1. Never select a clam that is already open or chipped, broken, or damaged in any way. Make sure to immediately unwrap them at home, so they can breathe, and store them in a cool area.
2. Just before cooking, soak your clams for 20 minutes in fresh water. As the clams breathe they filter water. When the fresh water is filtered, the clam pushes salt water and sand out of their shells. After 20 minutes, the clams will have cleaned themselves of much of the salt and sand they have collected. Instead of pouring the clams and water into a strainer, pull the clams out of the water. Sand has sunk to the bottom of the bowl; pouring the water into a strainer will pour it back over the clams.
3. Once the clams have been soaked, use a firm brush and scrub off any additional sand, barnacles, or other oceanic attachments. This is the same final method used when cleaning mussels.
Now that they're clean, why not cook something delicious?
Some top-rated clams recipes: