You may have heard the conventional wisdom, “moisture is the enemy of the berry,” but is there anything else you can do to make this precious, painfully expensive produce last just a little bit longer? Learn how to store berries the best way with this easy method!

A handful of blueberries, raspberries and a few strawberries on a cutting board. This is surrounded by bowls of blackberries and raspberries, and a kitchen towel.
Photo Credits: Ali Redmond

Despite what the latest viral video will tell you, how to store berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, berries of any kind, really) doesn’t need to be complicated. While the juiciest Berry Fruit Salads, freshest Strawberry Spinach Salad, and the most refreshing Strawberry Lemonades are well worth the extra effort, keeping berries fresh doesn’t take much work.

I tested the internet’s top tips to find out how to store berries so they last–including soaking them in vinegar, leaving them in the original carton, sorting them, and washing and drying them in a salad spinner before refrigerating. Turns out the best way to store berries is easier than you might think.

Table of Contents
  1. How to Store Berries (Best Way)
    1. Instead: Sort Out the Bad Seeds
    2. Use Ventilated Containers
    3. Give Them Their Space
    4. Give Them Some Love
  2. What I Tested
    1. Optional: The Paper Towel Method 
  3. What Worked
  4. Should You Soak Berries In Vinegar? 
  5. Berries on Their Final Day? Macerate, Compote, or Freeze
    1. Process: 
    2. Freeze: 
  6. Use Those Beautiful Fresh Berries in These Recipes!

How to Store Berries (Best Way)

Whether you’re storing strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, or harder-to-find varieties, here are the three quick steps for the best way to store fresh berries: 

  • Sort. Dump the berries onto a paper towel and remove any that look mushy, moldy, bruised, or rotten. 
  • Store. Return to the container or transfer to a large berry storage container. Do not transfer to a sealable storage container like a Tupperware, it will trap moisture and moisture is the enemy of a long-lasting berry.
  • Check. Pick through the berries every couple of days, removing any starting to turn. The berries will keep in your fridge for 1-2 weeks. 
  • Wash before eating and not a moment sooner. It’s best to wash your berries right before eating them. The key to long-lasting berries is to keep them dry. 
A close up of a blueberries, blackberries and strawberries in a bowl.

Instead: Sort Out the Bad Seeds

As soon as you get home, dump your berries onto a paper towel and inspect them thoroughly. Snack on any showing signs of age, such as soft spots, or freeze them for smoothies. Throw away any rotting berries.

Use Ventilated Containers

You can buy fancy berry storage containers that allow for more airflow and have a carbon filter, but the storage containers the berries come in work just fine. Just don’t move your berries to anything that seals. That traps the condensation and causes the berries to rot faster. 

Give Them Their Space

Berries don’t like to be weighed down, especially delicate varieties like blackberries and raspberries. You can either eat a handful right away to make some space or transfer to a larger berry container.

Give Them Some Love

There will always be berries that age more gracefully than others, particularly the ones at the bottom of the pile that bear the weight. Pick through the carton every couple of days or so to find (and enjoy) any berries that are starting to get soft.

A handful of blueberries on a cutting board. This is surrounded by packs of raspberries, blackberries and more blueberries.

What I Tested

For each test, I first sorted out the bad berries. Here are the methods I tested to find the best way to store berries from there:

  • Soaked them in a vinegar-water solution. Left to dry for 2 hours in a cool shady place, including rotating the berries and propping them up for maximum air circulation.
  • Soaked in a vinegar-water solution and dried in a salad spinner.
  • Lined the container with paper towels.
  • Returned to the original carton without washing.

Optional: The Paper Towel Method 

If you’d like a backup layer to remove excess moisture, feel free to line the container with paper towels. Just don’t wrap too tight, as the berries need plenty of airflow. 

A close up of a blueberries, blackberries and strawberries.

What Worked

Here’s what I found: Each method “worked” in that all of the berries rotted at a remarkably similar rate. As long as you sort your berries and remove them as they start to turn, you can store them in their packaging and rinse them well with cold water just before eating. 

Should You Soak Berries In Vinegar? 

Many on the internet advocate for soaking the berries in a vinegar solution to kill bacteria before storing them. I tested this method and ultimately landed on: No, you should not soak your berries.

As much as we’d all love to believe there’s an antidote to spoilage sitting in our pantry, it just doesn't make much of a difference. 

Some people advocate washing produce in vinegar to remove pesticides, but according to research conducted by the University of Michigan, that’s not a great idea. As there is a slight chance the vinegar could react with the pesticides and create potentially harmful compounds.

A close up of a blueberries, blackberries and strawberries in a bowl next to a kitchen towel

Berries on Their Final Day? Macerate, Compote, or Freeze

If you’re looking at a tub full of berries on their final day or two, you have a few options.



  • Remove the tops if you’re freezing strawberries. 
  • Spread them on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and freeze.
  • Once completely frozen, transfer the berries to a sealable bag or container and freeze for up to 6 months. 
  • They’ll be mushier once you thaw them, so they’re best used for smoothies or compote. 

Use Those Beautiful Fresh Berries in These Recipes!

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Devin Fuller is a San Francisco Bay Area native who started her culinary career begging for kitchen shifts at a Hawaiian plate lunch chain in college. She is the associate editor of The Mediterranean Dish, has contributed to Bon Appétit Magazine, and is the co-author of At Home in the Kitchen, Simple Recipes from a Chef’s Night Off with Chef David Kinch.
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