How to Clean Strawberries (for longer storage)

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Learn how to clean strawberries with vinegar, and find the best tips, tricks, and storage methods to help them stay fresh longer. 

An image of strawberries with text banner that reads "how to clean & store strawberries".


Why you should clean strawberries: 

I love fresh strawberries and keep them stocked in the fridge when they’re in season! They’re great for snacking and to use in a wide variety of recipes like strawberry pear smoothies, strawberry jam

  • Deep clean: it’s important to give strawberries a good wash before you eat them. This is because unwashed strawberries can contain high levels of dirt, bacteria, pesticides, and even tiny bugs. This isn’t the most appetizing thought. But luckily, they’re quick and easy to clean off.
  • Extended shelf-life: Since vinegar water cleans any mold spores and bacteria, the berries stay fresh much longer!

How to clean strawberries with vinegar:

  1. Fill a large bowl with white vinegar and cold water.
  2. Add your fresh strawberries, and swish them around in the liquid. 
  3. Drain the liquid, and rinse the berries under cold running water. 
  4. Allow the strawberries to air dry completely. 
  5. Once dry, enjoy your berries, or store them in the refrigerator for later! 
Four images showing the process of how to clean strawberries with water and vinegar, rinse them off, and dry them on a paper towel.

How to store freshly washed strawberries: 

  • Arrange the clean strawberries stem side down in a food storage container lined with a paper towel. 
  • Or, place them back in a plastic clamshell container. If using this storage method, they do not have to be quite as dry, because there is some air circulation that will allow them to dry naturally.
  • Stored properly, fresh strawberries will last in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. 


To enjoy delicious strawberries all year long, freeze the berries

A paper towel-lined clamshell container of fresh strawberries.

How to freeze strawberries:

  1. Wash and clean the berries as described above.
  2. Then remove the green tops and white centers of the fruit. If desired half or quarter the strawberries.
  3. Arrange the berries on a baking sheet lined with silicone mat or parchment paper in a single layer. Freeze them until solid, at least 2 hours.
  4. Transfer the frozen berries into freeze bags and store them in the freezer for up to 6-12 months! 

Tips for Success:

  • Use the proper ratio of liquids. Be sure to use 1 part vinegar for every 3 parts water to clean your strawberries without affecting their taste. 
  • Swish the fruit around. Make sure to gently move the berries around to break the dirt and debris free from the fruit. Otherwise, the berries will just get wet and won’t actually be clean! 
  • Dry completely. Excess moisture promotes mold growth. To prevent this, arrange your washed strawberries in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Then, allow them to air dry. Or, pat them dry yourself with clean paper towels.  

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Do you take the stems off of strawberries before you wash them? 

No, removing the stems before washing your strawberries will negatively impact the taste and texture of the fruit. Instead, wait to remove the stems until after you have washed and dried your strawberries. 

Should I use salt or vinegar to clean strawberries? 

I like to use vinegar, but salt works as well. To clean strawberries with salt, combine 1 tablespoon of salt with every 1 cup of water. Submerge your strawberries in the mixture for 5 minutes. Then, drain the liquid, rinse the fruit, and set the berries aside to dry. 

How long can strawberries sit in vinegar water? 

For the best results, I recommend letting strawberries soak in a vinegar and water mixture for 5 minutes. However, they can stay submerged for up to 20 minutes.

Is it better to wash fruit with vinegar or baking soda? 

Both methods are effective when learning how to clean strawberries. To use baking soda, combine 1 teaspoon with every 2 cups of water, and follow the same steps listed in the recipe card below. 

Strawberry Recipes: 

Now that you know how to clean strawberries for longer storage, it’s time to make the most of your fruit and use it up in delicious recipes! 

5 from 1 vote

How to Clean Strawberries (for longer storage)

Learn how to clean strawberries with vinegar and water for longer storage. Stored properly, they’ll stay fresh for up to 1 week!
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 3 serving


  • 1 lb (450g) fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup (240ml) distilled white vinegar Note 1


  • 1 large bowl


  • Fill a large bowl with 1 cup of white vinegar and 3 cups of cold water. (See Note 1)
  • Add fresh strawberries and gently swish around for about half a minute. Let soak for 5 minutes.
  • Drain the vinegar water. Fill the bowl with fresh cold water and rinse the strawberries in it. (Alternatively, rinse the strawberries under running cold water.)
  • Arrange the strawberries in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Air dry the strawberries for a few minutes, or pat dry with more paper towels. (TIP: Keep the strawberries as dry as possible, as excess moisture promotes mold growth.)
  • Arrange the strawberries stem side down in a food storage container lined with a paper towel. (You can reuse the plastic clamshell container. In that case, you don’t have to dry the strawberries as thoroughly since there is some air circulation.)
  • Store the strawberries in the refrigerator. (I've had strawberries last up to 10 days in the fridge!)

Tips & Notes

Note 1: If you plan on using more than 1 pound of strawberries, add more vinegar and water as needed to keep them submerged. For optimal result, follow 1:3 ratio of vinegar to water. 
Storing Tips: 
-Store clean strawberries in the fridge for up to 7 days.
-To freeze, remove the stems and white center of the clean fruit, and transfer the strawberries to a sealable bag or airtight container. They can be frozen for up to 6-12 months.


Servings: 1 cup
Calories: 48kcal
Carbohydrates: 12g
Protein: 1g
Fat: 0.5g
Sugar: 7g
Sodium: 2mg
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American

Hi, I’m Shinee!

Welcome! I’m so happy you’re here! I believe anyone can cook restaurant-quality food at home! And my goal is to help you to become a confident cook with my easy-to-follow recipes with lots of tips and step-by-step photos.

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