I go leaps and bounds
I wash it and soak it in water mixed with vinegar or lemon for 15-20 minutes to get rid of any undesirable smell. It feels much cleaner to me that way.
I've never washed it and I'm living proof you won't die, cooking is what kills the harmful bacteria, washing makes them multiply. I do however as Subsie suggested pat it dry but that's because it cooks better.