When making dill pickles, it always seemed like the majority of my time went to scrubbing fresh cucumbers. Dirt caked on their green undersides required more than a rinse! Sleeves rolled up, I’d tackle the oblong veggies with all my pickle-loving fervor!
One summer, I learned this cucumber cleaning hack that saved me both time and effort! Now, instead of scratching my head, trying to remember if and where I have a soft scrub brush, I simply pop pickling cukes into my washing machine.
Let me show you how!
Use A Top Loading Washing Machine
Sad but true, this technique only works with a top loading washing machine.
Please! Don’t attempt this time saving tip if you have a front loading machine, or you’ll end up with cucumber relish! If you don’t know the difference between these two washer styles, take time to get acquainted with them now!
Here are four tips for successfully washing your cucumbers in a top loading machine.
#1: Set the Water Flow to COLD
Always set your water flow to COLD! And before you add cucumbers, start the machine into a ‘wash’ cycle. Once you are certain all warm water has been removed from the lines, stop and spin the lukewarm water out.
#2: Choose DELICATE WASH
Your cucumbers need a gentle wash. In fact, anything rougher may bruise them. Be sure to adjust your starter dial to DELICATE WASH.
#3: No More Than 10 Pounds At a Time
Never try to clean more than 10 lbs of cucumbers at a time. Any more and the weight will bruise those on the bottom. Bruising leads to mushy pickles and no one wants that!
#4: Stay Nearby During the Washing
Once your cucumbers are in the washing machine, don’t leave them unattended. The wash cycle is short and after the machine has been filled with water, shouldn’t take more than 2 minutes to complete.
How to Wash Your Cucumbers in a Machine
Gently place your cucumbers in the washing machine. Fill with COLD water until your cucumbers are (theoretically) covered by 1-2 inches. Yes, they float!
Move the dial forward and start a DELICATE WASH cycle.
Mildly dirt cucumbers should be given 30-40 seconds. Those caked in dirt may need a full minute. Occasionally, you may need to give them a minute-and-a-half.
But don’t go longer than this! Again, too much action will lead to bruising!
Rinsing Your Cucumbers
You can put your cucumbers through a short spin, until the water is gone. This works well in most washers. However, if you are concerned about bruising, you can fish up your veggies and then spin the water out.
While your cucumbers are now clean, bits of loose dirt and blossom ends will be present.
Instead of attempting to put them through another rinse cycle, take them to your kitchen and give them a quick rinse in the sink.
And then? It’s time to start making dill pickles! The job will go so much faster if you implement this time saving hack!
P.S. Be sure to wipe the inside of your washing machine clean before doing any laundry!