How To Make Berries Last Longer

How to make berries last longer from
If you’ve spent hours picking fresh berries, or even just picked through baskets of them at the grocery store, you’ll want to know how to make berries last longer. They are, after all, one of the best flavors of summer so why not make them last?

I adore berries: whole, sliced, frozen and plunked into homemade lemonade, crushed in a cocktail, blended into a smoothie, simmered into a jelly or jam. Oh, and then there’s Strawberry Bread, Strawberry Rhubarb Mini-pies and Blueberry Lemon Bread, too!

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With all the ways to use them, I’m amazed at all the times I’ve had to throw moldy berries away. Until I learned this trick.

Ordinarily, you should hold off washing produce until just before using it. Berries (and melons) are exceptions to that rule. Washing them properly right away will actually prolong their lifespan.

Homemade Berry Wash

  1. Mix one part white vinegar and five parts cool water in a bowl.
  2. Soak the berries for 5 minutes then remove them with a slotted spoon. Dry on paper towels, or spin them for fifteen seconds in a salad spinner.
  3. While berries dry, dunk their container in the vinegar water for 5 minutes to kill lingering mold spores. Be sure to toss out any padding that came in the container and replace it with a clean paper towel. Or transfer them to a fruit keeper container.
  4. Once your berries are dry, return them to the container and store them in the fridge. Change the towel when it gets moist and your berries will stay fresh up to two weeks.

Berries freeze well when placed on a baking sheet with plenty of room between them. Once they’re frozen solid, pop them into a freezer bag and store for another day. (See How To Freeze Produce for ways to save other fruits and vegetables.)

Equipment I’ve Used To Do This:


  1. Shell says

    Up to 2 weeks?! I’m lucky if I get my berries to stay mold-free for even ONE week right now so I will definitely be trying this! Thanks!!

    • says

      The vinegar kills those mold spores, so the berries last so much longer than we’re used to! It’s important to change the paper towel pretty much daily so it stays dry. Otherwise, the paper towel’s dampness will attract mold spores and, boom, the berries rot.

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