Dear Heloise: What’s the best way to safely wash greens? I love a fresh, delicious salad this time of year.

— Kelly T. in San Antonio

Kudos, Kelly, for eating greens! Here are a few hints:

Wash greens immediately before eating, not when you first bring them home.

From a head of lettuce, bunch of spinach or stalk of kale, cut fork-size pieces (1 inch) and submerge in a bowl of cold water.

Give it time for the dirt particles (it comes from the earth, after all) to fall to the bottom of the bowl (about 15 minutes).

Reach in and grab the greens and transfer to a colander. DON’T dump the bowl into the colander; you’ll redeposit sediment back over and into the greens.

Either spin-dry in a lettuce spinner or blot dry in paper or cloth toweling.

— Heloise