How to Store Fresh Lettuce

There are several different types of lettuce, including oak leaf, red fire and green towers, although iceberg is the most popular and accessible type of lettuce in the United States, according to the University of Illinois Extension. When stored in the correct conditions, including the ideal temperature and humidity, lettuce will last for approximately 1 week before it becomes too limp and brown to be edible.

Things You'll Need

  • Damp paper towels
  • Zippered plastic bags


    • 1

      Remove the lettuce from its original packaging.

    • 2

      Wet enough pieces of paper towel to cover the entire head or all of the lettuce leaves.

    • 3

      Wrap the lettuce with the damp pieces of paper towel.

    • 4

      Place the lettuce into a zippered plastic bag. Use a larger plastic bag if you are storing multiple heads of lettuce.

    • 5

      Store the lettuce in a lettuce crisper or produce drawer. If the drawer itself has a separate temperature and humidity gauge, turn the humidity down and make the temperature slightly cooler to keep the lettuce crisp. Do not store the lettuce with any apples, bananas or pears. According to the University of Illinois Extension, these fruits produce ethylene, a ripening agent that will cause the lettuce to brown and wilt more quickly.

    • 6

      Watch the lettuce over the next 3 to 5 days. If there is any moisture found inside of the bag, open it and drain the water into the sink.

    • 7

      Throw the lettuce out once it has become limp, takes on a slimy texture or becomes covered with black spots.

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