Do Oranges Go Bad? How Long Do Oranges Last?

Every lover of oranges has probably bought a few too many while they are on sale at the grocery store. You may have brought a bag of them home and now you are left wondering, how long will oranges stay fresh? When do oranges go bad?

Quick Answer

Oranges will begin to spoil as soon as they are picked. At room temperature, oranges generally last 7-14 days. Whole and unpeeled oranges usually only last up to 30 days in the refrigerator. Cut and peeled orange slices will only last about 2-3 days in the refrigerator. It is not recommended to freeze them whole and unpeeled, but there are ways to prepare them for freezing, where they can be stored for up to 1 year.


There are so many different perspectives on how long oranges last. When it comes to the oranges in your home, it is important to be aware of the average amount of time they can last, and how to tell when they are spoiling.

Do Oranges Go Bad? How Long Do Oranges Last?

Oranges are beneficial for everyone and a family favorite snack. It is easy to pack them in your lunch for school or work, and ensure you get your daily vitamin C. How long do they stay fresh?

How Long Do Oranges Last At Room Temperature?

Many people are in the habit of keeping oranges in a fruit bowl. They are as easy to grab, and they are as healthy, as apples and bananas. As common as this is, oranges spoil most quickly when left in the open and sitting next to other fruits.

The oranges in your fruit bowl may only last about a week. If you intend to eat them quickly and enjoy the decoration of natural fruits, this may work perfectly for you.

Oranges typically last between 10-14 days in a dark, cool pantry. Two weeks is probably the most you can get from oranges stored at room temperature.

How Long Do Oranges Last in the Fridge?

Whole, unpeeled oranges can easily last at least two weeks when refrigerated. If you bought a lot of them, periodically inspect each one for any signs of spoilage, and throw any bad ones out before they can spoil the others.

Oranges can last up to a month, on average, in the fruit drawer of the fridge. High humidity can promote decay, so the fruit drawer with humidity control is the ideal environment for oranges.

The leftovers of a cut orange will only last 2-3 days on average. Unless you store them with a syrup or sugar method; they will keep for 2-3 weeks that way.

How Long Do Oranges Last in the Freezer?

It is not recommended to store oranges in the freezer as they are. Because water expands when it is frozen, and the science there applies to juicy oranges as well.

There are methods for freezing oranges, which require some easy preparation. With a homemade syrup, you can store orange slices in the freezer for ten months to a year, according to some sources.

Some advocates believe that frozen oranges are safe to eat indefinitely. You will not likely want to snack on them as you would a fresh orange, because the taste will be quite different, but you can blend them in smoothies and other such recipes.


Oranges begin to spoil as soon as they are picked from the tree. Stored properly, you can make them last longer, and save yourself a trip or two to the grocery store.

How To Tell If Oranges Have Gone Bad / How To Know Oranges are Fresh

If you have a bag of oranges in your fridge and you are not sure how long they have been sitting there, it is wise to check for any signs that they may be going bad.

Soft texture. Fresh oranges are firm with no soft spots. Softness or soft spots are usually the first signs of your oranges spoiling. If you pick one up and it feels squishy in your fingers, or seems to be bruised, it is likely close to the end of its shelf life.

Discoloration. Oranges are usually orange, but yellow and green tints are also common. If the oranges you brought home are starting to lighten or darken in patches, it may be time to check their firmness.

Mold. Perhaps the most obvious sign of spoilage would be mold. It may start as a white soft spot that turns green quickly. It is important to discard any moldy oranges as soon as you catch them, because the mold will spread to other oranges and accelerate the spoilage of other foods.

Sour smell. Fresh oranges do not really have a scent until they are cut open. If anything, they should smell as refreshing as they taste. If yours are giving off a sour or fermented odor, it is time to throw them out.

How to Store Oranges?

As with most things, especially produce, you can affect the shelf life of oranges by storing them properly. You can extend or shorten the amount of time they stay fresh.

At room temperature. Oranges do not stay fresh for long at room temperature, but there may be times you have no other choice. Keep them in a dark, dry place, away from any other produce that can accelerate the spoilage rate.

In the refrigerator. The ideal storage place for oranges is the crisper or produce drawer in your fridge. They are best kept in a mesh or paper bag, or a cardboard box. The main factor is to keep them as dry as possible, so moisture cannot build up and become mold.

Can You Freeze Oranges? How?

It is not typically recommended to simply place whole, unpeeled oranges in the freezer. They tend to become balls of mush as the water inside them will expand when frozen. That said, there are ways to freeze oranges, with some preparation work.

Separate. Peel the oranges and remove as much of the white pith as possible, then separate into quarters. Drop the quarters into resealable freezer-safe bags, squeeze all the air out, and place it in the freezer. You can remove only what you need at a time, just do not forget to reseal the bag with no extra air in it.

Syrup. You can make a syrup with 2 ¾ cups of sugar and 4 cups of water. Bring the solution to a boil and blend until all the sugar is dissolved. Let it cool. Wash and peel the orange, then divide it into sections. Remove all the seeds and membranes. Pour the syrup over the orange slices and store in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer safe bag.

How to Thaw Oranges?

Defrost at room temperature for 4-6 hours. Once thawed, oranges should be enjoyed within 3-4 days, but the sooner you eat them, the better they will taste.

If you used the syrup method, drain it first. The syrup will cause sugar and moisture issues in any recipe you plan to use those oranges in. Once thawed, drain the syrup from them before using the oranges.

Frequently Asked Questions About Orange’s Shelf Life

Can moldy oranges give you food poisoning? If you happen to find mold on the peel after you have eaten a bite, you will likely be okay, but throw the orange away without eating any more of it. If you try to force it down because you are worried about waste, it will give you food poisoning, and can make you quite sick.

How long do canned oranges last? Canned oranges are made to last, as most canned foods are. If stored properly, cans of the fruit can last over a year. Make sure to keep the can from excessive heat; store it in a cool, dry place. Throw away any cans that are leaking, bulging, dented, or otherwise damaged.

Wrap Up

Oranges, like most fruits and vegetables, will begin to spoil as soon as they are picked from the tree. They do not ripen further once picked. Hopefully you can better understand how to get the most from this highly nutritious fruit.

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