Why You Should Be Putting Paper Towels in the Fridge

Updated: May 13, 2024

Turns out paper towels can be used for more than just cleaning spills.

We’re used to reaching for these handy helpers to sop up spills. But there are more surprising uses for paper towels than you might think! Whether it’s patting chicken dry to get super crispy skin or seasoning a cast iron skillet with oil, paper towels come to the rescue in many different ways. And we have a new brilliant use you may not have considered.

As it turns out, paper towels can help you keep vegetables fresh! So as our home gardens grow, and as fresh produce becomes bountiful at our local markets, paper towels can help keep all the leafy greens and plump zucchini from going bad. No more limp spinach or rotten cucumbers for your salad!

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How do I use paper towels to keep produce fresh?

Sometimes our produce goes bad faster than we can eat it, and it’s safe to say that no one likes throwing food away.

It’s pretty simple—all you have to do is line your crisper drawer with paper towels before you tuck your produce in there. Then, replace the paper towels every time you add a new batch of produce. This ensures that your vegetables stay fresher longer. If you have a bag of lettuce or spinach that you’re trying to keep fresh, it can help to add a paper towel directly into the bag. It keeps the crisper drawer clean, too.

How does this work?

Most fruits and vegetables, including kale and zucchini, release water over time. This moisture has nowhere to go and gets trapped in the crisper drawer, leading to sad, brown produce. Paper towels absorb the moisture, slowing the process of veggies falling limp. Now, you’ll have plenty of fresh veggies on hand to make all kinds of summer salads.

It’s important to remember to change out the paper towels frequently; otherwise, they’ll get soggy from the absorbed moisture and not do their job of protecting your produce.

The short version is that the drier your produce is, the longer it will last.

Taste of Home
Originally Published on Taste of Home