sandy j, i think bagged lettuces taste like the bag too! i always rinse mine to get rid of that flavor.
bethzaring, that's pretty much how i clean my greens from the garden (forest? how cool!
), except i rarley use any soap.
the "sink soak" would work as well for the bagged stuff too, i guess.
i sew whole packages of seeds (mesculun, arrugula, spinach) in 12 foot by 2 foot rows. i then begin harvesting by just pulling clumps of small plants every few inches, making room for what's left to continue to grow. i keep pulling every other plant until the supply is exhausted, or it bolts and becomes too bitter.
but, since i'm bringing in whole loose leaf heads, roots and all, there's a lot of dirt and bugs that come along for the ride. i strip down the leaves under running water and discard the stems and roots. then i wipe out the sink, rinsing away any dirt and bugs, then fill it with cold water. the lettuces soak for a bit, being swished around (yes, i said it, swished...
) every now and then. they're scooped out, the sink is drained, and the lettuces rinsed a final time before being torn in half to fit better in the salad spinner.
i wrap them in moist paper towels and they're stored in plastic bags in the fridge.