The Trick To Making Fresh Berries LAST! {video}

Want to know the secret to making your berries last longer?

How to keep berries fresh in the refrigerator so they last longer

This is exactly how the Chief MOM of MOMables manages to pack 3-4 days of school lunches without her berries spoiling!

Berry season is upon most of us these days, and all of those vibrant, sweet fruits are calling to us from road-side stands, farmer’s markets, and grocery stores.

While my children may attempt to devour the berries as soon as they are purchased, I try to hold a few back to use in our fresh school lunches and in easy summer desserts.

In the past, my refrigerator shelf life for berries was pretty short, especially if I was dealing with strawberries or raspberries.  It seemed I would bring them home from the store and find them spoiling within a few short hours.

Now, thanks to a quick kitchen trick, I know how to keep berries fresh, giving me more time to use them as needed. 

The secret to extending the life of fresh berries?  White Vinegar. Check out this short video that shows you how to wash your berries or read step by step directions below. 
Wasn’t that so easy? Wash strawberries, blueberries, and even blackberries! Note: I don’t recommend washing raspberries, washing them will actually cut their lifespan. With raspberries, refrigeration is key. 

how to keep berries fresh so they last longer in the refrigerator

How To Keep Berries Fresh

  • Once you bring your fresh berries home, the key to keeping it fresh is to kill any spores on the fruit.  The pH of vinegar does that job.
  • Place the berries in a large bowl and wash them in a vinegar-water bath:  1 cup of white vinegar and 8 cups of water.
  • Let the berries sit in the vinegar-water bath, gently moving them to help dislodge any dirt, grime and letting the vinegar kill spores and bacteria.
  • Drain the berries in a colander and then thoroughly rinse the fruit (to remove any vinegar flavor).
  • Thicker skinned fruit (like strawberries or blueberries) can be dried in a salad spinner but delicate berries such as raspberries and blackberries should be dried on a towel, patting them with paper or cloth towels.
  • Store the washed and dried fruit in a sealed container that has been lined with paper towels — if using an air-tight container, leave the lid slightly open to avoid natural moisture build-up.  When I handle fruit I have purchased from my grocery store, I wash the original container and then re-use it, making sure to line it with paper towels.

How-To-Store-Berries-In-The-Fridge so they last longer

Other Options To Keep Berries Fresh

  • A quick hot-water bath (30 seconds in 125 degree water for strawberries, raspberries and blackberries; 30 seconds in 140 degree water for blueberries) has been shown to kill bacteria, resulting fewer berries going bad.
  • Commercial produce cleaner, such as EatCleaner, are another good option for cleaning fresh berries and elongating their life in the refrigerator. This is one of those multi-use products because it also happens to keep your apples from browning.

How to keep berries fresh in the refrigerator so they last longer



  1. Barbara says

    This works really great. I fill my sink and add cider/white vinegar. I take all my produce and just start adding it to the water. Let it sit a short time, then start removing to a colander, rinse and dry. I do this with bananas too, since I read to prevent fruit flies they need to be washed. It washes off the larvae. I always have a bowl of bananas out and haven’t had fruit flies since I started doing this. My strawberries lasted well over a week, since I forgot I had them in the fridge. I also do this method for veggies. My cauliflower and broccoli last much longer. It’s nice to have everything broken down then stored in a bag for quick use. It is amazing how dirty the water gets!

    Another quick tip: I bought a pair of bath exfoliating gloves and they work great for scrubbing produce!

  2. Anne-Marie says

    Could this washing technique be used for lettuce and greens such as kale and spinach??? It works really well for the berries and was hoping for a way to prolong the life of my greens!

  3. Stacy says

    In the video you mention using a drop of dish soap, but in the written directions you don’t. I just want to make sure I do it right….do we add a drop of dish soap to the vinegar/water rinse?


    • says

      When I wrote the post I didn’t use to use dish soap… but over time, I’ve found that just a drop helps remove dirt. it rinses right out. Either way, the vinegar is what will kill bacteria, not the soap.

  4. Rhonda says

    Quick question: How come my berries had a mushy feeling on some of them? I left them in the vinegar/water for 10 min., rinsed them off really good and then left them in a strainer to drain. When I went to pat them dry some were mushy and others were ok.

    • says

      a few possibilities: the first, they were overripe from the store, they were left out at room temperature too long, or they were soaked too long. They just need to be washed long enough to release the dirt and then rinsed.

  5. says

    Great tip – thanks for this! My wife and I just discovered a great new salad recipe that includes strawberries, but it’s been hard to get more than a day or two of “useful life” from a batch of strawberries. I just picked some up today, so I’ll be trying your technique.

  6. jeanette says

    I always thought it best to put berries immediately into the fridge and not to wash them until ready to eat or use. I would think doing it this way the moisture would cause the berries to spoil quicker.

  7. sarah says

    this works great! I never knew how much crap was on my fruits. when you do the wash with the strawberries, the water gets a brown red tint because all the dirt and mold spores. you can actually see all the spores in the water as well. this rinse also makes the fruit taste fresher as well :)

    • says

      sure, but adding an acid like vinegar will help kill off bacteria and mold spores already forming. Thus, making your berries last longer.

  8. Tanya Madray says

    I can’t wait to buy my strawberries now!!!! I never knew how to keep them fresher and longer!!! Drove me crazy having to throw so many away last year!!!!!!! Can’t wait and thank you soon much for the “instructions”. : )

  9. Amanda says

    Do you purchase organic berries (because they are one of the “dirty dozen”)? Or does this method wash off all of the yucky pesticides?

    • says

      This is how I wash my berries. Sometimes I purchase organic and other times I don’t. The only way to ensure that there are no pesticides in your fruit is to buy organic.

  10. says

    so glad i came across this today on pinterest. whenever i see the berries about to go bad in the refrigerator, i wash and put them into the freezer. it is better to keep the berries fresh longer than throwing in the freezer oh-so-often!
    thanks for sharing :)

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