How to Effectively Wash Bugs Off Kale

Want to know how to wash dark leafy greens? This two-step process will get rid of all the dirt, bugs, and other bugs that might be on your kale, chard, and other dark leafy greens. ???? ???? If you buy organic, this is especially important, as bugs love their veggies, too!.

Kale is one of the healthiest and most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. This leafy green is packed with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as antioxidants, fiber, calcium, iron, and a wide range of other vitamins and minerals.

However, kale also tends to attract little creepy crawly visitors like aphids, caterpillars, and other bugs. While certainly unappetizing, finding a few bugs in your kale doesn’t mean you have to throw the whole bunch away. With the right techniques, you can easily wash kale to remove any hitchhiking insects and their eggs.

Why Bugs Like Kale

Kale and other produce directly from the garden or farm can contain bugs for a few reasons

  • Kale has lots of nooks and crannies The curly or wrinkled leaves provide plenty of hiding spots for small insects

  • It grows close to the ground. Lower-growing vegetables are more susceptible to bug contamination from the soil.

  • It’s not washed before packaging. Kale is a hardy green that can go straight from the field to your grocery store without any cleaning in between.

  • Pesticides aren’t always used. Many kale farmers use organic practices without chemical pesticides. This is better for the environment but means more bugs may sneak in.

So while finding bugs in kale is undesirable, it doesn’t mean the kale isunsafe to eat or that it wasn’t grown properly. Washing is an expected step before eating kale.

How to Wash Bugs Off Kale

Washing kale to remove any insects, eggs, or debris just takes a few simple steps:

1. Remove kale from the stems

Strip the individual leaves off the thick stems and central rib. Bugs often hide in these folded, protected areas. Removing them ensures you can wash every leaf thoroughly.

2. Soak in saltwater, vinegar, or mild soap

Place the separated kale leaves into alarge bowl or salad spinner. Fill with cool water and add:

  • 1 tablespoon of salt

  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar

  • 1-2 drops mild dish soap like Dawn

The salt, acidic vinegar, or soap helps detach bugs from the leaves.

3. Agitate and soak for 5 minutes

Swish the kale around to dislodge any clinging insects. Let soak for at least 5 minutes to allow the salt, vinegar, or soap to work.

4. Drain and rinse

Dump out the soak water and any bugs or debris along with it. Rinse the kale under fresh cool water to remove any remaining salt, vinegar, or soap.

5. Check thoroughly for stragglers

Examine the leaves closely for any remaining bugs or eggs. Pay particular attention to dark spots or dirt-like specks, which could be aphid eggs. Remove any last bugs you spot by hand.

6. Repeat if needed

For kale that’s really buggy, repeat the soaking and rinsing process twice to make sure you get them all.

7. Dry and store

Pat the kale dry with paper towels or a salad spinner. Transfer to an airtight bag or container and refrigerate. For longer storage, you can also blanch and freeze washed kale.

Tips for Washing Kale Effectively

Follow these tips for clean, bug-free kale:

  • Wash kale right before eating. Don’t wash too far in advance, as damp kale spoils faster.

  • Inspect as you wash. Look closely at each leaf and remove any visible bugs, worm casings, or eggs.

  • Try soaking in cold saltwater first. Salt helps detach smaller insects. Vinegar or dish soap can leave unwanted flavors.

  • Use a salad spinner. The spinning action forces off clinging bugs. Pat leaves very dry after spinning.

  • Wash other veggies first. If washing kale alongside other produce, wash the kale last to avoid spreading any bugs.

  • Store properly. Keep washed kale chilled in an airtight container to prevent future contamination.

Enjoy Fresh, Clean Kale

While finding bugs in kale can be annoying and gross, they’re easy enough to wash away with this simple soaking and rinsing process. An insect-free bowl of leafy greens takes just a few extra minutes of preparation.

Removing bugs from kale helps ensure you can safely eat this highly nutritious vegetable. Just take care to wash each leaf thoroughly and repeat the process if needed to remove all traces of insects. With clean kale on hand, you can enjoy all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health benefits it provides without the extra protein!

Clearer Skin in Just 3 Days

Sign up for my weekly newsletter to get the latest recipes, articles, & podcasts delivered to your inbox. Also, you’ll get The Glow Up Guide right away. It’s a tasty 3-day meal plan that will quickly reduce redness and bumps.

  • First Name*
  • Email*
  • Comments: This field is only for checking, so you should leave it blank.

Based on the plant-based paleo diet, I help busy women lose weight or get rid of acne by teaching them better ways to eat.

Find out how to get rid of redness and bumps on your skin naturally with this tasty 3-day meal plan.

  • First Name*
  • Email*
  • Name: This field is only for checking, so you should leave it blank.

More Like This

Want to know how to wash dark leafy greens? This two-step process will get rid of all the dirt, bugs, and other bugs that might be on your kale, chard, and other dark leafy greens. ???? ???? If you buy organic, this is especially important, as bugs love their veggies, too!.

How To Wash Dark Leafy Greens [So You Don’t Eat Bugs]


How do you clean bugs off greens?

Soak Your Produce in Salt Water Mix together 1 part salt and 9 parts water in a clean bowl or sanitized sink. Then add the fruits and vegetables you want to clean. Let the produce soak for 20 to 30 minutes. Doing this will help remove most of the pesticides, and has been shown to draw out bugs as well.

How to wash pesticide off kale?

Hold the fruit or vegetable under flowing water in a strainer. This removes more pesticide than dunking the produce. The FDA does not recommend washing fruits and vegetables with soap, detergent, or commercial produce wash. They have not been proven to be any more effective than water alone.

How do you wash Kale?

If you want to use kale, it’s important that you wash it first. To wash kale, you will need to remove the stems and submerge it in water. Then, rinse kale under tap water to remove any lingering dirt and debris. From there, store kale carefully until you need to use it. Use a sharp knife to slice the kale leaves from the stems.

What are the side effects of Kale?

Kale is a high-fiber cruciferous vegetable like broccoli and cabbage. All of these foods can have the side effect of gas and bloating or general digestive discomfort, especially for individuals who are just starting to eat kale. Cooking kale and using recipes that call for lemon may reduce this response. Drinking water after consuming a high fiber meal is recommended to help fiber pass through the digestive tract. Another side effect of Kale is related to its high vitamin K content. This vitamin can interact with certain anti-coagulant medications such as warfarin(Coumadin) due to its blood-coagulating properties

How do you get rid of flea beetles on Kale?

How to Get Rid of Them: To get rid of flea beetles you can spray your kale with neem oil, which will both kill and repel the little pests. To protect your plants from a flea beetle invasion, you can cover your kale with floating row covers. Additionally, you can spread diatomaceous earth around your kale. 3. Cabbage Loopers

How do I keep butterflies from eating my Kale?

Another option is to cover your kale with floating row covers to prevent the butterflies from landing on your kale. This option is especially good if you have a raised garden bed as it’s easy to cover. 2. Flea Beetles The Flea Beetle is a common garden pest that likes to nibble on a wide range of plants, including kale.

Leave a Comment