The Best Way To Clean Your Strawberries And Keep Them Fresh

Strawberries are fragile and difficult to keep fresh for longer than a hot minute. They often look sad a day or two after bringing them home from the store. Because of their delicate nature, knowing how to wash and store them properly is imperative; otherwise, they will not be fresh for that mid-week strawberry shortcake or a brunchtime strawberries and cream French toast bake. Luckily, you don't need any special cleaners to get the job done. Hot water, a dish towel, and a breathable container are all that are required.

While there are plenty of other methods out there you can use that range from a diluted water and vinegar bath to using baking soda and water, they are not necessary. The best way to keep strawberries fresh begins by ensuring your hands are clean before washing them. Get rid of moldy or rotting strawberries, then wash the remaining under hot water.

Hot water kills bacteria

As tested by a food reporter for The New York Times, if you submerge strawberries in water that is 125 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 seconds, it not only cleans your berries but prolongs their life. Why so hot? At this temperature, the water isn't so hot that it compromises the delicate nature of a strawberry, but it is hot enough that mold will be visibly reduced, if not eliminated completely. It also prevents existing mold from spreading to other berries and fends off mold formation for a few extra days.

You will still need to thoroughly dry them using a kitchen or paper towel before placing them into a breathable container. Your strawberries should last for up to a week before they start to show signs of spoilage, but how fresh they were when you first purchased them will influence this. If they start getting a little soft but are free of mold, you can use them to make strawberry vanilla bread.