We Tried This Viral Hack for Keeping Lettuce Fresh Longer

TikTok users claim storing lettuce in water will keep it fresh for up to a month. We went to our Test Kitchen to get some answers.

Enjoying a large crisp salad is one of my favorite quick lunches and my go-to for getting an extra serving of greens. If you're anything like me, there are times your produce haul starts to get a bit wimpy and soggy before you can finish it all. So when I heard about a trendy TikTok video (I love a good social media hack!) claiming to keep lettuce fresh and crisp for up to a month, I had to find out if it actually worked. The basic hack is simply to submerge lettuce in water. Sounds easy enough, right? I went to the pros in our Test Kitchen to get some answers. Here's what we learned.

How to Store Lettuce In Water to Keep it Fresh

According to the video, just grab your lettuce (make sure to wash it well first!) and place it in a container or jar that has a lid. Fill to the top with cool water, cover, and keep in the fridge. Switch out the water with fresh water every couple of days.

Lettuce Storage Test Results

To test this trendy lettuce storage hack, our Test Kitchen submerged both romaine lettuce leaves and a whole head of romaine in water. The lettuce you see above on the paper towels in the image on the left is lettuce that was covered with cold water and chilled for five days. The bowl in the background is a head of romaine stored whole for five days that became a little soft, so the core was cut off and placed back in the bowl of water, which seemed to crisp it again nicely. The image on the right shows the lettuce after 10 days. The Test Kitchen reported the lettuce leaves getting a little softer, but the whole head in the water is still nice and crisp.

Our Test Kitchen hasn't hit the one-month mark of storage yet (the video claimed the lettuce would be fresh for 30 days) but pointed out that storing leaves versus the whole head of lettuce is preferred to take up less fridge space even though the whole head stayed crisper. Since it appears the lettuce leaves started to get a little un-crisp after 10 days, we're thinking a week might be the optimal storage time using this method for lettuce leaves. If you're storing a head of lettuce, 10 days should keep perfectly crisp.

So if you were wondering if you should store lettuce in water, it's definitely worth giving it a try. The comments asked about shredded lettuce or other leafy greens, and this hack should work with those as well. Once you're ready to put your lettuce to use, drain them and pat dry (or use your handy salad spinner) to get your greens ready for your next dinner salad.

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