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How to Tell If Limes are Bad

If you’re like me, you love the tart and juicy taste of lime. They are great in so many dishes and drinks! But sometimes, you go to use one only to find that it’s bad.

Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us.

In this quick guide, I’ll show you how to tell if limes are bad so that you can avoid wasting them in the future.

A pile of limes with one cut open on the top.

4 Signs to tell if limes are bad

Limes are a great citrus fruit to have on hand, but sometimes they can go bad before you have a chance to use them. Here are some ways to tell if your limes are bad.

1. Look at your limes

If you have limes that have brown spots or other discoloration, it is probably time to dispose of them. The limes should be bright and green when you bring them home. If they start to yellow or brown, they are probably not doing well and should be thrown out.

2. Give them a feel

Limes are a type of citrus fruit. When you are trying to determine if lime is bad, you should give it a feel. Limes that are really hard are not ripe yet. However, if it is mushy or really soft, it is bad and you should not eat it.

You can learn more about how to identify ripe limes in our comprehensive guide to better help you.

You want a lime that is firm when you give it a gentle squeeze but has a little give to it as well.

3. Smell them

If you are able to smell an unpleasant odor coming from your limes, then it is likely that they are not in good condition and should be discarded immediately. The odor is most likely due to the decay of the fruit.

4. Cut them open

When you buy limes, one of the ways to tell if they’re bad is to cut them open. If the lime is still juicy inside, it’s still fresh. Once it starts to spoil, the fleshy part will shrink and turn to an unpleasant sour.

What are the dangers of eating spoiled limes?

The acidity of limes makes them a great fruit for making margaritas, but it also makes them dangerous to eat if they are not properly stored or inspected before eating.

It is very important to always wash your limes before cutting into them to remove any contamination from them.

Spoiled limes can cause nausea and vomiting, digestive issues, and foodborne illness. Allergic reactions to mold can also occur. Check out our comprehensive guide on how to tell if fruit is bad.

Other citrus signs look at how to tell if a lemon is bad or even find out how to tell if raspberries are bad.

How To Store Limes?

Limes should be stored in a cool, dry place. If they are stored in the fridge, they will last longer. Limes can also be frozen, but this will change their texture and make them unsuitable for use in cocktails.

If the limes have been cut, store them in a sealable container such as a Tupperware box or wrap the limes in a cloth to keep them fresh.

For more information on the best ways to store limes check out my blog post on how to store limes or other citrus fruits.

How Long Do Limes Last?

Limes are a fruit that is acidic in nature. This acidity helps to preserve the fruit and lengthens its shelf life. Limes can last for 2-4 weeks on the countertop and even longer when stored in the fridge.

The refrigerator’s cold temperature slows down the ripening process which allows them to last a little longer than on the counter.

Cut limes can last for 2-3 days when kept in the refrigerator. It is important that they are stored in a sealed container to maintain freshness.

How To Extend The Life Of Your Limes

There are a few things you can do to extend the life of your limes. First, store them in the refrigerator.

The cold temperature will help to preserve them and keep them fresh for a longer period of time. Second, you can freeze them.

This is a great way to extend their shelf life and keep them fresh for up to 6 months. Simply place them in a freezer-safe bag.

Benefits Of Limes

Limes are a great source of Vitamin C. They also contain flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants. Limes are also a good source of potassium and magnesium.

When it comes to your health, limes offer a variety of benefits. They can help to boost your immune system, fight off infections, and even help to prevent cancer.

What To Do With Extra Limes?

1. Store the limes in a plastic bag or airtight container to keep them fresh longer.

2. Use the zest of the lime to add flavor to dishes and drinks which you can also freeze for later use in recipes that call for lime zest.

3. Extract juice from the limes to add tanginess to recipes like salad dressings and cocktails. You can also store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks if you plan on using it later on in cooking or baking projects that require fresh lime juice.

I have a great Grilled Chicken Taco Recipe that uses freshly squeezed lime that you must try! It’s light, fresh, and healthy! My mouth is watering just telling you about them!

4 Gather up all of those scraps from trimming around the edges of your limes and use them as an herb garnish on top of soups, salads, meats dishes, etc.

Check out my Blueberry Lime Scone recipe as well! The lime zest brings a great fresh zing to the scone itself as well as the glaze!

Frequently Asked Questions about how to tell if limes are bad

Limes can last for over a month when stored in the refrigerator if they are kept properly. If cut limes are refrigerated, they can last for 2-3 days.

Generally speaking, freshly bought limes can stay in a kitchen pantry for a week and in the refrigerator for two to three weeks. If stored in a vacuum bag, limes will last even longer up to six months.

Yes, it is perfectly fine to eat yellow limes. Contrary to popular belief, yellowish limes are not always bad or spoiled.

As long as you don’t see any brown spots or rotten patches on the lime, it should be safe to consume.

Limes are a popular citrus fruit that can be used in both cooking and drinks. you can use them as a garnish, or add the juices to a salad dressing, marinade, or as an acid in any dish.

You can also use the zest of limes in many recipes as well. It’s a fruit that has many uses.


In conclusion, being able to tell if limes are bad is an essential skill for maintaining healthy eating habits.

By watching out for changes in color, texture, smell, and taste, you can ensure you’re only consuming fresh, nutritious limes.

Stay safe and enjoy the zesty punch of freshness that good limes bring to your meals and drinks!

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