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How to Keep Lettuce Fresh Longer

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How to Keep Lettuce Longer

Food storage questions are common, especially since certain foods are difficult to keep fresh.  We frequently receive similar questions and concerns from homemakers about the same subject: how do you keep lettuce fresh?, how to keep lettuce longer, how to keep lettuce from turning brown, and how to keep your green lettuce – well, green!  Understandably, no one wants to throw away the hard-earned money they’ve spent on groceries.  We’re here to help with how to keep your lettuce longer!

Moisture is the number one enemy of your lettuce, spinach, and other green leafy cruciferous vegetables, plain and simple.  The secret to storing your lettuce properly so that it will not turn brown is controlling the moisture.

Many people choose lettuce at the grocery store and place it into a clear plastic bag from the produce section.  They then bring it home and place it in the refrigerator, still in the plastic bag, without special preparation.  A few days may pass, and then looking at the lettuce will be disappointing: brown lettuce, or worse- wilted, slimy, rotten lettuce.  There is most likely a wet layer on the inside of the bag, a tell-tale sign of improper storage. 

We’ve just described one of the top causes of uneaten lettuce being thrown in the trash: food storage gone wrong.  Unless you want brown lettuce, you’ll need to plan ahead and prepare your lettuce to live long enough in your refrigerator to be eaten!

The tip for how to keep lettuce fresh longer is this: Use paper to absorb moisture from your produce.  This helpful kitchen tip will allow you to keep spinach without it getting slimy as well.  The method below shares step by step instructions to keep lettuce from browning.

Kitchen Tip: How to Keep Lettuce Fresh Longer

1.  Remove lettuce from plastic wrapping or package, if there is one.

2.  Wrap the head of lettuce completely in one layer of paper towels, newspaper, or scrap printer paper.

3.  (Optional) Put the wrapped lettuce into a large plastic Ziploc bag.  Press excess air out of the bag, then seal the top.  This step is optional because you can go directly from step 2 to step 4 without making your lettuce brown much faster.

4.  Prepare your refrigerator’s produce drawer (crisper drawer) to store the lettuce and other leafy veggies.  Line drawer with paper towels (or newspaper or printer paper) on the bottom and around the edges.

5.  Place your lettuce in the drawer, wrapped and packaged from the previous steps, until ready to eat.

We recommend that you do NOT wash the lettuce until you are ready to eat it.  Even then, do not wash the entire head of lettuce.  Only tear off the leaves you’ll be using for that meal, wash and dry them.  Keep the remaining head of lettuce refrigerated according to the instructions above.

If you liked this kitchen tip on how to keep lettuce fresh longer, please link to this article for your readers!    Thank you for your support!  Check out Kitchen Tip Tuesday and Homemaker Mondays at 11th Heaven Photo by KATHRYN….

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Danelle Ice is an entrepreneur in Los Angeles and mom of 3. She is the creator of and Danelle is also known as internet personality SimDanelle, the first virtual person. Danelle is a beauty guru on YouTube, vlogger, blogger, and new media darling. She is a current brand ambassador for for Keurig and previous AMD Tech Mom, Kraft Foods Delicious Byte brand ambassador, and Purex Insider.


  1. Blossoming Skillet
    Mar 10, 2009 @ 02:41:22

    Thanks for the lettuce tips. I can’t wait to have it growing in my garden! I love the idea of lining the produce drawer with paper towels or news paper. Clever!


  2. Sherry
    Mar 10, 2009 @ 03:03:20

    Thanks for the tips on the lettuce. I know I’m guilty of just sticking it in the fridge but I hate to waste food. I’m going to give this a try. :D


  3. The Happy Housewife
    Mar 10, 2009 @ 07:45:11

    Great tip! With our big family things don’t go bad often, but we don’t have many lettuce eaters so I will be using this one!


  4. Shynea @ Penny Pinching Diva
    Mar 10, 2009 @ 18:12:02

    This is a really good tip. Thank you for posting it. I too have suffered from the wilted lettuce experience. I had no idea it was because I left it in the original bag from the grocery store. And I would never have thought to line my produce drawer in my fridge with newspaper or paper towels. Thank you for the tip.


  5. Kate
    Mar 10, 2009 @ 17:20:23

    My mom always did this too. I’m not sure why I forgot about doing it in my own kitchen. Thanks for the reminder.


  6. Amy @ Finer Things
    Mar 12, 2009 @ 04:37:11

    I need to remember this one. I don’t buy lettuce as often as I should because I’m afraid it will go bad too quickly.


  7. tena
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 08:59:12

    Thanx for the hints. Tired of throwing away most of the lettuce


  8. Roxey
    Aug 29, 2010 @ 07:21:03

    Thank you for the lettuce storage tip. However, i would like to say that using newspaper is not a good idea. the ink from the print will wash off the paper onto the lettuce. i think the towelling (plain white, not design or print) paper is the best idea.


  9. Tweets that mention How to Keep Lettuce Fresh Longer - Home Ever After --
    Dec 06, 2010 @ 09:17:50

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Amanda Eckhoff, Danelle Ice. Danelle Ice said: How to Keep Lettuce Fresh Longer [...]


  10. Kay
    Feb 08, 2011 @ 11:20:47

    I wash it when I bring it home, use the salad spinner to spin off all the moisture and the seal it in a plastic sip bag, pressing all the air out of the bag. Works for me!


  11. holly Smith
    Mar 21, 2011 @ 15:51:26

    I have a celery tip that works like a charm. When I buy new celery I wrap it in tin foil and it does not wilt. I was in hospital for a month and the celery I bought just before I went in was still perfect when i got home.


  12. Home Ever After
    Mar 10, 2009 @ 07:03:09

    @Blossoming Skillet @Sherry: You’re welcome!

    @Blossoming Skillet: The lettuce we try to grow in gardens up here in Alaska always turns out very bitter. I don’ t think it gets hot enough to get grow to the right size/taste… lucky you to be able to garden it!

    @Sherry: I’m guilty of the slimy letuce/spinach factor too. Vowing to do better at preserving food so it doesn’t go to waste!



  13. Home Ever After
    Mar 10, 2009 @ 19:03:51

    @Kate @Shynea: Glad you like the tip! I’m done throwing out rotten food- it’s time to step it up!



  14. Home Ever After
    Mar 13, 2009 @ 16:32:36

    @Amy- my #1 problem is the spinach! I find myself not buying it because I’m afraid it will just get wasted. Glad to know this method now :)



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