How To Clean Cauliflower? The Best Way To Have Clean Cauliflower!

With green winter vegetables, you can keep them fresh for a long time by freezing cabbages or turning them into beautiful dishes. However, what about the middle step that tends to be the most important procedure – cleaning them?

In this article, let’s learn how to clean cauliflower properly so that either you cook or store it later, it can still maintain its best shape. Stay tuned!

How To Clean Cauliflower With 3 Detailed Steps

how to clean cauliflower

If you think cleaning cauliflower is as easy as letting the water run on them, scrub them, then dry them, then you’re mistaken. Proper washing cauliflower requires more detailed steps than just washing the vegetable with water. Here are the detailed steps on how to wash cauliflower:

Step 1: Cut Cauliflower Into Florets 

To make sure that you wash cauliflower thoroughly, you must separate your cauliflower into florets first. This step will help you have a deep look inside the cauliflower to see how textured it is to know how to clean and cut cauliflower

Then separating it will allow you to get all the dirt and bugs out, especially at the crown root part, where it normally contains many crevices underneath. The smaller you separate the cauliflower, the easier it will be when you clean them afterward, where water will be easier to remove all the cauliflower bugs and dirt. 

Step 2: Rinse The Florets

After separating florets from cauliflower, it’s time to rinse them under the faucet. Use a bowl to put the florets in and let them run under the water. The strong water movement coming out from the faucet will remove the debris out of the cauliflower. You can also use your hands to scrub the dirt out of the florets if there is some hard-to-remove debris. 

Step 3: Boil Water

While waiting for the cauliflower to dry thoroughly, prepare to boil an amount of water for the cauliflower to sit in. When the water boils, don’t put the cauliflower in yet. Instead, put a teaspoon of salt in the water, and wait for 1 minute before pouring the cauliflower.  

Step 4: Boil The Cauliflower

Add the cauliflower to boiling water for 2 minutes. According to WHO, 1 minute of sitting in boiled water will remove 99% percent of bacteria in and out of the cauliflower, so 2 minutes is enough. When we put salt in, the boiling temperature will be higher than 100%, but the salt will ensure that all debris gets eliminated. 

This step can also be called blanching cauliflower, where we use a boiled salty solution to remove bacteria and internal debris that we can’t directly see. Blanching vegetables is common because it is useful in making the vegetables cleaner and fresher before cooking or storing them. 

Step 5:  Strain Out The Cauliflower

In 2 minutes of blanching cauliflower, you need to prepare a large bowl of ice water with lemon extract or icy lemon water. After the cauliflower finishes blanching, you need to transfer the hot cauliflower to this icy cold water bowl immediately and let it sit for half an hour. 

Blanched cauliflowers are put into ice water to get rid of all existing dust and dirt inside the cauliflower. This sudden temperature will kill all the remaining debris or pets left in the cauliflower as no creature can withstand the temperature shock from 100 Celsius degrees to 0. Anything living in or on cauliflower should be removed to ensure that the cauliflower is entirely clean and fresh for cooking and storing. 

Also, this step will prevent the cauliflower from continuing to cook. We only want to clean the cauliflower but not cook it; leaving it to rest at the boiling temperature can accidentally get it cooked. 

The cold water from the second bowl will immediately stop the cooking process and turn the florets hard. If you want to keep cauliflower in storage, this step is crucial to make cauliflower as fresh as possible before being stored for a long time. 


  • If you harvest your cauliflowers, they will have a higher chance of being infected by cauliflower worms and debris from the ground compared to store-bought cauliflowers. It would help if you kept an eye on your home-harvested cauliflowers more to remove all the bacteria.
  • When you boil the water for blanching cauliflowers, you can use turmeric instead of salt. Turmeric can also help get rid of the bacteria. 
  • If you don’t need to use a whole cauliflower, chop off the part you need, cover the part you don’t use, put it in an airtight container, and store it in the freezer for long-term storage. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Have To Wash Cauliflower?

It would help if you cleaned cauliflower every time you take it out to cook or to store. Any green vegetable from celery to cabbage to cauliflower, either harvested or purchased from the market, always has a high chance of being attacked by worms and parasites. 

Especially with harvested cauliflowers, although they are organically clean and tasty, they are the target for contamination of worms, dirt, or animal waste from the ground. 

So, do you need to wash cauliflower? It is a must to clean cauliflower before any purpose to prevent digesting any unwanted bugs on cauliflower harmful to your health. 

Do All Cauliflowers Have Worms?

Despite where you get the cauliflower from, there will be a high chance of being infected with worms. Even though you don’t see any worm on the outside, it does not have any parasites inside. Food safety is the most crucial thing when it comes to eating food, so why would you take the chance of letting yourself get infected?

In other cases, if you get cauliflowers from the mass market, they might not have any worms on them, but the reason can be due to pesticides. So, no worms can be a red alarm too. Hence, you should always clean your cauliflowers considerably to remove worms, and if not worms, pesticides, or chemical residue. 

How Do You Clean Cauliflower With Vinegar?

Using vinegar is one of the popular ways to clean vegetables. The detailed steps to clean cauliflower with vinegar are:

  1. Add some vinegar into a bowl of water under the ratio of one vinegar to three water. 
  2. Dip the cauliflower’s head into the vinegar substance. 
  3. Let it soak in the solution for 3 minutes until you see debris coming out. 
  4. Rinse the head thoroughly by running it under the water.

And now you can answer the question: “Do you wash cauliflower with vinegar?” It is a fast and effective method to clean this vegetable. 

The Final Word

And that’s all it takes for you on how to clean cauliflower. It is quite easy doing these clean cauliflower recipes, so make sure that you clean the cauliflower properly before cooking or storing it in the fridge/freezer. Cleaning vegetables is essential to maintain your family’s meal quality and overall health. 

Thank you for reading our article, and we will catch up with you soon in the next article!

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