Cleaning Garlic

It is not necessary to wash garlic bulbs once they have been lifted from the ground.  Washing bulbs may introduce issues with disease and potential curing.  Gently shake off as much soil as possible in the field and let the bulbs dry in a well ventilated area, but not in the sun.
Once the garlic tops have completely dried, which may take 2-4 weeks, the garlic can be cleaned.   Tease as much soil as possible with your fingers, then cut the roots off with a pair of scissors.  Next cut the dried top off, leaving about 1/3 - 1/2  inch of stem.  If the garlic is completely cured, the outer dirty wrapper will easily slough off the bulb.  If necessary, use a soft brush such as a toothbrush to remove dirt and the outer wrapper.  Try not to remove any more wrappers than necessary to clean the bulb, as the wrappers help protect the bulb from dehydration.  The last step is to brush out any remaining dirt in the roots.  Voila!  A beautiful clean garlic bulb!