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Mushrooms are a delicious and nutritious addition to any meal, and they can make a great meat substitute. They’re also simple to prepare. However, in order to get the best flavor and texture from your mushrooms, you must learn how to clean and store them.

A Versatile Ingredient

Mushrooms to be cleaned on wooden board
Properly cleaned mushrooms will enhance the flavor and appearance of your dishes.

We all know that mushrooms, while delicious, are a little pricey and go bad quickly, so if we can preserve them for a longer period of time, we will be able to use them in various recipes in our kitchen.

Because mushrooms contain a lot of water, it is best not to soak them in water; otherwise, the dish you intend to make will be very watery.

And because mushrooms grow in the earth and have a lot of mud stuck to them, it’s critical that you clean mushrooms properly before cooking them. Here’s how to clean and store your mushrooms correctly, starting with how to choose them at the market.

What Are Mushrooms

Mushrooms are members of the fungi kingdom; they regenerate on their own via spore germination, which is similar to how plants seed. However, unlike plants and animals, they do not require food or light to grow; rather, they digest the nutrients they secrete.

There are thousands of different mushroom species, with the most important distinction being whether they are edible or poisonous. Mushrooms that are commonly used include button mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, and portobello mushrooms.

How to Choose Mushrooms

When buying mushrooms at your local farmers’ market or grocery store, make sure they are plump and free of dark spots. They should be mostly dry and free of any slimy coating, which indicates that the mushrooms have gone bad.

But don’t bother looking for the “cleanest” whole mushrooms at the store; just because one carton of mushrooms has a little more dirt than another doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with them. 

How to Store Mushrooms

The way mushrooms are most likely packaged at the grocery store is not the best way to store them at home.

The best way to store mushrooms is to place them in a paper bag, or in a box or bowl with a towel draped over the top. Allow for airflow without drying them out, and never store them in plastic containers since this hastens decay by creating a humid environment.

A paper towel in the paper bag or on top of the box or bowl will absorb excess moisture from the mushrooms, keeping them dry and preventing the development of slime.

To allow proper airflow, keep your mushrooms loosely packed and not tightly packed, and use the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.

Some Health Benefits of Mushrooms

Here are the top health benefits of mushrooms:

  • Mushrooms are one of the few non-animal sources of vitamin D.
  • They contain immune-modulating nutrients.
  • They may be beneficial for the management of neurodegenerative conditions.
  • They may be useful in maintaining heart health.
  • They may support gut health.

Trim the Stems

Cleaning process of edible forest mushrooms with woman hands
If the mushroom stems are tough or discolored, you can trim them slightly.

How to Clean Mushrooms

First Method

Rinse whole mushrooms in a colander or salad spinner under running water to remove dirt specks. If using a salad spinner to dry them, spin them or pat them dry with a paper towel.

Second Method

To remove visible dirt, wipe mushrooms with a damp paper towel, a clean dishcloth, or a mushroom brush instead of rinsing them under running water.

Enhance the Flavor of Your Dishes

breakfast fresh whole button champignon mushrooms
Avoid soaking mushrooms in water, as they might become soggy and mushy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Is it necessary to remove the mushroom stems before cooking?

You can leave the stems on the button and cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, but you can trim them shorter if the ends feel hard and tough. The stems of portobello and shiitake mushrooms are too tough to eat, so remove them before slicing/cooking.

Is it necessary to clean sliced mushrooms?

Sliced mushrooms will most likely have less dirt than whole mushrooms. Even so, I like to give them a quick wipe down or rinse, followed by a thorough patting dry, before cooking. However, don’t wash them and then refrigerate them. Use them as soon as possible.

Can you eat the gills of a portobello mushroom?

Yes, they are edible, but if you’re going to stuff the caps, they’ll likely get in the way and have an unpleasant taste, so they’re usually scooped out.

Is it necessary to buy a mushroom brush?

A mushroom brush is a specialty kitchen tool designed to remove dirt while being gentle on the mushroom’s surface. Some people find it useful, but if the salad spinner and paper-damp towel methods work for you, there’s no need to buy it.

What kind of brush do you use to clean mushrooms?

A mushroom brush is a low-cost kitchen tool used to clean mushrooms and other delicate foods. The bristles are typically made of a synthetic material such as nylon, but natural bristles are also available. The bristles will be very soft so that they do not scrape or gouge the mushroom’s skin.

Tips and Tricks

If you rinse your mushrooms, make sure to thoroughly dry them. Also, keep in mind that not all mushrooms are created equal. Some mushrooms, such as enoki, oyster, and morel, will require a little more care to clean.

Most mushrooms require the same cleaning procedure, but some, such as morel mushrooms, require extra attention. Morels should be cut in half and rinsed briefly in cool water. Once they’re clean, pat them dry with paper towels.

It’s recommended that you store your mushrooms in a paper bag. Although plastic bags are more convenient, condensation can cause the mushrooms to have an unpleasant texture.

One more important tip is to store mushrooms in the refrigerator.

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How to Clean and store Mushrooms

By: Lama
Should you wash the mushrooms or brush them clean? To solve this kitchen conundrum, here's how to clean and store mushrooms properly.


  • colander or salad spinner or paper towel or mushroom brush


  • Mushrooms of any type, except morels


First Method

  • If the mushrooms are particularly dirty, you can lightly dampen a paper towel (make sure it's not soaking wet) and gently wipe each mushroom. This method is preferable to soaking, as you have more control over the amount of moisture.

Second Method

  • The preferred method for cleaning mushrooms is to gently brush off any dirt or debris with a soft brush or a paper towel. Use a gentle, circular motion to remove the dirt without damaging the mushrooms.


Helpful Tips :
If you’re not using the mushrooms immediately, store them in a paper bag or a loosely closed container in the refrigerator. Avoid using plastic bags, as they can trap moisture and lead to spoilage.
Most mushrooms require the same cleaning procedure, but some, such as morel mushrooms, require extra attention. Morels should be cut in half and rinsed briefly in cool water. Once they’re clean, pat them dry with paper towels.
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About Lama

I'm Lama, welcome to my blog where you will find simple and diverse recipes your entire family will enjoy. I am honored to connect with you through the recipes I prepare!

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