Wash all vegetables before cooking, even though they look clean. A vegetable brush is almost a necessity. Soak wilted vegetables before peeling them. Vegetables that are soaked after they are peeled lose some soluble food materials. Dry winter vegetables may be improved by soaking them for several hours. Scrape thin-skinned vegetables; pare thick-skinned vegetables or remove the skin after cooking. Make thin parings except in the case of turnips, from which a thick layer of corky material should be removed. Discard decayed vegetables.

Many vegetables, particularly of the bud, head and fruit groups, need to be immersed for a period in cold salt water. This freshens the fiber and drives out any insects that have taken refuge in crevices. Leaf vegetables need to be washed in several waters, the first of which should be salted for the same reason. The leaves should be lifted out of the water rather than the water poured off. This permits any sand to sink to the bottom of the pan. A tablespoon of liquid ammonia added to the last gallon of wash water will remove the last film that carries an earthy flavor.