We tear the leaves into the colander, filling it only a third fill at most. With the colander inside of the salad spinner bowl, we fill the spinner with cold water, swishing the leaves around. We turn the water off and make sure that there are not any bugs (which would float to the top). If necessary, some of the water is poured out carefully, keeping the lettuce behind as the insects are removed. Then, we lift the colander with the lettuce out of the spinner and rinse the bowl. We fill the bowl with cold water and add the lettuce to it. We rinse the colander and then lift the lettuce from the bowl of water into the clean colander (over the sink so the water does not drip on the floor or counter). We check the water in the bowl and see if there is any dirt or sand. If so, we dump the water and repeat the process, filling the bowl with water and adding the lettuce. We continue until no dirt remains.
When the lettuce in the colander is clean, we put the colander back in the rinsed out bowl and put on the lid. We spin dry. The lettuce is then stored in a resealable plastic bag with a dry paper towel to keep any moisture away from the leaves.
The remaining romaine hearts are cleaned in the same manner.