6 Mistakes You're Making With Your Refrigerator's Crisper Drawer

The vegetable crisper is one of the most important compartments of a refrigerator; not only does it store the raw produce which is the basis of most meals but if used right, these crisper boxes can keep your fruits and veggies fresh for a long time. However, you need to make sure you are using them right especially when it comes to storage and temperature.

For instance, most refrigerators have temperature variations throughout different zones, with the bottom of the fridge being cooler than the top. So store heartier produce like root vegetables in the lower drawers where it's cooler, and more delicate items like herbs and berries in the upper drawers. Understanding these temperature differences can help optimize the storage conditions for your fruits and vegetables. Here are some other pointers that can help.


One of the most common mistakes is overstuffing the crisper drawer with fruits and vegetables. When items are crammed together, air circulation is restricted, causing them to spoil more quickly. Instead, arrange your produce loosely, allowing for airflow between items. Consider using additional storage solutions like hanging baskets or wire racks to maximise space without overcrowding.

Mixing Produce

Not all fruits and vegetables belong together in the crisper drawer. Some emit ethylene gas, which speeds up the ripening process and can cause nearby produce to spoil faster. For example, ethylene-producing fruits like apples, bananas, and tomatoes should be kept separate from ethylene-sensitive items like leafy greens and berries. Keep a list handy or use color-coded bins to organise your produce effectively.

Forgetting to Clean

It's easy to neglect cleaning the crisper drawer, but a dirty environment promotes bacterial growth and accelerates spoilage. Regularly remove everything from the drawer and clean it with mild soap and water. Dry thoroughly before returning your produce. Additionally, line the drawer with paper towels or breathable liners to absorb excess moisture and prevent mould growth.

Improper Humidity Settings

Many modern refrigerators come equipped with humidity controls for the crisper drawer, allowing you to adjust the moisture level based on the type of produce stored. Leafy greens prefer high humidity, while fruits like apples and citrus do better in low-humidity environments. Check your fridge's manual to learn how to adjust these settings properly, or invest in a hygrometer to monitor humidity levels.

Storing Produce in Plastic Bags

While it may seem convenient to store fruits and vegetables in plastic bags, this can actually trap moisture and promote rot. Instead, opt for breathable produce bags or loosely wrapped items in paper towels before placing them in the crisper drawer. This allows excess moisture to escape while still providing some protection from drying out.

Ignoring Rotting Produce

One rotten apple can indeed spoil the bunch. Leaving decaying fruits or vegetables in the crisper drawer not only releases unpleasant odours but also accelerates the spoilage of surrounding produce. Regularly inspect your fruits and vegetables for signs of rot and promptly remove any affected items. This simple practice can significantly extend the shelf life of your remaining produce.