Have you ever purchased a package of strawberries only to find them moldy and mushy just a few days later? If the answer is yes and you’re wondering how to make strawberries last longer, you’re not alone.
I love to cut up fresh strawberries and throw them onto my cereal, oatmeal, or yogurt for a delicious and healthy topping. The problem is, I’ve never been able to keep them for more than four days in the fridge, so I went in search of a hack to make strawberries last longer — and the one I found was super simple!
Experts over at Berries.com say that it’s easy to store strawberries for up to two weeks. Yes, you read that right — two weeks! As surprised as I was to read this, I tried the hack a week ago and so far, my strawberries are still looking — and tasting — fresh as can be.
Make Strawberries Last Longer With Vinegar
According to Berries.com, the secret ingredient for making your strawberries last longer is vinegar. That’s plain, white vinegar, which you probably already have in the house!
Because it’s non-toxic and a natural antibacterial, vinegar has so many helpful uses around the house. The acids present in vinegar help to kill off harmful bacteria, so many people use it to clean things, including fruit. Strawberries top the list of the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Dirty Dozen almost every year (meaning they are sprayed with more toxic chemicals than any other produce item), so cleaning them with vinegar is particularly important.
White vinegar also works to fight mold from growing on your berries, which is why doing a vinegar wash will help you keep them fresh, too! The second key to this hack is storing your berries in an air-tight container that blocks out moisture. Moisture on your berries can encourage the growth of mold and will make them soggy and mushy over time.
How to Do a Vinegar Wash
Make sure to do this the day you bring your strawberries home, before any mold has time to grow on them. Fill a bowl with three parts water and one part white vinegar (1/2 cup vinegar and 1 1/2 cups water usually works for a single carton of strawberries). Submerge your berries in the bowl and allow them to sit for five to ten minutes.
Remove the strawberries from the solution and place them in a single layer on paper towels to dry completely, or run them through a salad spinner to dry them thoroughly. TK WON’T THAT DAMAGE THEM? Make sure they are totally dry before you prepare to store them.
Next, line an airtight container with paper towels. This will soak up any moisture that accumulates in the next few days. Place your dry strawberries into the container, seal, and place it in the fridge.
That’s it! We hope you utilize this super simple hack and that it makes your life easier — and sweeter!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, FirstForWomen.com.