Keeping Berries Fresh

I recently learned a trick to keep berries fresh longer — vinegar and a paper towel!

Rinse berries in a 1:10 solution of vinegar (white or cider) to water, then drain and let dry completely before bagging with a paper towel.  Leave the tops on strawberries.

Getting the berries as dry as possible before bagging is critical.  If you put them back into the bag slightly wet, they are still likely to rot.  Putting a paper towel down in the bottom of the bag, then placing the berries in, seems to really help.  A day or two later, I remove the paper towel, which has soaked up the last few drips of water.

Just the vinegar rinse helped my berries some, but adding the paper towel really upped the longevity (and yes, I tried just the paper towel without the vinegar and it also didn’t do nearly as well as the combination).  Thanks to my neighbor Linda who told me about this when she gave me a bag of strawberries from her garden!

I have always rinsed berries when I bring them home so that they’re ready to eat, but adding some vinegar to the water has really made a difference in how long they last.  I’m guessing it’s nearly doubled how long I can keep them.

In case you’re wondering — no, I can’t taste the vinegar at all once the berries have dried.

Doing a little bit of checking online, apparently the mildly acidic vinegar solution kills any mold or mildew that may be starting to develop.  In Mexico, I always used a very mild bleach solution to rinse my produce and kill any bacteria so I wondered if that would also help the life of berries (we rarely had fresh berries there so I didn’t remember).  Tried it and the bleach didn’t seem to help at all.  Okay, I learned a science lesson:  bleach is alkaline and vinegar acidic, so it must be something specific about using a very mild acid.

I'd like to know about...

Explore more

Want weekly tidbits of cruising information? Sign up for The Boat Galley's free weekly newsletter. You'll get the newest articles and podcasts as well as a few relevant older articles that you may have missed.

Do you find The Boat Galley useful? You can support the site when you buy from Amazon by using the links on this site or clicking below. No extra cost for you!

19 Comments
  • The Boat Galley
    Posted at 22 January 2014 Reply

    Not quite sure how that “Happy New Year” got there. Autocorrect? Oh well have a fantastic day!

  • S/V Dos Libras
    Posted at 22 January 2014 Reply

    Just bought some strawberries at the produce market, will try this! Thanks!

  • Kathryn Oler
    Posted at 22 January 2014 Reply

    Carolyn, Did you mean 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water?

  • Sue
    Posted at 22 January 2014 Reply

    Vinegar is great for lots of things… perhaps another article Carolyn. And so much better to use a food chemical than a cleaning product.

  • Kathy Moore
    Posted at 23 January 2014 Reply

    Are you storing the berries in a zip lock bag or the green bags?

  • C. C. MacNair
    Posted at 23 January 2014 Reply

    Good idea on using vinegar because of the acid content. In my younger days I used acid and today at 64 most people think I am in my 50’s !!! LOL

  • Tony Gariepy
    Posted at 20 June 2015 Reply

    The best way to keep berries fresh is to eat them faster than they spoil!!!!

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 20 June 2015 Reply

      We’ve been doing some of that with granddaughters!

    • Tony Gariepy
      Posted at 20 June 2015 Reply

      Is it easier to eat the granddaughters faster than they spoil??

  • Tony
    Posted at 20 June 2015 Reply

    Using a “Salad Spinner” very gently is another good way to dry the berries after the vinegar/water rinse.

  • Dina
    Posted at 20 June 2015 Reply

    It also works very well with raspberries. I rinse them as you mentioned with the vinegar water and let them dry. I put them back in the same plastic container I bought them in. I do add the paper towel to the bottom of the container. It is amazing how much longer they last. So simple.

  • Lisa Targal Favors
    Posted at 15 July 2016 Reply

    You always have the best information!

  • Susan Geelmuyden
    Posted at 15 July 2016 Reply

    You really don’t want to rinse at all until you’re ready to eat them.

  • Dave Skolnick
    Posted at 15 July 2016 Reply

    Eat them faster. Problem solved. *grin*

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 15 July 2016 Reply

      Yeah, but that would mean I eat everything on Day 1 of the trip!

  • Larry Whited
    Posted at 16 July 2016 Reply

    This is definitely information we can use!

Post A Comment