1 December 2023

You already have a couple of grapefruits in storage for a few days and you don’t want them to go bad. That makes you think: how long does a grapefruit last?

Or maybe you came home with a bunch of pink, red, or white grapefruits, and you’re wondering how to properly store them.

Can you store them on the counter in a fruit bowl or do you have to refrigerate them? What’s the difference when choosing one storage method over the other?

If any of these questions sound familiar, this article is for you. In it we talk about:

  • storage options for grapefruits
  • the shelf life of this citrus fruit
  • signs that your grapefruit is no longer safe to eat

Interested? Keep reading.

grapefruit in hand

How to store grapefruit

The optimal place to store whole grapefruits is the crisper drawer in the refrigerator, and fruits sealed in a plastic bag. If you’re okay with a much shorter storage time, leaving the grapefruits out at room temperature is fine too.

Whether or not you choose to refrigerate grapefruits depends on how long you need to store them ((PU)).

If you plan to eat them in a couple of days, feel free to leave them in a fruit bowl. But if you’re not quite sure if you’re going to get fed up with these bad boys today or in a week, the refrigerator is a much safer option.

two grapefruit
two grapefruit

As with lemons, if you want more storage time, place the grapefruits in a plastic bag or airtight container. Any will help retain moisture longer.


The grapefruits you buy are already ripe and ready to eat or juice. The same goes for other citrus fruits, such as limes or oranges. That means wherever you put them, they can sit there until you’re ready to eat them.

When it comes to cut grapefruitsthey belong in a resealable container or bag and in the fridge.

Peel the grapefruit: work in progress
Peel the grapefruit: work in progress

How long does grapefruit last?

Whole grapefruits keep about a week at room temperature and two to three weeks in the refrigerator. Cut grapefruits keep for 3-4 days until they start to get soft.

To get the longest storage time possible, be sure to choose grapefruits that are firm to the touch, even in color, and without sunken spots or damaged areas.


If you buy grapefruit at a sale and they are already on the softer side, cut the storage time mentioned in half. Or better yet, eat them ASAP.

Grapefruit closeup
Grapefruit, after removing its albedo and membrane.

Once you peel the grapefruits, their storage time is reduced to just a couple of days. If you want to make them ahead of time to snack on during the week, don’t make more than you need for three days.


If you’re not already doing this, try removing the albedo, the white layer between the skin and the fruit, before eating the grapefruit. The albedo is bitter, and I guarantee you’ll love the grapefruit flavor a lot more if you remove it.

Pantry Fridge
whole grapefruit 1 week 2-3 weeks
cut grapefruit 3-4 days
Please note that the periods in the table above are estimates only.
Peeled grapefruit in a circle
Peeled grapefruit in a circle

How to know if grapefruit is bad?

Discard grapefruit that:

  • It is rotten or moldy. If either is the case, it’s pretty evident that the fruit is gone.
  • It is soft water or it drips. Grapefruit loses moisture content over time. If the whole fruit feels mushy or mushy, its quality is no longer good enough to eat. The same applies if you already have a water leak.
  • Smells bad or rancid. This is especially important for cut grapefruit that is placed in the refrigerator.
  • It remains stored for too long. If that whole grapefruit sits in the crisper drawer for a month, or those cut up pieces for a week, it’s time for them to go. Better safe than sorry.
  • It seems out of place otherwise. Your senses are pretty good at detecting fruits that are no longer safe to eat. Use your eyes, nose, and taste buds to make sure the old grapefruit is still okay to consume.
peel the grapefruit
peel the grapefruit


A few small sunken spots or damaged areas on the skin are fine. If necessary, discard the nearby piece or pieces and use the rest.

The first sign that grapefruit has begun to deteriorate is usually the collapse of the stem end ((PU)) due to moisture loss.

If you notice that yours is soft near that area, it’s time to use it, or at least make a plan to do so within a day or two. Otherwise, that specimen could reach a point where it is no longer useful.

Peeled grapefruit on a plate
Grapefruit Endocarp: The Real Fruit You Eat


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *