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3 Best Hacks to Extend the Life of Fresh Strawberries

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pile of fresh strawberries on

Fresh strawberries for life! 🍓

Okay, maybe one carton won’t actually last for life, but we’ve got the top 3 hacks to keep those fresh berries sticking around a lot longer – that’s if you don’t eat them all beforehand. 😉

If you’re tired of wasting money on berries that go into the trash too quickly, then you’ll want to try these 3 smart and easy ways to keep strawberries fresh longer!


1. Soak strawberries in a bowl of vinegar to make them last longer.

Do this when you first buy strawberries.

dirty water bowl next to bowl of fresh strawberries and strawberries in containers with paper towel

Use a large bowl to make a diluted vinegar wash of 1 part white vinegar to 5 parts water. Soak your berries in the solution for a few minutes. The vinegar will remove the bacteria and mold spores which typically causes the fruit to go bad so quickly. In fact, see the photo above of what the water looks like after you rinse the strawberries. Yikes! 😳

Next, you’ll want to dry your berries thoroughly by either leaving them in a colander to air dry or carefully spinning them in a salad spinner. After drying, store your berries in the fridge.

But you’re probably wondering… do the strawberries taste like vinegar? 🤔

No, they don’t – we promise! And although I haven’t personally tried this method with other berries, I hear it works for raspberries and blackberries, too!


2. Soak strawberries in a bowl of ice water to make them fresher.

Do this when strawberries are starting to wilt.

hand holding a clear bowl filled with ice strawberries and water

Use a large bowl and fill it with ice and water. Dump strawberries in and let sit for 20 minutes. That’s it, folks! We originally saw this idea over at House Beautiful, and according to one viral Instagram post, this hack actually works wonders on wilted strawberries. 🙌

We’re not entirely sure how ice water can produce such magic, but the proof is in the pictures, so if you’re looking to brighten up your strawberries, make them look a bit plumper and fresh, then this will do the trick.

Of course, this hack will not work if you’re strawberries are already moldy, so don’t consider this a magic trick for turning bad food into something you just picked off the farm.

Hip Tip: We see you eyeing up that roll-up drying rack. You can read here why our team loves these and where you can score one!


3. Store strawberries with a paper towel to make them last even longer.

Do this any time until they’re gone.

hand holding a clear container of fresh strawberries in fridge

This trick isn’t only handy for strawberries, but tons of varieties of berries! After you’ve completed our first or second hack above, you can double up on the freshness by storing your strawberries in the fridge with a paper towel.

Like many situations in life, moisture will eventually create mold, so limiting it as much as possible on your strawberries will help keep them fresher for longer. The paper towel will help absorb all the moisture as the strawberries ripen in the fridge, so make sure you place it at the bottom of the container for best results.

hand holding a clear container of fresh strawberries with paper towel on bottom

Now it’s time to enjoy your fresh strawberries! Yum! 


Here’s how to make vegetables last longer, too.

Join The Discussion

Comments 30

  1. Katie

    Earlier this year I was told to store my strawberries in a mason jar and keep them in the coldest part of my fridge to make them last longer. It works! I’ve had strawberries stay fresh and bright red for weeks! Now I transfer my strawberries to a mason jar as soon as I bring them home. I definitely want to try the vinager trick now though!

    • Angie M.

      Yes I read about that too and it does work 🙂

    • Stacy Dawn Pokrinchak

      Yes I have been doing this for years!!!! it works

    • V

      A strawberry patch owner gave me this same tip. He said any glass jar will work. He also said to not wash them until you are ready to use/eat them to extend freshness.

    • Hipgrandma

      Do you put a lid on the jar?

      • Katie

        Yes, any jar with a lid will work.

  2. Lisa

    When should you cut the top off? Wait til you’re ready to eat or e we hen you do the vinegar wash? Thanks. 🍓

    • Kim

      I just pull the green top off, do the vinegar bath and then dry them. Works well!!

  3. Tammy

    Thanks for the tips. I ordered that drying rack when you’ve posted before and love it!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Yay! You’re welcome! Glad you are loving the rack, Tammy!

  4. Cami

    Do you have to keep them uncovered (including mason jar method) when stored in the refrigerator or have a lid on the container/mason jar?

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Hi Cami! We don’t cover them. Hope this helps!

    • Katie

      If you’re going to try the mason jar method, use a lid.

  5. Whit

    I’ve tried the ice water twice to revive sad strawberries and it didn’t work! I didn’t see a difference at all. Has anyone else tried it?

    • Marie

      I also tried it, but only saw minimal results on strawberries that were practically fresh to begin with. I felt like it took the strawberries from being a little squishy, to more firm. Which makes sense, because it was ice water after all. It did nothing for the deep red strawberries though.

  6. Debbie H.

    I’ve always used the vinegar wash method and make sure the berries are dry before storing in a paper-towel lined ventilated container. It has doubled their useful life.

  7. Linda

    Strawberries are only 99 cents at Aldi this week! This tips will come in handy! Thinking about making jam too!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      GREAT price! Thanks for sharing, Linda!

  8. alittleshelli

    I always put all of my fruit in a vinegar bath Kills all bacteria and my mom always told me it kills bug poop haha I used to put the smaller fruit in a strainer then put it in a large bowl but that wastes a lot of vinegar, but as long as you rinse them well they won’t taste nor smell like vinegar * make sure when your rinsing them you empty the bowl of vinegar or move it away from you because you will keep smelling it thinking they’re going to taste like the vinegar.

  9. devonmcdonnell

    Do you think this would work with all berries? I feel like raspberries are the worst for going bad fast.

  10. LisaMarieRose

    Does anyone know if you can use apple cider vinegar, or does it have to be distilled vinegar?

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Hi there! We just looked into this and it seems either will work. Hope that helps!

  11. Julie

    You can also eat the strawberry tops. I save them in the freezer, and use them in smoothies. All of it is edible.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh cool! Thanks for the tip!

  12. Mj

    I’ve tried the vinegar and ice water – makes no difference whatsoever for me (bummer), and the berries did have a noticeable vinegar smell/taste afterward even tho we rinsed them well. I use paper towels – but only to keep water from puddling in the fridge under the berried container – haha 🙂 I will surely try the mason jar tho!!! Thanks for that tip! Also – soaking lettuce/salad in ice water make a huge crunchy difference unless too wilted (restaurant trick). One last trick – I use wet paper towels to wrap fresh herbs and put them in a cup with a little water in the fridge…have to change water and rewet paper towels, but keeps them alive for days and days! I was recently gifted a herb-keeper contraption (I eat LOTS of basil 🙂 ) from Williams Sonoma (plastic case with water in bottom) and that thing is seriously magical…never would’ve bought it for myself though it works sooo well!!!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience and for letting us know about your herb keeper! SO neat!

  13. jen

    I use the paper towel trick on bagged spinach. I layer the towels & leaves in a gallon ziploc bag & squeeze the air out so it’s somewhat vacuum packed. It usually needs 3-4 layers to accommodate the contents of a new bag. It lasts at least 3 weeks. If I have a head of lettuce, I wrap that in press n seal wrap. I’ll give the core a fresh cut & cut a strip of the wrap twice as long as the head of lettuce. Lay the cut end in the center of the wrap & stretch the wrap so the ends meet, pressing out the air as you seal. Lasts weeks as well.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Awesome! Thanks so much for taking the time to share your tips with us, Jen! I’ll have to try these!

  14. Ashley C

    So that’s what I’ve been doing wrong! Lol I do the vinegar wash but I never let them fully dry, so they went bad super fast. Now I know! I also put paper towels in my salad containers and that helps keep the leaves crisp 🙂 I’ve also washed black berries and blue berries in vinegar and haven’t had a problem!

  15. beverlymcgee

    A friend gave me strawberries she had put in a green bag. They lasted and lasted. We grow our own strawberries and have reused the bag multiple times!!

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