Life Hacks About How to Store Lemons

All Lemon Storage Tips And Tricks And How to Store Them Right

Written by Elisa Chan. Updated on best way to store lemons

Lemon is a source of vitamin C, besides, it allows us to prevent heart diseases, anemia, kidney stones, and digestive problems. 

To fully enjoy the health benefits of the fruit, it is essential to store lemons under proper conditions.

Is there a best way to store lemons at home? This article knows the answer!

Lemons Shelf-Life Specifics

As you have probably noticed, lemons (the same as limes, too) have a significant porous texture of their skin. This feature along with these citrus being very juicy and watery makes it essential to prevent them from drying out when storing.

So how to keep lemons fresh longer when keeping them at home?

To answer this question, the very first thing one needs to know is certain specific features of storing lemons in general.

how to store lemons

How long do lemons last when being kept in the room?

During one week after the purchase, lemons can remain eatable and juicy if they are kept in the room, on the table or the kitchen counter.

Nevertheless, when being stored this way for long, they may gradually lose their flavor and may dry up slowly.

best way to store lemons and limes
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How long do lemons last in the fridge?

In case you decide to refrigerate lemons, they will remain eatable and fresh for approximately three to four weeks if put to the plastic tank.

Are lemons frost-friendly fruit?

To prolong your lemons’ life, freezing might be a good option. Besides, in the freezer, they can remain valid for four months.

Lemons can go to the freezer whole, however, take into account that the influence of the low temperature will turn their flesh mashy so you won’t be able to eat them raw after defrosting. 

But still, unfrozen lemons can be used for making juice or smoothy, for example.

do lemons have to be refrigerated
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Where to Better Store Lemons

Lemons are not so picky about the storage conditions, however, this citrus requires a pretty high level of humidity in the air in the place where you keep it, otherwise, it will begin to dry out.

For keeping lemons fresh, choose the fridge if you expect to eat them fresh soon, and choose a freezing option if you don’t mind your citruses to soften but still be tasty.

how to store fresh lemons
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How Do I Know If the Lemons Are Bad?

A fresh lemon has a smooth and bright-yellow skin, a fresh odor and it feels s heavy for its size.

To define that the lemon has turned bad or began to rotten, there are several obvious signs that one can use.

First of all, if there is any traces of mold on their skin, discard those lemons at once as they are not eatable anymore and you can’t even use them for juice. Also, if your lemons smell odd, it may also tell about their spoilage.

Any darkening of the skin, brown spots and the loss of color also indicate that the citrus must be cast away.

do lemons need to be refrigerated
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Storing Lemons Properly. Tips and Storage Methods

So what steps one needs to take to preserve lemons and keep them fresh and juicy, saving all of their good qualities and benefits?

There are several lemon storage life hacks that are very easy to follow and which will allow maintaining these citruses eatable longer.

The first option is to store the citruses in a bowl of water. Do lemons need to be refrigerated? Definitely they do!

Simply begin with finding a deep bowl, glass or ceramic, to be stable enough 

Pour some water in and immerse the citruses.

Water will work for filling the citruses in with the necessary moisture which will prevent them from drying.

Don’t pour too much liquid, though, when storing lemons in water, if you don’t want to flood your fridge! There must be about three centimeters left between the water surface and the edge of the bowl.

how to store lemons
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  • Another approach is to put the citruses into a plastic box or tank – anything that you can remove air from to keep the proper moisture balance again.


These methods are preferable if you wonder how to store fresh lemons. But what if you have some canned fruit? Preserved lemons, no matter whether you made them yourself or simply bought in the nearest store, will remain usable for six months approximately. For the more detailed expiration date, check the label on the can as, once being opened, canned citruses from the store will not survive for long.

Should you refrigerate lemons, now you can perform it right. Nonetheless, there is one more way of preserving them.

  • To freeze whole lemons, simply put them into a zip-lock bag, press out the air and toss into the freezer. 

To defrost the fruit, either microwave them for a few seconds or submerge in cold water for a quarter of an hour.

Use the same approach for freezing lemons with the previously grated zest.  

How to Store Limes Correctly

how to store limes
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Lime is another citrus that we use quite often in the kitchen. And even though it is not so widely popular as its “brother” lemon, they both have similar storage requirements.

The best way to store limes is to put them to the fridge in a tightly-closed container with no air in it, or with as few of it inside as possible. Zip-lock bag would be the best choice.

Like that, you will preserve your limes for up to four weeks!

Also, never keep limes on the kitchen counter or a table as they will get hard and dry after several days.

How to Store Lemon In a Jar

Home-made citruses from the jar can be eaten as they are or used for different desserts, bakery or food decorations. Do it either using salt or sugar.

how long do lemons last

To prepare citruses with salt this way, do the following:

  • Wash your jar and fruit, dry them
  • Cut off the top and the bottom of each citrus and cut them into four parts but don’t split completely. 
  • Stuff each citrus with half a tablespoon of salt and tamp them all in the jar.
  • Close the lid and leave in a cool and dry place for seven days. 
  • Remove to freeze afterward

If you are more into sweet citruses, 

  • Wash them and cut or slice
  • Tamp citruses into a jar tightly
  • Prepare sugar syrup, pour it over the citruses till it is still hot. It must cover the citruses a bit.
  • Close the lid and let the citruses cool. Then put them to the fridge

These methods will allow preserving lemons both fresh and canned and make your own sugary lemons, too.

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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