Have you ever wondered why your strawberries (or any berry for that matter) do not last long in the fridge? The problem is mold spores found on all berries! Use this berry wash recipe to get rid of nasty mold spores and make your berries last for days longer!
Whether you are preparing a berry Chantilly cake, or something as elaborate as my “Fresh Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Made from Fresh Strawberries” recipe, these steps will allow you to prepare and store your berries so that they will last longer and allow you more time to use them in-between your favorite recipes.
Berries are a household staple, but unfortunately, they have a bad reputation. More often than not, you will buy a carton of berries at the grocery store, and then only a few days later they have already begun to rot from mold spores.
All berries have mold spores already on them. It's just part of being a berry. But that doesn't mean you can't do something about it!
With these steps below, you will be able to increase the life of your berries so they last for days longer!
How Long Do Berries Usually Last?
Berries generally last anywhere from 3 to 7 seven days once they are picked and stored. It is best to refrigerate your Berries, and in doing so, you will extend their freshness. Berries left at room temperature will continue to decay faster unless they are placed in a cool, dry temperature-controlled environment.
When it is possible, it is best to shop for berries both when they are in season as well as from local farmers. When you shop locally, you are not only supporting smaller businesses and helping your community, but you are also buying fresher berries that have spent less time off of the vine.
How To Make A Berry Wash Solution Step-By-Step
Just because strawberries tend to have a shorter shelf life does not mean you should feel discouraged from buying them. There are a number of very simple and effective steps that you can take when you are buying and storing your strawberries at home that will give your strawberries the best chance at a longer-than-average lifespan.
Berry Wash Supplies & Ingredients
- Large Container
- Paper Towels
- White Vinegar
- Fresh Berries
Step 1 - In a large stockpot or bowl, combine 1 gallon of cool water with ½ cup of white vinegar (you can use less water and vinegar for fewer berries)
Step 2 - Soak the berries in this vinegar-water wash for about 10 minutes. I gently stir mine with my hand to make sure all the berries are getting some vinegar love.
Step 3 - Drain the berries in a colander in the sink and give a quick rinse. Rinsing isn't really necessary since the small amount of vinegar will not affect the taste but I do it anyway.
Step 5 - Transfer berries to paper towels and let them air dry until they are completely dry.
Step 6 - Store the dry berries with a dry paper towel in a glass or plastic container without a lid to promote airflow in the fridge for up to three weeks! You can re-use the container the berries came in, just make sure you wash it first!
These berries are two weeks old and are a bit shrunken but still no mold!
The vinegar in this strawberry wash kills mold spores that make your strawberries go bad so that they will last much longer, up to three weeks in the refrigerator!
Additional Tips to Make Your Strawberries Last Longer
- Inspect the berries before you purchase them. If the berries have a shine to them and appear fresh, they will likely last longer. If the strawberries appear dull or have withered stems, it is likely that they will not last as long as you want them to last.
- When purchasing berries, turn the container over. Moldy berries are usually at the bottom where all the moisture collects.
- Squished, moldy, or bruised berries should not be stored away because the mold will spread to the other berries.
- Moisture is detrimental to berries, which is why you must keep them dry to ensure freshness and longevity.
- Keeping your berries dry and refrigerated will slow down the molding and decaying process.
- Occasionally check up on your stored strawberries. If any berries that are stored have begun molding or show signs of going bad, remove them from the bunch and return the rest of the berries back to storage.
Even if your strawberries are not molding, they might start to shrivel up from losing moisture in the fridge. You can bring them back to life and plump them up a bit by soaking old berries in ice water for 20 minutes!
I mean.. they aren't good as new but they look pretty good!
If you enjoyed this tutorial on how to make your strawberries last longer, feel free to use your fresh strawberries to recreate some of our favorite strawberry recipes:
- The Best Strawberry Shortcake Recipe
- Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Berry Filling Recipe
- Strawberry Cake Mix Recipe
- 32 ounces fresh berries
- 1 gallon cold water
- 4 ounces white vinegar
- Combine the water and vinegar in a large stock pot or bowl
- Add your berries and let them soak for 10 minutes
- Lightly rinse the berries with fresh water and place them onto some paper towels to dry
- Store your berries in the fridge and enjoy them for up to three weeks!
- You can reduce or increase the amount of water and vinegar for the number of berries that you have. For instance, if you only need to wash a pint of strawberries you can use 4 cups of cold water and 2 Tablespoons of vinegar to wash the berries.
- Make sure the berries are dry before you store them to prevent them from getting soggy
- Choose berries that don't have any signs of mold or bruising for maximum freshness and longevity
- Occasionally check the berries for any bad ones and immediately remove them
- Freshen up old berries by soaking them in ice water for 20 minutes
Anne Ambrose says
I saw this in one of your posts a few weeks ago and have been doing it ever since!! It makes a huge difference in the shelf life of the berries. Thank you again Liz for your awesome tips!!
How are you doing?
By any chance can we use Apple cider vinegar instead of the white to wash the berries?
Elizabeth Marek says
I think it would work just as well 🙂
Ruth Farkas says
I wanted to know if once the berries are washed if one can store them covered in a container or do they need to breath and it be covered ?
Elizabeth Marek says
They need to breathe
Can I do this to grapes too?
Elizabeth Marek says
You definitey can