Are Salad Spinners Essential — or Not?

updated May 3, 2022
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(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

There’s no other tool that dries freshly washed greens and other produce quite as quickly and efficiently as a salad spinner. Not to mention the other tasks it can tackle. But does that really make it a kitchen necessity?

Yes, the salad spinner has a lot going for it, but it takes up a huge amount of cabinet space. Does it really have enough value to justify taking up so much storage area? It’s a kitchen throwdown — which side are you on?

I’ll be honest, for a number of years I thought salad spinners were a frivolous, unnecessary kitchen tool. (Which admittedly was largely because I didn’t have one, nor had I ever had one. And I didn’t have the space to even consider having one.) There was just no way to fit a salad spinner in my life, and I was fine with washing and drying greens the old fashioned way.

Then, times changed. I moved into a new apartment (with a considerably larger kitchen and storage space) with my fiancé, and among his kitchen tools was a salad spinner. I finally got my chance to experience this tool, and much to my surprise, I was quickly impressed.

(Image credit: Williams-Sonoma)

In general, there are two camps of people when it comes to salad spinners: those who enthusiastically swear by this tool, and those who just don’t believe in its value.

Salad Spinners: The Battleground

1. Yes. Yes to salad spinners. They are greater than you can imagine. In fact, I am healthier than the average human because I own a salad spinner.

At first, maybe you were skeptical about getting a salad spinner. But it’s the kind of tool that once you have it, you can’t imagine how you ever lived without it. Especially if you eat a lot of salads, or cook with greens and fresh herbs. In fact, your consumption of these items may have seen an increase once a salad spinner made its way into your kitchen. To you, cleaning greens (and even fruit!) any other way just doesn’t feel like an option.

Yes, salad spinners do take up a lot of cabinet space, but they provide more than enough value, and are worth every inch of space. And even if you didn’t quite have the room for it, you’d find a way to make room because that’s just how important this tool is in your kitchen.

2. Salad spinners — what? No. I’d like my 3 square feet of cabinet space to be reserved for real tools, thanks.

A kitchen tool, and a bulky one at that, with the purpose of cleaning fresh greens; there are far better, or at least simpler, methods. This is definitely not something that’s necessary.

While not exactly expensive, why pay money for yet another kitchen item — one that has a relatively singular use — when you can get the job done with items you already have, like a colander, hand towels, or even a pillow case?

→ Can You Really Use a Pillowcase to Dry Lettuce?

Perhaps you even own a salad spinner, but instead of proving itself useful on a regular basis, it sits in the far reaches of an upper cabinet taking up space and collecting dust. And really, for the amount of space it takes up, it just doesn’t have enough value.

Pick your side!

I fall in the latter of these two camps. While I was initially excited about having a salad spinner, the feeling waned quickly. I do see why people like this tool, but for me, it just doesn’t quite have enough value to justify its cumbersome size. I value multi-use tools. The more functions a tool or appliance can perform, the more value it has to me. And unfortunately, in my opinion, the salad spinner just doesn’t cut it.

How do you feel about salad spinners? Is it one of your most-coveted kitchen tools? Or do you get by just fine without one?

Pick your side, make your arguments, and Monday morning we’ll count up your points and announce a winner!

Salad Spinner Throwdown

• • •

Yes, salad spinners rock: 46
No salad spinner for me: 10