Learn how to store oranges properly with step-by-step instructions. 
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Half of orange on the heap of oranges
Credit: Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

There's nothing like a fresh, juicy, vibrant orange to brighten even the gloomiest day. Make the most of your fresh oranges by storing them correctly. Here's everything you need to know about orange storage at room temperature, in the fridge, or in the freezer.

How Long Do Oranges Last? 

It depends on how they're stored. At room temperature, oranges can last for about a week. In the fridge, meanwhile, they can stay good for about a month. If you don't plan to eat them within about four weeks, consider freezing your oranges — frozen oranges will keep for up to a year. 

How to Store Oranges

overhead shot of shiny mandarin oranges
Credit: Catherine Falls Commercial

Like most citrus fruits with tough outer peels, oranges don't spoil quickly. However, you can increase the shelf life of your oranges by storing them properly. 

How to Store Whole Oranges

Whole oranges will keep for a few days to a week at room temperature, so you can go ahead and store them on the counter or in the pantry if you plan to eat them quickly. The best way to store whole oranges, though, is in the fridge. To store whole oranges in the fridge: 

  1. Don't wash the oranges until right before you plan to eat them, as excess moisture will speed up the spoiling process. 
  2. Place the dry oranges in a zip-top bag or airtight storage container
  3. Store in the crisper drawer of your fridge for up to a month. 

How to Store Cut Oranges

Cut oranges have a considerably shorter shelf life than their whole counterparts. To store cut oranges:

  1. Wrap orange wedges, halves, or slices tightly with plastic wrap or reusable storage wrap. 
  2. Place the wrapped orange pieces in an airtight container. 
  3. Store in the crisper drawer of your fridge for three to four days. 

How to Tell When Oranges Are Bad

Some tell-tale signs of oranges that are past their prime are bruising, shriveled peels, and mushy spots. Fresh oranges should be firm when you give them a gentle squeeze. Of course, if your oranges are growing mold or giving off a foul smell, throw them out ASAP. 

How to Freeze Oranges

If you have a lot of oranges to use up before they go bad, freezing is probably the way to go. With this method, they'll last up to a year: 

  1. Either peel your oranges or wash the peels thoroughly. 
  2. Cut the oranges into wedges or slices. 
  3. Arrange the pieces in a single layer, making sure they are not touching each other, on a baking sheet. Cover the oranges and freeze for at least four hours or overnight. 
  4. Transfer the now-frozen oranges to a freezer bag labeled with the date. Store in the freezer for up to a year. 

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This story originally appeared on allrecipes.com