Inspect mushrooms for insects, mold, rot. Gently brush off debris with soft brush or toothbrush. Avoid water if possible. If very dirty, wipe caps and undersides gently with damp cloth. Inspect again after cleaning. Dry thoroughly on towel or pat dry before using.
Inspect the Mushrooms
The first step when cleaning turkey tail mushrooms is inspecting them closely. Hold each mushroom up and look over the tops and undersides for any signs of problems. Check for:
- Insects or bug holes/damage
- Significant mold growth
- Brown, mushy spots indicating rot
- Any other concerning imperfections
If you see any of these issues, discard the mushroom and don’t use it. Only keep mushrooms that look fresh and healthy.
Brush Off Debris
Next, use a soft brush, like an unused toothbrush, to gently brush off any dirt, leaves, pine needles, or other debris clinging to the mushroom. Focus on brushing the tops and pores underneath.
The brush helps dislodge any material without damaging the mushroom.
Clean With Water if Needed
If the mushrooms are especially dirty, you can use a damp cloth or paper towel to gently wipe down the caps and undersides.
Avoid rinsing the mushrooms under running water, as this can lead to excess moisture and longer dehydration times.
Be gentle when wiping to avoid tearing or bruising the mushrooms.
Inspect Again After Cleaning
Give the mushrooms another inspection after brushing and wiping off debris.
Check again for any signs of damage or spoilage. Discard any questionable mushrooms at this point.
Before eating or dehydrating the cleaned mushrooms, make sure they are dried completely. Place them on a towel and allow them to air dry for several hours, or gently pat dry with paper towels.
You want the mushrooms completely dry to the touch before further use.
Properly cleaned turkey tail mushrooms are now ready to enjoy! Use them right away in meals or teas, or dehydrate them to preserve for later.
With this simple cleaning method, turkey tail mushrooms can be a healthy and sustainable addition to many diets.