Can soaking strawberries in ice water make them look fresh again? We tried the viral strawberry hack to see if it really works! Here’s what happened…
Can You Refresh Strawberries with Ice Water?
Saw this strawberry hack floating around on social media, but of course I was skeptical. You can’t believe everything you see on social media right?
Here’s the idea…
When your strawberries start to look kind of mushy or bruised, you can soak them in a bowl of ice water for 20 minutes to revive them. After 20 minutes or so in an ice water bath, the strawberries plump back up and turn bright red again.
There were photos to prove it!
But was it real? Or just another social media hoax?
Since I happened to have some week old strawberries in my fridge, I decided to find out!
Here’s what they looked like before:
Then I placed them in a bowl of water, with a handful of ice cubes. That’s it! Nothing else added to the bowl. No other action taken.
After 20 minutes, I pulled one of the strawberries out to check the results:
This was the same strawberry I photographed in the “before” picture. I made note of its position in the bowl of ice water so I could find it later. I figured the best way to tell if it worked was to compare one specific strawberry to itself, rather than comparing random berries from the bowl.
As you can see, the strawberry is now bright red again, and the bruises that were clearly visible in the first photo are hardly noticeable at all anymore.
I did not edit the photos at all! No filters, to brightening, nothing. Scouts honor!
So this strawberry hack actually DOES work!
What is the science behind the so-called “strawberry hack?”
Why Soaking Strawberries in Ice Water Makes them Look Fresh Again
The science behind the strawberry hack is actually pretty simple! Strawberries are porous on the surface, so they are quick to absorb liquid.
Soak them in ice water and they will absorb the water and plump up again.
I don’t know if there have been any official studies on this phenomenon, or if it really merits such experiments, outside of a home test kitchen like mine.
But I did test the theory and I can say for sure now that ice water does in fact revive witty strawberries!
Note: You don’t want to soak them longer than 20 minutes because as they are porous, they may start to absorb too much water!
What About Moldy Strawberries?
When I shared my own strawberry photos on Facebook, I did get a comment saying it was bad to eat moldy strawberries. So I want to assure you all that my strawberries were not moldy or spoiled. This trick is not going to save a strawberry that is already gone bad. Any strawberries that are black, moldy, etc. should go to the compost pile.
3 Tips to Make Your Strawberries Last Longer
- Store your strawberries in the refrigerator to slow the ripening process.
- Wait to wash them until right before you’re ready to eat them. Any moisture in the strawberry carton can cause them to mold more quickly than normal.
- Place a paper towel in the bottom of your food storage container, underneath the strawberries. This paper towel will absorb any excess moisture from the berries and the fridge, helping prevent molding. Change the towel when it becomes damp.
Our Favorite Strawberry Recipes
- Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownies
- Strawberry Pop Tart Cookies
- Strawberry Ladybugs
- Strawberry Icebox Cake
- Strawberry Lemon Bars
- Air Fryer Strawberry Cheesecake Chimichangas
More of our favorite food hacks and tips: