can also help to remove any potential bacteria that may be lurking on the surface.

By taking the time to wash your cilantro, you’re ensuring that you’re getting the freshest and cleanest cilantro possible, which can lead to better-tasting dishes and healthier meals overall.

So don’t be afraid to take a few extra minutes to rinse your cilantro – your taste buds (and your body) will thank you.

How to Properly Clean Cilantro

To ensure that your cilantro is safe for consumption, it’s important to properly clean it before using it in your dishes. First, remove any yellow or wilted leaves.

Then, fill a bowl with cold water and submerge the cilantro, swishing it around gently with your hands to loosen any dirt or debris. Repeat the process with fresh water until the cilantro is clean.

Alternatively, you can rinse the cilantro under cold running water, but be sure to shake off any excess water before using it.

It’s important to note that while washing cilantro can remove any potential contaminants, it can also strip away some of the herb’s flavor. So, if possible, only wash what you plan to use immediately and avoid storing pre-washed cilantro for an extended period of time.

With these tips, you can enjoy fresh, clean cilantro in all your favorite dishes.

Avoiding Waterlogging and Flavor Loss

If you’ve ever found your cilantro tasting bland or waterlogged, don’t worry – there are simple steps you can take to preserve its fresh flavor and texture.

First, avoid washing the cilantro until right before you plan to use it. If you need to wash it beforehand, make sure to dry it thoroughly by gently patting it with a paper towel or using a salad spinner.

Additionally, avoid chopping the cilantro too finely, as this can release excess water and result in a mushy texture.

Finally, store the cilantro in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel to keep it fresh for up to a week in the refrigerator.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy the full flavor and crisp texture of your cilantro in all your favorite dishes.

Reducing the Risk of Foodborne Illnesses

Keep yourself and your loved ones safe from harmful bacteria by following these simple tips for reducing the risk of foodborne illnesses when handling fresh herbs like cilantro.

First, always wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling any food, including cilantro.

Next, make sure to wash the cilantro under running water, using your hands to gently rub off any dirt or debris. Avoid soaking the cilantro in water, as this can cause it to become waterlogged and lose its flavor.

Additionally, it’s important to store cilantro in the refrigerator in a sealed container or plastic bag to prevent cross-contamination with other foods.

By following these guidelines, you can enjoy fresh cilantro without putting your health at risk.

Making an Informed Decision About Washing Cilantro

Before adding cilantro to your dish, it’s important to understand the potential risks associated with not washing it properly. While some people prefer to skip this step, it’s important to know that cilantro can contain harmful bacteria, such as E. coli and salmonella, that can cause foodborne illnesses.

Washing cilantro thoroughly can significantly reduce the risk of these illnesses, but it’s important to do it properly. Start by removing any brown or wilted leaves and then rinse the cilantro under cold running water for at least 30 seconds. You can also use a vegetable brush to gently scrub the leaves.

If you’re still unsure, you can also soak the cilantro in a bowl of cold water and then rinse it again. By taking the time to properly wash your cilantro, you can enjoy its fresh and flavorful taste without worrying about the potential risks.


Is it necessary to wash cilantro if it comes in a pre-packaged container?

Answer: Yes, even pre-packaged cilantro should be washed before use. While it may be pre-washed, giving it a quick rinse ensures that any residual dirt or contaminants are removed.

Can I use a colander or strainer for washing cilantro?

Answer: Yes, you can use a colander or strainer to wash cilantro, especially when you’re draining the water. Just make sure the holes are small enough to prevent the cilantro from falling through.

Can I wash cilantro in advance and store it?

Answer: It’s best to wash cilantro shortly before you plan to use it. However, if you need to store it, ensure it’s dry and place it in an airtight container or plastic bag in the refrigerator. It should stay fresh for a few days.

What if my cilantro still has a strong earthy smell after washing?

Answer: If your cilantro has a strong earthy smell after washing, it may be an indicator of spoilage. Discard it and use fresh cilantro for your recipes.

Can I freeze-washed cilantro for later use?

Answer: Yes, you can freeze cilantro after washing and drying it thoroughly. Chop it into small pieces, place it in an airtight container or freezer bag, and store it in the freezer for future use.


Congratulations! You’re now equipped with the knowledge to make an informed decision about washing cilantro.

While there are pros and cons to washing this herb, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and the specific recipe you’re using it in. If you do choose to wash cilantro, remember to do so carefully to avoid waterlogging and flavor loss.

One effective method is to soak it in cold water and then dry it thoroughly before using. This will also help to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses. In the end, whether or not you wash cilantro is up to you.

Just remember to weigh the benefits and drawbacks, and always take the necessary precautions to ensure a safe and delicious outcome. So go ahead, add some fresh cilantro to your favorite dish, and enjoy the burst of flavor it brings!

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