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How Long Does Grapefruit Last and Do You Have To Refrigerate It?

Bought a few grapefruits too many, and not sure how long they will stay good for? How long does grapefruit last, actually?

Or you’re wondering if you should keep your grapefruits in the fridge or not. You’ve heard people recommend refrigerating this citrus fruit, while others advocate just letting it sit on the counter or in a fruit bowl. What’s the best way to store grapefruit?

If you’re looking for a quick primer on storage, shelf life, and going bad of grapefruits, you’re in the right place.

Interested? Let’s dive in.

All the info below works for all kinds of grapefruits. No matter if you have red, pink, or white grapefruits, we’ve got you covered.

Whole grapefruit
Whole grapefruit

How Long Does Grapefruit Last?

A whole unpeeled grapefruit keeps for about a week at room temperature and between 10 and 21 days in the fridge. Cut grapefruit retains quality for about 4 days if you refrigerate it in an airtight container.

The 10 to 21 days in the fridge suggestion ([FS]) is a pretty safe one, and I think you can assume the fruit should keep for at least two weeks in the fridge.

To make sure your grapefruits stay fresh as long as possible, buy the best specimens available, and follow proper storage practices (more on that in the storage section).

Peeled grapefruit
Peeled grapefruit

When choosing your grapefruits in the supermarket or grocery store, make sure:

  • the fruit is fairly firm to the touch, but it has a bit of give
  • there aren’t any soft spots (check the stem end)
  • the whole fruit is pretty uniform in color, without any significant discolorations

You can use these guidelines when buying other citrus fruits (such as oranges, lemons, or limes) as well.

Grapefruit: white layer on fruit's flesh
Grapefruit: white layer on fruit’s flesh

How To Store Grapefruit

You can store grapefruits on the counter or in the fridge, depending on how long you need them to last. If a week is enough, a fruit bowl in the kitchen or a shelf in the pantry is good enough. If you need more time, the veggie drawer in the fridge is the go-to place.

Grapefruits prefer storing them in a spot with high relative humidity ([UCD]), and that’s why I suggest going with the crisper drawer instead of one of the shelves in the fridge.

Most grapefruits available in stores are waxed to minimize moisture loss and prevent shriveling. Because of that, you might not get that much out of keeping yours in the crisper versus a shelf (same with storing in a plastic bag or not). If you have other veggies or fruits that like humidity, move grapefruits onto one of the shelves.

Grapefruit stem end
Grapefruit stem end: check if it isn’t soft when buying

Do Grapefruits Need To Be Refrigerated?

No. If you’re okay with a relatively short shelf life of about a week, it’s fine to store your grapefruits on the counter. If you need more time, go with the refrigerator.

How To Store Cut Grapefruit

Place your cut grapefruits in a freezer bag or airtight container in the fridge.

If you’re using a bag, squeeze out the air before fastening the seal. This way, the fruit will dry out more slowly.

If you already know you’re going to store the leftovers before peeling the fruit, leave the grapefruit sections whole along with the white layer between the peel and the flesh. This way, the sections won’t dry out that quickly, and they might keep for an extra day or two.

Grapefruit quarter in an airtight container
Grapefruit quarter in an airtight container

How To Tell If a Grapefruit Is Bad?

Discard whole grapefruits that are super soft or shriveled, feel too light for their size (as if they were empty), or with large damaged areas, be it sunken spots or mold. For cut grapefruits, throw out ones that are dried out, moldy, or sat in the refrigerator for like a week or so.

Grapefruits lose water content over time. Soft, shriveled, or empty-feeling grapefruits are a direct result of that water loss. Same thing with dry cut-up grapefruit pieces.

Besides water loss, there’s always microbial contamination that usually results in mold growth. As you might imagine, the easiest way for this citrus fruit to go moldy is to leave it cut up in the fridge for days. The fruit’s flesh is exposed, and it’s a decent spot for any microbe to grow in.

Of course, if there’s something else about your grapefruit that seems off, like it smells off or tastes kind of weird, throw it out as well. Such issues aren’t that common, but don’t think twice about getting rid of that fruit if they occur.

Grapefruit closeup
Grapefruit closeup


  • Grapefruits last for a week at room temperature, and between 10 and 21 days in the fridge. If you need them to last for more than a week, keep them in the fridge.
  • If you’re refrigerating grapefruits, keep them in the crisper drawer if possible.
  • Throw out moldy, soft, shriveled, or oozing grapefruits.
  • Don’t feel like peeling that grapefruit? Make grapefruit juice.