I have been buying fresh berries from the store on the weekends, and am looking for the best way to make them last throughout the week for use as either a snack or as a component for salads.

The blueberries last the longest, and I can usually salvage enough by Thursday or even Friday, but the blackberries and raspberries seem to either get moldy, or turn to mush, before Wednesday is over.

I've been storing them in the refrigerator in the plastic vented clamshells they come in.

Is there a better way of storing them that will extend their shelf-life another 1-2 days or more?

  • Blackberries and raspberries are highly perishable. Still Tasty gives 'em 2-3 days without freezing
    – Joe
    Commented Oct 21, 2011 at 19:59
  • 1
    Add to @Joe 's comment: If you're going to not freeze the berries, make sure to check them every 12 hours as they rot really fast. Get rid of the bad ones as soon as you can. Also with berries, if they look shady but not moldy yet, they make for not bad juice
    – dassouki
    Commented Oct 21, 2011 at 20:48
  • Unfortunately the absolute best way to store them longer than their normal life is to freeze them, but then they won't be what you want for snacks or salads.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Oct 21, 2011 at 22:38
  • Related: How to keep fruits and vegetables fresh. Commented Jun 4, 2012 at 12:01

4 Answers 4


Store them unwashed. Take out any "bad" ones. I've had decent luck adding some paper towels to wick away extra moisture that seems to speed up the spoilage. Martha Stewart suggest going even further and spreading them out on paper towels on a sheet pan. I have no idea who keeps a fridge empty enough that they can store full sheet pans in there, though.

I've never tried this, but someone suggests washing it lightly in vinegar/water. *shrug*

Then of course, wash and freeze them spread out on a sheet pan (to make it easier to separate later). I assume this isn't what you want to do, but it is very effective, depending on how you plan to use them.


Most fruits, a few days:

  • Use kitchen towel to dry them (don't wash)
  • Line a sheet pan with kitchen towel
  • Spread them so they don't touch (any mold on one berry won't spread)
  • Refrigate

Fragile berries:

  • Put the pan in an inflated plastic bag (so the bag doesn't touch the berries)

If you see any mold on some berries, you can delay mold formation on the other berries like this:

  • Discard the berries with mold
  • Heat a pot of water to 52 degrees Celsius
  • Immerse berries for 30-45 seconds
  • Dry them

I've had really good results with special "breathable" plastic bags designed to let ethylene gas escape. The ones I'm using now are made by PEAKfresh USA. These work particularly well with strawberries.

Apparently some retailers are catching on and prolonging produce shelf-life through ethylene absorption.

  • Yes. Generally don't ever cover fresh fruit in non-breathable bags (even paper) unless you're trying to ripen it.
    – Nick
    Commented Jun 7, 2015 at 20:48
  • Fenugreen ethylene absorption papers work great for my berries.
    – Nick
    Commented Jun 7, 2015 at 20:49

Wash them in a solution of 10 parts water to one part white vinger. This will kill any bacteria. Lay them out to dry or line a lettuce spinner with paper towels to dry. Store them uncovered in the frig.

  • 6
    White vinegar is usually on the order of 5% acetic acid; diluting it by a factor of 10 will leave it as less than 0.5% acetic acid. Is there some evidence that this is strong enough to "kill" bacteria in any significant amount? A citation is warranted here.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 0:51
  • FWIW, I've had good experience keeping strawberries fresh for 5+ days with a combination of a diluted vinegar and ethylene absorption. Haven't done A/B tests but I've read the vinegar tip elsewhere. Here's a Lifehacker citation and discussion of the vinegar tip.
    – Nick
    Commented Jun 7, 2015 at 20:45

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