How Long Do Limes Last?

Lime health benefits and storing tips!

Written by Elisa Chan. Updated on How Long Do Limes Last

This citrus is widely known today and many people think that it is almost the same as lemon. Well, even though its name does mean “lemon”, both fruits are genetically different. 

We use lime for making lemonades, juices, and for flavoring various dishes and bakery. Naturally, sooner or later a question is asked: how long do limes stay good? 

Well, let’s find it out!

Limes Expiration Date

How soon these citruses will get worse and become useless hangs upon where they are stocked.

Depending on that factor, we can expect limes to stay edible from several days to several weeks. Also, it highly matters whether they are whole or cut.

Now let us take a closer look at all the nuances considering the facts provided.

  • Fresh whole limes that are kept on the countertop will manage to stay good for nearly a week.
  • If we transfer them to the pantry that is cool and shady, we can be pretty sure that the lifespan will be extended to one more week or so.
  • Another option (quite popular, by the way) is to refrigerate the citruses. Like that, their durability will be prolonged to nearly thirty days. Moreover, if everything is done correctly, and we seal the citruses in a packet, it can make them last for the extra few weeks.
  • It is all a bit different about the cut or sliced fruits. These ones will stay fresh for only a few days if refrigerated.

It is necessary to keep in mind that limes will not of course get bad right after their durability term expires. However, they will start decaying gradually and will finally dry out.

To sum up, check out the comparative chart below to be always aware of how much time your citruses can safely stay stocked at a certain place.

How Long Do Limes Last

Pantry Fridge
Whole limes 1-2 weeks

4-6 weeks
Cut limes 2 days 3-4 days
Lime Juice (Homemade) 3 days 7 days
Lime Juice (Tetrapack - Unopened) 2 months 6 months
Lime Juice (Tetrapack - Opened) 3 weeks 1 month

Shelf Life Of Limes

Lime can stay in a dry and cool place for up to 2 weeks, an optimal storage temperature is 41-48.2 °F. At room temperature, lime goes bad faster and will be unusable in a 1 week. The lime juice can be stored in an ice cube tray in a freezer for 4 to 12 months.


Shelf life of limes

Lime Health Benefits. Why We Shall Eat This Fruit

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

As we have already figured out, limes are different than lemons

These small and round green-colored citruses have a noticeably more sour taste with significant bitter notes. Despite their size, limes can be called a “powerhouse” of different elements useful to our health.

How Long Do Limes Last?

  • Limes are higher in vitamin C than lemons providing us with more than twenty percent of its daily dose needed 
  • They are low in fat and calories
  • Lime is a great source of antioxidants which protect our body cells from ruination
  • Due to the high content of vitamin C, limes contribute greatly to boosting our immune system
  • Studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like limes decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and overall mortality ( by Natalie Olsen, R.D., L.D., ACSM EP-C from Medical News Today)
  • Consuming limes regularly will improve the state of the skin
  • Limes are good protectors from heart diseases, atherosclerosis, and high blood pressure
  • Lime flesh and juice prevents the formation of kidney stones
  • In addition, limes allow our body to absorb iron much better which prevents anemia
  • And finally, limes have been proved to be a good preventive method from certain kinds of cancer (Fact Check)

Despite all these useful traits, people are often worried about the possible side effects of consuming limes. Are limes bad for you? Yes, if you are allergic to other citruses

Symptoms of the allergy: intense tingling and itching of the lips, tongue, and throat and  reddening and mild swelling of the lips and gums (This note was medically reviewed by Alana Biggers, M.D., MPH (Healthline)

Also, too intensive consumption of limes may cause acid reflux or other unpleasant states like nausea since this fruit is high in citric acid. 

For this reason, limes are not recommended to those who suffer from any stomach diseases. Moreover, eating too many limes daily will ruin the teeth enamel, so be careful. We would advise to add several slices of lime to the bottle of water and drink it – like this, the body will get the necessary amount of vitamins and the influence of acids will be less harmful.

How Long Are Limes Good For?

Are limes bad for you
Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Of course, storing limes is a great point of concern for many housewives. These citruses tend to harden if being stored improperly and once they become like this, they are impossible to use anymore.

To protect limes from spoilage and to save your time and money, let’s refresh the basic points regarding the lime shelf life.

  • Limes that are going to be used within a week can be left on the countertop or placed in a pantry
  • For longer storage, refrigerate the citruses to prevent the process of spoiling
  • Always buy fresh limes that are slightly hard to the touch

How long do limes last in the fridge?

Normally, if they were bought fresh and packed properly, the citruses will remain consumable for nearly a month.

How long do limes last

Do Limes Go Bad?

do limes go bad

Like any fresh fruits, limes tend to spoil if we keep them under improper conditions.

How to tell if limes are bad?

There are several major signs that will tell about it.

  • Citruses become soft to the touch
  • Their skin may have the signs of discoloration
  • If you notice any brown color on the lime, it also tells that the fruit is spoiled
  • Rotten limes start drying out from the inside when the first external symptoms appear

Can a bad lime make you sick?

Well, some side effects like nausea or general weakness are possible, especially if one has a stomach that is weak or sensitive to the bad food. However, no really nasty aftermath is possible unless you eat many limes at a time which is hardly possible.

What To Do With Limes Going Bad?

what to do with limes going bad

Is it possible to still use limes that have just started spoiling? We all know that discarding products hurts our heart! That’s why we always try to find any use for the foodstuff that is not completely rotten.

Well, as for limes, try one of the following solutions:

  • Use old lime for cleaning your garbage disposal! Cut them in quarters and shove down the disposal, then run hot water and start the blades – you’ll see, in a minute it will be just like new again!
  • Hard limes can serve for scaring away ants. Puree several peels in 200 ml of water and pulverize all over the yard.
  • Use slightly off limes for cleaning the microwave. Put the lime slices into a glass of water and run in the microwave for 3-4 min. Then wipe down the insides.
  • Old limes cut in halves with some salt added are great to clean the cutting boards.

How to Store Limes?

how to store limes

It’s all good to know how we can use old limes but still, it would be better to keep limes fresh longer to enjoy the citruses to the full.

To achieve that, take into account the major lime storage tips. They are simple but extremely effective!

  • Always wash limes before storing them
  • Should limes be refrigerated, avoid placing the citruses to the fridge uncovered since they will most likely start drying pretty soon
  • Keep limes in a vegetable drawer
  • Pack limes in zip-lock packets since they protect the fruit from dehydration best of all

When following these steps, you’ll manage to extend their lifespan to six weeks.

Always check the citruses for any signs or spoiling regularly, like this, it will be simpler to prevent the complete rotting.

How to Store Limes to Extend Their Shelf Life?

Since dried limes are useless things, it is a reasonable inquiry of what to do to keep them juicy. Even though when refrigerated limes can be pretty durable and stay usable for more than a month, it is sometimes needed to keep them for future use.

In terms of this, the basic requirement is the following: toss the fresh uncut citruses into a refrigerator drawer to prolong their lifespan for up to thirty days.

If you purchased citruses in a plastic packet, we would recommend removing them from it.

Such sort of packaging will only trap moisture that will result in faster decay and spoilage making fruits moldy.

If we are talking about the cut or even prepared citruses, the only option is to keep them in a sealed tank to stock them safe from moisture and various contaminants.

How Long Can You Keep Limes

How Long Do Limes Last At Room Temperature?

Leaving citruses exposed to air and light will sooner or later lead to their dehydration and drying.

These fruits can safely sit out for no more than a week, but after that, we must always remember to transfer them to the fridge.

To make them stay OK while sitting out, ensure you placed the fruit bowl away from direct sunlight and as far as possible from any heating objects, even the fridge!

Instant exposure to such warming and lighting will end up in dried, wrinkled, and stone-hard limes that can only be tossed into a trash bin.

And, How long do limes last at room temperature? At a room temperature of 70°F, the shelf life of limes is 7 days. If the room temperature will be 60°F, the shelf life of limes will increase up to 2 times. To extend the shelf life of limes put them in a plastic bag or cover them with craft paper.

How Long Do Limes Last In the Refrigerator?

When refrigerated, these citruses will be able to stay edible for one and a half months if whole, and for a maximum of four days if cut or sliced. Keeping them chilled is the ideal way to ensure the citruses will remain fresh to their longest.

To achieve such results, we insist on keeping limes in a crisper drawer and taking them out from the plastic packet (if they were sold in one).

The non-breathable cover will make the fruits get soft and will lead to mold development and growth which is the direct way to spoilage.

So, How long do limes last in the refrigerator? Limes last in the fridge for up to 6 weeks. If you put them into the properly sealed airtight container or into the plastic bag. Limes should be moistened unless they will be dried in a couple of weeks.

Can You Freeze Whole Limes?

Limes are very versatile, and in terms of preservation, too. They can be frozen even uncut, and it is pretty simple to do.

But before we toss these green citruses into the frosting camera, they must be washed thoroughly: you can even opt for a harsh brush or a scrubber to delete all the waxy film from their skins.

After giving them a bath, dry the fruits, and place them into the frosting camera in a frost-resistant packet after removing ait from it.

Preserving them this way is a good choice, especially if the plan is to make use of limes later for getting some est or making juice.

However, consider that they will turn mushy when defrosted, so limes frozen whole is definitely not the best option for using them for food or drink decoration.

And, can you freeze the whole limes? Yes, you can freeze the whole limes. Wash them thoroughly, then dry well after it, put them into the freezer-friendly packet. They will be usable after frosting for up to 1 year. After defrosting, you can use these limes for cocktails or use some zest from them for baking.

How Long Do Whole Limes Last In the Freezer?

When preserved whole correctly, limes will manage to stay fine in a frosting camera for nearly twelve months.

Nevertheless, such an extended lifespan can only be achieved if we prepare and pack them properly according to the instructions (i.e. protect from freezer burn, not freeze them moist, etc.).

Also, please note that after three months, the zest and peel of the fruits will start drying out a bit, but that is a normal reaction: the insides will still be juicy and delicious.

And, How Long Do Whole Limes Last In the Freezer? The whole limes last in the freezer for 12 months. If you washed them, dried them well, and put them into the freezer-friendly packet. If the temperature was 0°F, they would be safe to eat and saved their vitamins for about 1 year.

How to Defrost Limes?

To bring the frosted citrus back to live easily and quickly without ruining it, we would recommend processing it in a microwave for a few seconds.

Go for the defrost setting and process the lime in bursts, about ten seconds each. It is a must to check the fruit all the time since we can skip the important moment and the lime will get cooked or heated, and that is not what we want to get.

A gentler approach is to place the frozen limes under the warm running water for a minute approximately if you are not sure that you will manage to keep an eye on them when microwaving.

Once the fruit is no more solid to the touch, let it sit out on the counter for fifteen minutes.

Drying Limes. How And What For?

10 Ways to Use Citrus10 Ways to Use Citrus

Normally, people tend to preserve fruits and keep them fresh and juicy to the longest. Why would someone dry them for purpose?! Well, that’s a reasonable inquiry since we usually don’t dry fresh foodstuffs intentionally.

But let’s give it a take and imagine how dry citruses and limes, in particular, can be used.

In this part of the article, we gathered all the possible information on this topic so that it could be handy for everyone who uses these green and super sour fruits more or less regularly.

Drying Limes. How And What For
Photo by Jessica Lewis on Unsplash

The tradition of drying limes came from Oman where this citrus is used as a spice when turning completely juiceless.

It is mostly dried because of the constant contact with the sun for a long time which makes all the liquid content of the fruit dry out.

Dried limes can be used whole, sliced in wheels, or ground.

When the fruit dries out completely, its taste changes a bit. It still remains citrusy but with the addition of smoky and partly earthy notes. Sometimes, a slight bitterness can be noticed.

As for the use, traditionally dried limes are used for adding sour taste to dishes, as well as for flavoring stews and soups in Persian cuisine. This seasoning is common for fish dishes and all sorts of stuffing, too.

In Iraq, people would give dry lime tea as a cure for indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea, and nausea.

Dry lime can be used not only for medical purposes. Cocktail garnish, an ingredient for citrus salt for margaritas, water, and food flavorer – so many options can be found! 

Since this citrus can be so widely used when dry, why not learn how to dehydrate it for yourself? 

how to dehydrate limes

If you have a dehydrator with plastic trays, it will make the whole process simpler.

If not, well, then use an oven, and remember what to do to get perfectly dries lime wheels.

  1. Wash the limes and dry them
  2. Slice them into ¼ inch wheels
  3. Preheat the oven to 200F
  4. Grab a cooling rack and spread lime wheels in one layer over the sheet pan
  5. Leave limes dry inside the oven for 3-4 hours

That’s all! After the lime wheels are ready and cooled down, transfer them to the airtight plastic bag or tank and stock.

Photo by Mariah Hewines on Unsplash

It is not recommended to keep dry limes (and other fruits) in a paper or cloth bag since the wheels may turn bad sooner due to oxidizing.

Of course, you could try a traditional sun-drying method but it requires certain skills so we’d recommend not risk and use checked methods instead.

How Long Are Limes Good For When Prepared In a Dish?

Since limes are widely used in cocktails and dishes (for instance, guacamole), people often ask how much time they will last in this state.

In fact, no strict rule exists about that. Prepared limes will usually last the same as the quickest expiring ingredient in a dish.

We do hope that this article was handy and gave you lots of handy information.

How to Tell If Limes Are Bad?

Normally, if we take a look at a fresh and ripe lime, we will see a bright green fruit that has a distinct citrus scent. However, a ripe fruit can also be pale yellow since this is actually the natural color of the lime that is ready to be consumed! Also, ripe limes are fairly firm with the waxy skin that has a bit of a shine and is dimpled.

So naturally, if you notice that your limes look, smell, or taste somehow different, the chances are that they are already spoiled or they are on the way to getting worse.
But how do you know for sure to not discard fruit that might still be ok to use? Simply check the limes for the following spoilage “symptoms”:

  • If the skin of a lime has developed a brown shade, it is a sign that the citrus fruit is turning bad.
  • If you cut the bad lime, you will notice that its segments have shrunk since they already started to dry out.
  • Bad limes often have their segments dull and wrinkled pulling away from each other.
  • Spoiled limes may often develop brownness inside, too.
  • If a lime is spoiled, it will be very lightweight.
  • Also, decayed limes will have wrinkled skin that lacks its waxiness.
  • Rotten limes, if you scrape their skin, will emit a sour or an acid smell.

As you can see, figuring out whether your limes are still fresh or not is not very complicated. With these simple rules in mind, you will always be able to keep these healthy citrus fruit fresh and juicy.


Limes can be a very tasty addition to quite many dishes, sauces, and drinks. They lift their flavors, freshening the food up, and they simply look nice as a garnish!
This is why, if you store them right, you will easily be able to make use of these fruit to the most to enjoy all of their benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐Does lime juice go bad?

Lime juice expiration date hangs upon the type of juice. If it’s a store-purchased pasteurized one, it will last for several months. A homemade drink will remain drinkable for several weeks. 

⭐How long do cut limes last?

Sliced of cut in halves, limes will keep their freshness for a maximum of four days.

⭐Why do limes get hard?

A lime becomes hard because of dehydration which is often caused by improper storage (e.g. when the fruit is exposed to air). 

Written by
Elisa is a passionate cook who will advise you on healthy and delicious food topics! With her help, you will discover how to properly store and freeze food, as well as learn important nuances about preserving vitamins in your meals to make them stay nutritious.
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