Do lemons need to be refrigerated

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “do lemons need to be refrigerated?” We will also discuss what is the shelf life of lemons and how you can store them to enlarge their shelf life.

Do lemons need to be refrigerated?

Yes, lemons need to be refrigerated. Although lemons can also be stored at room temperature, they will last longer when you put them in the refrigerator. Also, with cut lemons, it is not possible to leave them unrefrigerated.

The clear reason to store lemons in the fridge is that their shelf life will be of about 3 to 4 weeks, while in the pantry they are only good for a couple of days after being bought. So, with this information, you can make the best choice when it comes to lemon storage methods.

How long do lemons last?

The shelf life of lemons will depend on the place you choose to store your fruits

  • When stored at room temperature, lemons can keep their quality for up to a whole week.
  • When stored in the refrigerator, the shelf life of lemons will enlarge drastically as they can last for up to a month, when properly stored.
  •  When stored in the freezer, lemons can exhibit a shelf life of eight months! However, you need to attend to several steps to do so.

If you have bought a large bulk of lemons, you can store some in the freezer, or fridge, and also leave the ones you will immediately use outside. You can even use them to prepare different dishes.

What can you prepare with lemons?

Lemons are a staple in everyone’s kitchen, or they should be. You can use both their juice and their skin. We will leave you listed my personal recipes with lemon, tell us if you prepare any of them!

Can you leave lemons unrefrigerated?

Leaving your lemons unrefrigerated will cause them to lose some of their juiciness and they might also become tough. So, if you are not planning to use lemons for a couple of days, it is better you place them in the fridge.

But, even in the fridge, when they are not properly stored, they can also last less than the estimated time. 

You should place the lemons in an airtight container to keep lemons away from air exposure.  This will keep them the freshest.

Not only whole lemons can be used, but some other lemon products also need to be stored properly. Some of these products are

  • Cut Lemons. Lemons can be sliced or cut in half, and they need to be stored in the fridge when they are not being used. Use an airtight container.
  • Lemon juice. Lemon juice is widely used to prepare various dishes, and it also must be stored in the fridge or freezer. You need to use it within two weeks. 
  • Lemon zest. You can use lemon zest to prepare several baked goods, it will add a fresh hint. It also needs to be in the refrigerator.

If you want further guidance on this subject, please click here.

Can you freeze lemons?

Lemons can be stored in the freezer and this will enlarge their shelf life for up to 4 months! You can freeze whole and cut lemons without a problem, you only need to attend to several steps, such as

  • Use a freezer bag. This will protect your lemons from air and humidity.
  • Squeeze all the air from the bag. This will help you keep the natural moisture of this fruit (yes, lemons are a fruit!) 
  • If you want to freeze lemon slices, make sure they do not freeze together. For this, you can freeze them over a lined tray until they are frozen to move them to the freezer bag.

What signs let you know when lemons have gone bad?

  • Color changes. Lemons exhibit a vibrant green color, when you notice light spots it means they have started to spoil. Also avoid consuming lemons that have become white, dark green, or have brown spots (it could be mold).
  • Texture changes. Lemons should feel firm, and soft when gently pressed. Check for any of these signs before using stored lemons
  • Squishy texture.
  • Slimy outer skin.
  • Wrinkled texture.
  • Dusty outer layer.
  • Altered taste and smell. When lemons rot, they will lose their citric flavor. Or you can also detect a bitter taste.
  • Off smell. When lemons spoil, they can end up smelling very unpleasant, and with hints of a fermented odor.


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “do lemons need to be refrigerated?” We have also discussed other queries related to the subject at hand. 

Hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.