Not much compares to a perfectly ripe strawberry. But when it’s high season for fresh strawberries, it can be challenging to eat them fast enough before they soften and mold. Not anymore! I have the best method for how to store fresh strawberries to make them last longer!

Photograph of fresh strawberries in a glass storage container set on a marble table

Before we dive into how to perfectly store fresh strawberries, let’s fist chat about what I tested to come to my conclusion.

Test 1:

Stored unwashed strawberries in plastic container they came in (or a breathable container), lined and lightly covered with a dry paper towel and refrigerated. 

Test 1 results:

The paper towels proved to be ineffective in helping the strawberries last longer in the refrigerator. The strawberries stored in this method lasted as long as they would if they were simply kept as they were when they were bought (assuming you bought them in a plastic clamshell container). 

After three days the strawberries started to show signs of deterioration—softening, bruising and even some molding. After five days they were nearly inedible. 

Test 2: 

Washed fresh strawberries in a water-vinegar (1:4) solution. Thoroughly dried strawberries and stored in plastic container they came in (or a breathable container) lined and lightly covered with a dry paper towel and refrigerated. 

Test 2 results:

Although many sources claim that washing fresh strawberries in a vinegar-water solution will help them last longer, I found that to be completely false. After just one day the strawberries were incredibly soft and after two they were inedible. I do NOT recommend washing fresh strawberries prior to storing.

Test 3: 

Stored unwashed strawberries in a glass container with a tight fitting lid and refrigerated. 

Test 3 results:

I had very little confidence in this method. I assumed the strawberries would mold and take on an almost fermented smell/taste.

I was incredibly surprised to find that the strawberries stored in this method showed no signs of deterioration after two days and very little after three. Stored a week this way and the strawberries were still very much edible and delicious, just lightly softer. 

Photograph of fresh strawberries in a glass storage container with a blue lid set on a marble tableHow to store fresh strawberries

My tests proved that the best way to store fresh strawberries to make them last longer was to place unwashed strawberries in a glass storage container with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate them. 

Photograph of fresh strawberries in a glass storage container with a blue lid set on a marble tableTips for making strawberries last longer: 

1. Use a clean, dry glass container

2. Avoid packing the strawberries too tightly in the container (Depending on how many strawberries you have, you may need to use multiple containers.)

3. Try to use the strawberries stored towards the bottom of the containers first as they bare more weight than the berries at the top of the heap. 

4. Keep an eye on your strawberries! Pull out and discard any berries that show signs of deterioration or mold. One strawberry can do a good job of spoiling the whole bunch!

When to wash strawberries

It’s best to was strawberries right before eating. Washing fresh strawberries prior to storing will decrease their longevity. 

Photograph of fresh strawberries in a glass storage container set on a marble table

Want your strawberries to last for a few months? Learn how to properly freeze them!

5 Ways Use Fresh Strawberries

Photograph of fresh strawberries in a glass storage container set on a marble table

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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