Kitchen Tips

How Long Do Strawberries Last in the Refrigerator?

The start of summer always brings on the better weather, the break from routine and connection to nature. It’s no wonder that the peak season for strawberries coincides with it. Strawberries just taste like summer. But the real question is, how long do strawberries last in the refrigerator? Sometimes we have the best of intentions, but things get away from us so let’s discuss how long strawberries last, how to clean them and the best place to store them in your refrigerator. You might be surprised what you can do to remove 60-80% of insecticides in your strawberries.

Strawberry Basics

Let’s first talk about why strawberries are so great for us. They’re not only delicious but also offer a range of nutritional benefits.

  1. Nutrient-rich: Strawberries are packed with essential vitamins and minerals. They are a good source of vitamin C, which is important for immune function, collagen production, and antioxidant protection. Strawberries also contain folate (vitamin B9), potassium, manganese, and various other vitamins and minerals.
  2. Antioxidant content: Strawberries are rich in antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, flavonoids, and ellagic acid. These compounds help protect cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals and contribute to reducing inflammation in the body.
  3. High in fiber: Strawberries are relatively high in dietary fiber, which supports digestive health, helps regulate blood sugar levels, and promotes feelings of fullness, thus aiding in weight management.
  4. Heart health: The antioxidants and flavonoids found in strawberries have been associated with cardiovascular benefits. They help reduce inflammation, improve blood vessel function, and potentially lower the risk of heart disease.
  5. Blood pressure regulation: Strawberries contain potassium, which plays a role in regulating blood pressure. Adequate potassium intake, along with a balanced diet, can help maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
  6. Weight management: Strawberries are relatively low in calories while providing a satisfying sweetness. Including strawberries as part of a balanced diet can help with weight management and satiety.

Nutritional Facts for Strawberries

Here are the approximate nutritional facts for one cup (152 grams) of sliced strawberries:

  • Calories: 50
  • Carbohydrates: 12 grams
    • Dietary fiber: 3 grams
    • Sugars: 7 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Vitamin C: 89.4 milligrams (149% of the daily value)
  • Folate: 29.4 micrograms (7% of the daily value)
  • Potassium: 233 milligrams (5% of the daily value)
  • Manganese: 0.6 milligrams (29% of the daily value)
  • Vitamin K: 3.6 micrograms (4% of the daily value)

Strawberries are a low-calorie fruit that provides a good amount of dietary fiber. They are also an excellent source of vitamin C, providing more than the daily recommended intake. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that supports the immune system, aids in collagen synthesis, and promotes overall health. Strawberries also contain folate, which is essential for cell growth and development, and potassium, which plays a role in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and supporting heart health. Additionally, strawberries are a good source of manganese, which contributes to various metabolic processes in the body.

When is peak season for strawberries?

The peak season for fresh strawberries depends on the region and climate. In general, strawberries are considered to be at their best during the late spring and early summer months in many parts of the world.

In the northern hemisphere, the peak strawberry season is typically from late May to early June through July. This varies slightly depending on the specific location and local climate. During this time, you can often find a wide variety of delicious and sweet strawberries in abundance.

In the southern hemisphere, where the seasons are reversed, the peak season for strawberries is typically from October to December.

It’s worth noting that some strawberry varieties are bred to be more suitable for certain climates, allowing for extended growing seasons or specific harvesting times in different regions. Head to your local farmers’ market and local grocery store as good sources for fresh, in-season strawberries.

How long do strawberries last in the refrigerator?

Fresh strawberries typically last for about 3 to 7 days in the refrigerator, depending on their freshness at the time of purchase and how well they are stored. To maximize their shelf life, it’s important to handle and store them properly. Here are a few tips:

  1. Choose fresh strawberries: Select strawberries that are firm, plump, and free from any mold or mushy spots. Avoid berries with green or white tips, as they may not be fully ripe.
  2. Store in a breathable container, such as a vented plastic container or a paper bag. This helps maintain their freshness and prevents moisture buildup.
  3. Do not wash until ready to use: It’s best to avoid washing strawberries until you’re ready to eat or use them. Excess moisture can promote mold growth and spoilage. It will feel weird, but keep your unwashed strawberries in the fridge.
  4. Keep refrigerated: Place the strawberries in the refrigerator as soon as possible after purchasing. Store them in the crisper drawer or in a cool section of the fridge where the temperature is around 32-36°F (0-2°C). Avoid storing them near foods with strong odors, as strawberries can absorb odors easily.
  5. If strawberries will be used/consumed within a few hours, they can sit out at room temperature, however, they do not like the heat. If the house is hot, I would just pop them in the fridge until you are ready to use them.

Remember that these are general guidelines, and how long strawberries last in the refrigerator can vary based on their freshness, variety, and storage conditions. It’s always a good idea to inspect them visually and smell them before consuming. If you notice any signs of spoilage, such as mold, mushiness, or an off smell, it’s best to discard them to avoid any potential health risks.

How to Clean Strawberries

Cleaning whole strawberries properly ensures that they are free from any dirt, debris, or potential contaminants. Here’s a simple method to clean strawberries:

  1. Gather your supplies: You’ll need a colander or strainer, a large bowl, and clean cold water.
  2. Remove the stems: Hold each strawberry by the stem and gently twist or pull to remove it. This step is optional but can make it easier to clean the berries thoroughly.
  3. Rinse the strawberries: Place the strawberries in a colander or strainer and rinse them under cold running water. Make sure to gently rub the berries with your fingers to remove any dirt or debris. You can also swish them around in the water to help dislodge any particles.
  4. Inspect for quality: While rinsing, inspect each strawberry for any signs of mold, bruising, or damage. Discard any berries that appear spoiled or overly soft.
  5. Dry the strawberries: After rinsing, gently shake the colander or strainer to remove excess water from the strawberries. Then, transfer them to a clean towel or paper towels and pat them dry. It’s important to ensure they are dry before storing them, as moisture can promote spoilage.

What’s a vinegar bath and should I clean my strawberries in it?

A recent study came out discussing insecticides on a strawberry. It concluded that a vinegar bath was the best option to clean a strawberry. However, the paper discussed that most of the insecticides were distributed in the strawberry cap. Therefore, removing the strawberry cap/cutting off the top, removes a lot (61.3–80.8%) of insecticides. Basically, just cut off the green stems and you already have a head start.

A vinegar bath (or aka vinegar wash) for strawberries is a method to help remove any potential mold, bacteria, or pesticides from the surface of the berries.

Here’s how you can prepare a vinegar bath for strawberries:

  1. Mix the solution: In a large bowl or basin, combine 1 part white vinegar with 3 parts water. For example, you can use 1 cup of vinegar and 3 cups of water, depending on the amount of strawberries you are cleaning.
  2. Soak the strawberries: Place the strawberries in the vinegar-water solution and gently stir them around to ensure all the berries are exposed to the mixture. Let them soak for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Rinse the strawberries: After soaking, drain the strawberries and rinse them thoroughly under cold running water. Make sure to remove any traces of the vinegar solution.
  4. Pat dry or air dry: Gently pat the strawberries dry with a clean towel or paper towels. Alternatively, you can let them air dry on a clean dish towel or paper towel.

However, some people may find the taste or smell of vinegar on strawberries undesirable. If you are concerned about the taste, you can rinse the strawberries thoroughly under running water without using the vinegar solution. Properly washing the strawberries with water alone can also help remove dirt and debris from the surface.

Why to avoid oversoaking your strawberries?

Soaking strawberries in water for an extended period is not recommended because strawberries are highly porous fruits. They can absorb water easily, which can result in a loss of flavor, texture, and nutritional value. Here are a few reasons why you should avoid soaking strawberries:

  1. Texture: Strawberries have a delicate texture and soaking them in water for too long can make them waterlogged and mushy, affecting their overall quality and mouthfeel.
  2. Flavor: Strawberries have a natural sweetness and flavor that can be diluted or washed away when soaked in water. Soaking them for an extended period may result in a loss of their aromatic and delicious taste.
  3. Nutritional loss: Soaking strawberries in water can lead to a loss of water-soluble vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamin C, folate, and antioxidants. These nutrients can leach into the water, reducing the nutritional value of the strawberries.
  4. Risk of spoilage: Extended exposure to water can increase the chances of spoilage and mold growth on strawberries. Moisture promotes the growth of bacteria and fungi, shortening their shelf life and potentially leading to foodborne illnesses.

To preserve the flavor, texture, and nutrients of strawberries, it’s best to rinse them under running water and gently pat them dry before consuming or storing. This method effectively removes dirt and debris while minimizing the risks associated with prolonged water exposure.

How to tell if your strawberry is ripe ready to eat?

Consider the following characteristics:

  1. Color: Look for strawberries that have a vibrant, bright red color. The redness should be consistent throughout the berry, including the stem area. Avoid strawberries with green or white patches, as they are not fully ripe.
  2. Texture: Gently squeeze the strawberry. Ripe strawberries should be firm yet slightly soft. They should give a little when pressed but not be mushy or overly soft. Avoid strawberries that are excessively firm or hard.
  3. Aroma: Ripe strawberries emit a sweet and fragrant aroma. Take a sniff near the stem end of the berry. If it has a strong, sweet scent, it is likely ripe. Unripe strawberries may have a minimal or no scent.
  4. Size: Size alone is not the most reliable indicator of ripeness, as strawberry varieties can vary in size. However, ripe strawberries generally have a medium to large size, depending on the variety.
  5. Taste: Ultimately, the best way to determine if a strawberry is ripe is to taste it. Ripe strawberries are sweet, juicy, and flavorful. If the strawberry tastes tart or lacks sweetness, it may not be fully ripe.

It’s important to note that strawberries do not ripen further after being picked. They may become softer or spoil, but they will not become sweeter. So, it’s best to choose strawberries that are already ripe or close to being fully ripe for optimal flavor and enjoyment.

What to Store Strawberries in?

To store strawberries properly in the fridge and extend their freshness, follow these steps:

  1. Handle them gently: Strawberries are delicate, so handle them with care to prevent bruising or damage.
  2. Remove any damaged or spoiled berries: Before storing, inspect the strawberries and remove any that show signs of mold, mushiness, or visible damage. Damaged berries can accelerate spoilage of the others.
  3. Keep them dry: Moisture promotes mold growth, so make sure the strawberries are dry before storing them. If they are damp, gently pat them dry with a clean towel or paper towels.
  4. Store in a breathable container: Transfer the strawberries to a clean, breathable container. You can use a vented plastic container, a shallow bowl covered with plastic wrap or a paper towel, or a paper bag with punctured holes. These containers allow for some airflow, preventing moisture buildup.
  5. Do not wash until ready to use: Washing can make them more susceptible to spoilage. Instead, rinse them just before consuming or using them.
  6. Place in the refrigerator: Put the container of strawberries in the refrigerator as soon as possible after purchasing or preparing them. Store them in the crisper drawer or in a cool section of the fridge with a temperature of around 32-36°F (0-2°C).
  7. Avoid stacking or crushing: Try not to stack or pile the strawberries too high, as the weight can cause bruising and damage. Arrange them in a single layer if possible or in shallow stacks, with a layer of paper towel or a paper napkin between the layers to absorb excess moisture. This will help lengthen how long strawberries will last in the refrigerator.

Can strawberries be stored in a mason jar?

Yes, strawberries can also be stored in a mason jar, but it’s important to follow proper storage guidelines to maintain their freshness. Here’s how you can store strawberries in a mason jar:

  1. Choose a clean mason jar: Select a glass mason jar that is clean and free from any dirt or residue. Make sure the jar and lid are in good condition.
  2. Prepare the strawberries: Remove any damaged or spoiled strawberries and discard them. Gently rinse the remaining strawberries under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris. Pat them dry with a clean towel or paper towels.
  3. Place the strawberries in the jar: Once the strawberries are dry, place them in the glass jar. You can either leave them whole or slice them, depending on your preference.
  4. Add a layer of protection: To help maintain the strawberries’ freshness, you can add a layer of protection. Place a paper towel or a piece of parchment paper on top of the strawberries. This will help absorb excess moisture and prevent the berries from touching the lid directly.
  5. Seal the jar: Close the mason so it becomes an airtight container. Make sure it is securely sealed to prevent air from entering.
  6. Store in the refrigerator: Place the sealed mason jar with the strawberries in the refrigerator. The cool temperature will help extend their shelf life. So if you’re wondering how long do strawberries last in the refrigerator, one option is… longer in a mason jar!

Tips for keeping strawberries fresh for longer

  • Avoid overcrowding the strawberries, as it can lead to bruising and accelerated spoilage.
  • Keep the strawberries dry. Moisture promotes mold growth, so make sure the strawberries are dry before storing them.
  • Store the container of strawberries in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer or in a cool section of the fridge with a temperature of around 32-36°F (0-2°C).

It’s important to note that even when stored properly, strawberries are still perishable fruits and will naturally decline in quality over time. It’s best to consume them within a few days for optimal flavor and texture. Additionally, keep an eye out for any signs of spoilage, such as mold or off odors, and discard any strawberries that appear spoiled. It might be tempting to test how long strawberries can last in a refrigerator, but just err on the side of caution.

Check out this post, where you can build your own waffle charcuterie board. Fresh strawberries fit perfectly and this is a unique addition to brunch!

How to freeze your strawberries

Freezing strawberries is a great way to preserve them for longer-term storage. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to freeze strawberries:

  1. Choose ripe strawberries: Select ripe and firm strawberries for freezing. Avoid using overripe or mushy berries, as they may not freeze well.

  2. Rinse the strawberries: Gently rinse the strawberries under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris. Pat them dry with a clean towel or paper towels.

  3. Hull the strawberries: Remove the green leafy tops (hulls) of the strawberries by either cutting them off with a knife or using a strawberry huller.

  4. Decide on the freezing method: There are two main methods for freezing strawberries: whole or sliced.

    • Whole berries: If you plan to use the strawberries as a topping or for baking, you can freeze them whole. Place the hulled strawberries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure they don’t touch each other. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and let the strawberries freeze until solid (usually for about 2-3 hours). Once frozen, transfer the strawberries to a freezer-safe bag or container, removing as much air as possible before sealing it. Label the container with the date and store it in the freezer.
    • Sliced strawberries: If you plan to use the strawberries for smoothies or other recipes that require sliced fruit, you can slice them before freezing. Slice the hulled strawberries to your desired thickness and spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze the cut strawberries until solid. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Label and date the container and store it in the freezer.
  5. Freezing syrup (optional): If desired, you can freeze strawberries in a sugar syrup to help maintain their texture and sweetness. Prepare a syrup by dissolving ¾ cup of sugar in 4 cups of water over low heat. Let the syrup cool. Place the hulled strawberries in freezer bag, leaving some headspace. Pour the cooled syrup over the strawberries, covering them completely. Seal the containers, label them, and place them in the freezer.

When properly stored, frozen strawberries can last for several months. They are great for use in smoothies, baked goods, sauces, and more. Remember to thaw the strawberries in the refrigerator before using them in recipes that require defrosted fruit.


Enjoy these all time favorite fruits! It’s no wonder it is always a flavor different companies make their product, you just cannot go wrong. Hopefully this helps with how to clean and store your strawberries to make the most of them!