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MUELLER 5L Salad Spinner, $31
Photo: Amazon

If you’ve never owned a salad spinner, drop whatever you’re doing and order this one. Salad spinners (along with rubber spatulas—feel free to debate me on this in the comments) are one of the most useful kitchen tools you can buy. There’s no better way to get greens and other vegetables completely dry after rinsing.

Last year, after living for six years without one (I was both broke and had limited kitchen storage), I finally gave up and decided that I was better than wet leafy greens. I deserved the luxury of the salad spinner, and I wanted to extend that luxury to my housemates. I bought what I hoped would be an excellent product.

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It was actually terrible. The plastic bowl cracked within six months and my greens never seemed to get dry. It was a frustrating but all-too-familiar modern-day experience: spend around $20 on a life-improving tool, hoping it’ll last at least a few years. It doesn’t. It breaks and it’s unfixable, and then you have to throw it out because despite the “recyclable” label, nothing actually gets recycled these days. It’s just another crappy thing sent to outlive humanity in the landfill.

I’m embarrassed to say how long I went between spinners, but it was a dark time. I stopped buying whole leafy greens for fear of eating them sandy or damp, and I bought more of those triple-washed greens in the clamshell than I care to admit. After months of eating subpar salads, I set out to find the best salad spinner out there. I read reviews and compared specs, settling on the Mueller 5-quart model.

My biggest concern with a replacement spinner was the quality of the plastic bowl—I needed something strong, that could withstand frequent uses—check. The bowl is made with durable, BPA-free plastic. And instead of the typical dizzying turn handle, this spinner is powered by a pull-out handle that ensures a smooth spin. It dries leaves, herbs, berries, cooked pasta, beans and even bathing suits (I have never tried this, but a brave Amazon reviewer did) with ease. It also features a useful braking button should the centrifugal force get out of hand.

If your New Years’ resolution is to eat more like a rabbit, a dependable salad spinner should have a permanent home in your kitchen.

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