How to Wash Blueberries

Updated: May 12, 2023

Get ready for blueberry season! Find out how to wash blueberries to extend their shelf life.

Fresh, plump blueberries are like nature’s candy. We love having them on hand, ready for snacking or to make a quick blueberry cobbler. Here’s how to wash blueberries with vinegar to eliminate bacteria and make them last longer.

Do You Have to Wash Blueberries?

Yes! Blueberries (as well as other types of fruits and berries) need to be washed to rid them of bacteria, dirt, small bugs and pesticides. Normally, we would advise not to wash berries until you’re ready to eat them, to avoid the extra moisture that causes spoilage. But a vinegar solution can actually extend the shelf life of blueberries, so it’s OK to do this as soon as you get home from the grocery store or farmers market (or if you just finished picking your own blueberries).

How to Wash Blueberries with Vinegar


  • Bowl
  • Measuring cup
  • White vinegar
  • Colander


Step 1: Prepare the solution

Fill a large bowl with 3 cups of cool water and 1 cup of vinegar. If you have a big quantity of berries to wash, use more water and vinegar. Just make sure the ratio is always 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar.

Step 2: Wash the blueberries

Place blueberries in the water and vinegar solution. Make sure the blueberries are fully immersed, and gently swish them around with your hand. Let the berries soak for 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 3: Rinse

Transfer the blueberries from the water and vinegar bowl into a colander. Put the colander in the sink and rinse the blueberries under running water to remove the vinegar. Gently shake the colander to ensure all the berries are thoroughly rinsed.

Step 4: Pat dry

Blueberries should be completely dry before storing to prevent mold. Place the berries on a clean paper towel and gently pat dry. Or, if you want to go the extra mile you can use a salad spinner. Line the salad spinner with a paper towel, then place the berries on top. Spin dry.

How to Store Blueberries

Once your blueberries are washed and completely dry, place them in a plastic container lined with a paper towel. The paper towel will soak up any extra moisture. Leave the lid slightly open to avoid trapping moisture inside (or use a ventilated produce keeper). Place the container in the fridge at a temperature of 40°F or below.

To freeze blueberries, simply pop them in the freezer! You can even leave them in the plastic clamshell container that they came in from the store. According to the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, blueberries should be frozen before rinsing. But if you’ve already rinsed your blueberries, dry well, then freeze them in a freezer container or resealable freezer bags. Be sure to mark the date on the container or bag. Use frozen blueberries within 10 months for best results.