It's one of the worst-feelings in the (food-related) world: buying a bunch of fresh, gorgeous berries at the farmers market or local store only to find them covered in a layer of gray fuzz several days later when you're ready to eat them. Luckily, there's an easy, inexpensive solution that will make your berries last way longer—soaking them in vinegar.
Why soaking your berries in vinegar makes them last way longer.
Vinegar is a potent all-natural bacteria and mold destroyer, which is one of the reasons it's so popular as a nontoxic home cleaner. By soaking the berries in a vinegar solution, you kill any bacteria and mold colonies on the surface before they have the chance to grow, making the berries last much longer. People report this method keeps berries fresh one or even two weeks longer than usual.
The vinegar-soaking process.
Simply give your berries a quick rinse, then submerge them in a bowl of liquid with a 1:3 vinegar/water ratio (meaning 1 cup of vinegar for 3 cups of water—this isn't an exact science at all, so no need to measure, just aim for roughly that amount). White vinegar and apple cider vinegar are ideal for their neutrality and antibacterial properties—you don't want to go for a high-sugar vinegar like, say, balsamic. Let the berries sit for a few minutes, then rinse them off and lay them on towels or spin them in a salad spinner until they're completely dry. Store your berries in the fridge in a clean container lined with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture, and voilà—your hard-earned farmers market money will never be wasted again.