How to make strawberries last longer is a post that puts 2 popular Pinterest methods to the test. See which kept strawberries fresh for 3 weeks!

I love using fresh strawberries, especially in desserts like this No-Bake Strawberry Lasagna.

Strawberries in a  glass jar with text overlay for Pinterest.

The Best Way to Store Strawberries

Strawberry season is here! To kick it off, I did a little experiment. For the past month, I have taken strawberries and tested different methods to make them last longer in the refrigerator.

There was one clear winner. Today, I’m sharing my results with you in this post!

Recently, strawberries at my local grocery store were on sale. Scratch that. They were a steal at $0.88 for a 1-pound container! You better believe I stocked up 14 pounds (yes, pounds).

I have big plans for these berries

I know that I have to pace myself so I don’t overload my family with strawberries! That’s where this experiment comes in.

As a side note, this would be a fabulous science fair project or experiment to do with kids!

Strawberries stored 3 differnt ways: in their original container, in an open container, and in a glass jar.

How to Keep Strawberries Fresh

Will strawberries keep longer when kept in their original container, in a glass jar, or teated with a vinegar wash when stored in the refrigerator over a 3 week period? Basically, what is the best way to store strawberries?

I researched two popular Pinterest methods for how to keep strawberries fresh. I used strawberries stored in their original container as the control group.

I then gave some berries a Vinegar Wash and stored them in an open container on top of paper towels in the refrigerator.

For the third and final group, I stored unwashed strawberries using the Glass Jar Method. This is where unwashed strawberries are kept in an air-tight glass canning jar.

An overhead picture of strawberries with text overlay for Pinterest.

Storing Strawberries Hypotheses

If I treat strawberries with a vinegar wash, they will:

A- Keep longer in the refrigerator than berries kept in a glass jar or their original container.

B- Not keep longer in the refrigerator than berries kept in a glass jar but keep longer than berries in their original container.

Best Way to Store Strawberries: The experiment

I used berries from the same 1-pound plastic clamshell to test the two variables and the control. Berries were of varying sizes and generally the same ripeness. Any berries that had begun to spoil, I discarded.

Variable 1:

Berries were simply placed in a glass jar, unwashed, and placed in the coldest part of the refrigerator.

Variable 2:

Berries were placed in a vinegar wash:

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 5 cups of water

They sat in the vinegar wash for 5 minutes. Then I drained them and gently pat them dry with paper towels. Finally, I placed them in a paper towel-lined bowl and left them uncovered in the coldest part of the refrigerator.


Berries were kept in the original packaging, unwashed, and placed in the coldest part of the refrigerator.

Storing Strawberries: Week 1 data

Week 1 results of the strawberry storing experiment.

After one week, I placed all the berries side-by-side and compared them.

Original Container: A little shriveled, but very much still edible.

Vinegar Wash: They look nearly perfect. They have ever so slightly started to shrivel, but they’re perfectly fine.

Glass Jar: They look just as good as the day they went into the jar.

Best Way to Store Strawberries: Week 2 data

Week 2 results of the strawberry storing experiment.

Original Container: Severe shriveling has set in. These berries would only be good for making jam at this point.

Vinegar Wash: The berries have started to shrivel significantly. While they aren’t the prettiest berries, they are still ok to eat.

Glass Jar: These berries a still plump and they have yet to shrivel. I have noticed that they have lost some of their vibrant red color.

How to Keep Strawberries Fresh: Week 3 data

Week 3 results of the strawberry storing experiment.

Original Container: Shriveling has continued even more. I do not recommend eating these berries.

Vinegar Wash: Shriveling has gotten to the point where these berries would only be good for making jam.

Glass Jar: These berries are still plump and juicy, but they have lost some more of their vibrant red color. Most of the berries tart fine, but a couple has a fermented taste to them.

Best Way to Store Strawberries: The Results!

Glass Jar Method:

3 weeks worth of results from strawberries being stored in a glass jar.

The berries look almost like they did three weeks ago. The stems and leaves are still bushy and green.

They are plump, and they have not started to shrivel. They taste good, with a few having a slight fermentation taste to them. This would be a good method for storing strawberries in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Vinegar Wash:

3 weeks worth of results from strawberries being stored in an open container after a vinegar wash.

The berries look okay. They’re starting to shrivel quite a bit, and the stem and leaves are beginning to dry out.

They taste fine, but they’re not at all pleasing to the eye. The vinegar wash is a good method for keep strawberries for 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Control – Original Container:

3 weeks worth of results from strawberries being stored in their original container.

The berries have seen better days. They’ve shriveled quite a bit and are inedible by week three, and some strawberries are starting to mold.

The stems and leaves have dried out. They taste over-ripe. This is an ok method of storing strawberries for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

Conclusion: The Best Way to Store Strawberries

The glass jar method is the clear winner. Strawberries that last three weeks in the refrigerator are a total win!

You can keep these berries for up to three weeks in the refrigerator. The vinegar wash method is fine for keeping the strawberries for 1-2 weeks, and the original container is best for keeping the strawberries for one week.

A picture of strawberries with the text overlay "How to Make Strawberries Last Longer" for Pinterest.

How to store Strawberries

  • Do not remove the stem, and do not wash the strawberries before storing them.
  • Use a clean glass jar that’s been washed and dried thoroughly. It needs to have a tight-fitting lid. I like using large mason jars. Large jars like pickle jars are perfect for larger quantities of strawberries, too. 
  • Discard any spoiled or bruised fruit. Do not put the spoiled ones in the jar with the other strawberries.
  • Place the jar in the coldest part of your refrigerator.
  • The strawberries will not get moldy using this method. They will, however, start to ferment. They may seem fine, but they aren’t edible if you leave them too long in the refrigerator.

***NOTE: The results will vary based on the ripeness of the fruit when placed into the jar, refrigerator temperature, etc.

FAQs on Storing Strawberries

What are the benefits of eating strawberries?

Strawberries are such a fresh and healthy snack and even a treat! They are delicious in salads, desserts, on pizza (yes!), in a smoothie, and the list goes on and on. Additionally, they are a good source of Vitamin C, potassium, and Vitamin B9. They are great for your heart and blood sugar control. 

Can strawberries be left unrefrigerated?

Strawberries can be left unrefrigerated after cutting them for up to two hours. You will want to put them in the fridge after two hours to help the berries stay fresh and be safe to eat.

However, if you have not cut or washed them, they can sit at room temperature for up to two days. However, storing them at room temperature will not stay fresh for as long as they will by storing them in a glass container in the fridge.

This post first appeared on FFF in May 2016. I have since updated the pictures and added a video.

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  1. Does it have to be a mason jar? Would a Pyrex container (glass with plastic lid) work?

    1. The container needs to be air-tight.

      1. Barbara Fillion says:

        Hi Jillian, Thanks for the tips on my fave fruit. I’m going to try the mason jar tip for strawberries. I wonder if opening the jar too often will affect how long they keep?

        1. Hi Barbara,
          Opening the jar too often won’t affect how long they keep.

        1. Rita L Ornstedt says:

          I tried this last month and they lasted two weeks. It was incredible

          1. Yay, I’m thrilled this worked well for you.

  2. I will definitely try this, I have a huge bucket if fresh picked strawberries and hate to see them turn so quick, will try and let you know.
    Thank You,

    1. Yay, I’m so glad you’re going to give this a try!

  3. I have three little ones that will stuff themselves on strawberries, my norm is to wash all fruit as I put them away can I do this with the glass jar method?

    1. You could but I find that the strawberries last longer when they go unwashed into the glass jar. I then wash the strawberries before eating them.

  4. Jillian
    Thanks for thanks for giving us an idea for a science project.

    Kansas City

    1. No problem! I just did this experiment again with my daughter for a science project as well!

  5. Sydney Morsell says:

    You’re awesome! I’m definitely going to try this method.

  6. That explains why when I wash and cut them up and put them in a pyrex storage dish with a little sugar with tight lid I find they last a week vs when I leave them in the store container they begin to whither and spoil rapidly. I hope this method works for other berries too. Wonder if you can mis them or should keep them separate too.

  7. Charles Hansen says:

    Would a plastic jar work?

    I have lots of the Talenti gelato jars that seal fairly tightly (watertight if not completely airtight). I plan to try this with the next batch I get.

    1. Hi Charles, I have had the best success with glass jars. The plastic “breathes” whereas glass does not.

  8. Charles Hansen says:

    Mixed results – the strawberries quickly turned to mush – but they may have been due anyway. I used to get the boxes with the most dark red ones, but now think I’ll need to open a few boxes and see which ones seem like they have the most life left in them.

    OTOH, I also put some grapes in a Talenti jar and they kept much better than they do in the plastic bag with holes, even though I’d previously read that grapes do best with lots of air flowing over them.

    BTW – I live alone and can only deal with maybe a pound of grapes at a time. Trader Joes near me has them, but only in ~3# boxes. Star has them in 3# open zip-lok baggies, but they stuff them all full instead of varying the amount of grapes, so (after tasting one for flavor, texture and age) I take out say 2/3 of them and put them in other bags.

    This is also surprisingly true for some veggies – the TJ’s brussels sprouts often have black (insects?) areas or are otherwise in bad shape, while for not a whole lot more Star has an open bin so I can choose which and how many I want – I tend to get large ones so there’s more left after removing the dark green layers, then slice in half and pan fry – often adding a bit of water to steam for a while.

    Another note – grapes and strawberries figure in my new favorite dessert. I cut up strawberries, slice black and/or red grapes in half (green are useless here), and peel a Halo or similar and place them in a small bowl. This won’t be for everyone, but then add maybe an ounce of orange liqueur and stir them around before sticking them in the freezer for an hour or so.

    I like Cointreau, but have found I prefer something “heavier” for this and the Italian Gran Gala is less expensive than Grand Marnier and tastes better IMHO – YMMV.

    I usually have this for bed and find it – not surprisingly, helps me fall asleep quickly and sleep quite soundly.

    A few decades ago I was on a winter hike in the White Mountains and had brought a nectarine. I was blown away by how much more intense the flavor was in the well below freezing air, and have been semi-freezing soft fruit ever since – peach slices are my all-time favorite.

    Sorry – I guess I strayed a bit from Strawberries . . . my old mind making connections.

  9. Erratum – I cleared out the dark corners of my fridge tonight and discovered another Talenti jar, with the five plump test strawberries I put in there some six days ago, all in excellent health. So apparently the breathing does no harm here, although I do notice moisture leak when I use these for my ceramic glazes, but I can just add water and stir.

    1. Glad the plastic jar worked for you!

  10. Hi Jillian,
    I have blueberries and strawberries that I would like to try this method with, could I use glass Bonne Maman jars ….(I have lots of jars as we love the preserve). Would the seal be good enough??

    1. Hi Jilly,

      I think they’ll work just fine. If you end up using them, come back and let me know how they worked out!

  11. This is so helpful! I love strawberries and have been struggling to keep them fresh.

  12. wilhelmina says:

    This makes such a huge difference! Great info!

    1. Awesome, so glad this method for keeping strawberries longer is useful for you.

  13. When I bought strawberries about 10 days ago it put them in a jar and in the back of my fridge. Took out a couple everyday to put in a green salad. I’m down to only 3 berries left and they look as fresh as the day I bought them. I’m truly amazed how fresh they have stayed. Thank you, thank you.

  14. I often buy boxes of strawberries at the farmers’ market and they sometimes go bad before we eat them. I’m so glad to have discovered the glass jar method! I’m realizing more and more that glass canning jars are a must-have in the kitchen.

  15. Alisa Infanti says:

    This is so great to know! I would never ever have thought to put them in a glass jar!

  16. This is genesis, thanks for doing all the work. The glass jar method is definitely working for me.

  17. This is amazing! I would never have thought of storing strawberries in a glass jar. Great experiment!

  18. Thank you for sharing this method! It’s great that you can keep strawberries longer with a glass jar.

  19. Has anyone tried with blueberries, raspberries or blackberries? I would love to hear the results.