Keeping cucumbers fresh doesn't take too much effort, but a few tricks to the trade will help them stay in top shape. The only safe place for sliced cucumbers is in the refrigerator, as this watery vegetable doesn't store well unless its pickled. You can store sliced cucumbers on their own or in water, depending on how soon you want to use them and how crispy you need the cucumbers to be.
The simplest method is to put the sliced cucumbers in a plastic food bag, seal it and keep it in the refrigerator. Try to eliminate as much air as possible from the bag as you seal it. The cucumbers will keep for three to four days with this method.
To keep cucumbers fresh for up to a week, put them in a small container and pour water over the cucumber slices to cover them. You can also soak a couple of paper towels in water and wrap them around the cucumber slices and then put the bundle in a sealable plastic bag. This can keep the cucumbers fresh for a week, just as soaking in water does.
Sliced cucumbers should only be refrigerated. Freezing cucumbers doesn't work because of their watery nature. Once frozen, cucumbers become waterlogged and can have an oxidized taste of flat, papery cucumbers.
When you're slicing the cucumbers, you can choose to leave the peel on or take it off, it won't affect the quality or longevity of the cucumbers. It's the cutting into the cucumber that begins the countdown on its shelf life.
If you have leftover sliced cucumbers that you want to use but don't necessarily want to store, add the slices to a pitcher of water with lemon slices or fresh mint for a refreshing beverage. The flavored water will last up to one week in the refrigerator.
If the cucumbers smell bad, have visible mold, have a strange color, feel slimy or otherwise seem like they've spoiled, throw them out immediately.