Do Lemons Go Bad? The Ultimate Guide to Lemon Freshness

Having lemons in your kitchen can provide a lot of flexibility. They are just so good in almost anything, whether it’s a meal or a smoothie, they are always there. They also provide a lot of antioxidants for your health needs.

Maybe that encouraged you to go for a bulky amount in your kitchen. Then you ask yourself: Do Lemons go bad?

Do Lemons Go Bad?

Lemons are (surprisingly) a fruit, not a vegetable. Most fruits can go bad. Lemons are no exception. They can easily spoil in bad storage conditions.

Mold is to blame for such spoilage. You know it when you see it, the bright yellow turns into an ugly greenish-gray that slowly takes over your lemon.

Lemons Shelf Life

This penicillium mold, which is common in plenty of citrus fruits such as Oranges. While not necessarily dangerous, some people have severe allergies to it that can cause side effects, plus the ugly look of the fruit itself.

If you want to learn how to protect your lemons from this mold, follow along.

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How Long Do Lemons last?

Lemons aren’t known for their long-lasting life. They can lose their moisture quite fast if they are left in a dry area like the pantry at room temperature.

According to WonderfulCitrus, lemons can last at room temperature for a week at best. afterward, they might start developing mold spots that will spread rapidly.

This is because moisture leaves the lemon when in a dry place using the pores. This also makes the lemon an easy target for the mold to spread all over it.

How Long Do Lemons last

If you decide to store the lemons in the fridge to preserve their moisture, they will start to last even longer, at around a full month of storage.

Cold areas inhibit any growth of mold on the lemon, it also preserves the moisture. This will make sure your lemon can last as long as you please.

Freezing lemons is your best option for long-term storage. You can freeze your lemons and get up to 4 full months of storage, which is a good idea if you have a lot of lemons to store.

Lemons Shelf Life [Full Chart]

Whole2-4 WeeksUp to 2 months1-2 Months
CutSame Day2 to 4 days2-3 Days
Fresh lemon juice----2 to 4 days2-3 Days
Lemon juice in a resealable bottle----Up to 6 months4-6 Months
Fresh Squeezed LemonadeSame Day7 days1 Week
Processed Lemonade (Unopened)----7 days2 Weeks
Processed Lemonade (Opened)----2 months1 Week

How to Store Lemons?

Now that we know that your citric can go bad, it’s important to learn about proper storage and how you can take care of it.

The fridge is your best friend. this means using a freezer bag and putting the lemons inside of it. Take all the air out as well, this will ensure your lemons can last for their expected 2 weeks in perfect condition.

How to Store Lemons

As for freezing, the steps are quite simple:

  • use a freezer bag and a vacuum if possible.
  • Wash the lemons thoroughly, this will ensure it remains hydrated while in the freezer.
  • Put the lemons inside the bag and stash them in the freezer.

If you have to keep some lemon out for decoration in the kitchen or for generally the nice smell they emit, make sure they are well hydrated as well as kept in a cool place.

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How To Tell If Lemons Have Gone Bad?

Perhaps you don’t remember when you stashed your It, and now you are looking at them and wondering, did they go bad or not?

How To Tell If Lemons Have Gone Bad

The signs for lemon spoilage aren’t really that hard to note, here they are:


The most obvious one is the mold starts to scatter around the citric. Mold looks like green or black splotches all over the lemon.

Some people try to take out the moldy part and keep the rest. This can work if the mold is only on the surface. if it started to seep into the fleshy part of the lemon, it’s a no-go.


Lemons are usually tough. The exterior of fresh lemon can be quite hard to cut through. This is not the case when it spoils.

It will start to become softer and “mushy” as it goes bad, it might also have some wrinkles from drying out.

When you notice that, it’s not suggested to add it to your meal, the taste won’t be that great either.


a Fresh lemon have an irresistible aroma. As the lemon starts to go bad, it loses that alongside its taste.

Losing the citric aroma isn’t necessarily means that lemon has spoiled, but it could mean it’s starting to do so, which suggests consuming it as soon as possible.

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How to know if the lemon is still good after being stored for a long time?

Lemons can be stored for a long time if kept under proper conditions. However, if you’re not sure whether your lemon is still good or not, here are some signs to look out for:

  • The lemon has soft or mushy spots
  • The skin has turned brown or moldy
  • The lemon emits a foul odor
  • The lemon feels lighter than it should

If your lemon has any of these signs, it’s probably best to discard it and get a fresh one.

How to know if lemons are still fresh?

When you’re buying lemons, look for these signs to ensure they are fresh:

  • Firmness: Lemons should feel firm when gently squeezed.
  • Weight: Choose lemons that feel heavy for their size as they are likely to have more juice.
  • Color: A good quality lemon should have bright yellow skin. However, some lemons may have a green tinge, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Can I freeze lemons whole?

Yes, you can freeze lemons whole. However, it’s best to slice the lemon into small pieces before freezing. This will make it easier to use the frozen lemon later on.

How long do lemons last in the fridge?

Lemons can last for a long time when stored properly. In general, lemons can last up to four weeks when stored in the refrigerator.

However, this can vary depending on the ripeness of the lemons at the time of purchase. If the lemons were already ripe when you bought them, they will not last as long in the fridge.

Do lemons need to be refrigerated?

Lemons do not necessarily need to be refrigerated, but it can help to prolong their shelf life. If you are planning to use your lemons within a week or two, you can store them at room temperature.

However, if you want to extend their shelf life, it is recommended to store them in the fridge. This will help to slow down the ripening process and prevent them from spoiling too quickly.

Can I freeze lemon juice?

Yes, you can freeze lemon juice. Simply squeeze the juice and pour it into an airtight container or freezer bag. Be sure to label the container with the date so that you can keep track of how long it has been frozen.

How long does lemon juice last?

Fresh lemon juice can last for up to 2-3 days if stored in the refrigerator. However, if you want to extend its shelf life, you can freeze the juice as mentioned above.

Signs of spoiled lemon juice

Here are some signs to look out for if you suspect that your lemon juice has gone bad:

  • The juice has a sour or unpleasant smell
  • The juice has a cloudy appearance
  • The juice has changed color, and is no longer yellow

How to properly store lemon juice?

Fresh lemon juice should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you want to freeze the juice, pour it into a freezer-safe container and label it with the date.

Can You Eat Spoiled Lemons?

No, it is not recommended to eat spoiled lemons. Eating spoiled lemons can lead to food poisoning, which can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

What to do with spoiled lemons?

If you have spoiled lemons, it’s best to discard them. However, you can still use them for other purposes such as cleaning or making homemade cleaners.

How to properly store lemons?

Lemons should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. If you want to keep them fresh for longer, store them in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or container.

Wrapping Up

Lemon is a lovely part of any kitchen and knowing when it spoils can be a real life-saver for your cooking endeavor.

If you have any questions concerning lemons, feel free to ask in the comments and we will reply as soon as possible. Thanks for reading and have a great day.

Can Lemons Go Bad

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