How to Store Mangoes and How to Tell if They’re Ripe?

Here’s everything you need to know about storing mangoes. Learn when they should sit on the counter and when you should refrigerate them.

Not sure where you should store the mangoes you bought in the supermarket? How to store mangoes?

The Short Answer

Unripe mangoes should sit on the counter at room temperature until they ripen. Once ripe, they last about 5 to 7 days if refrigerated and only 2 to 3 days if you leave them on the counter.

That’s the gist of it if you’re looking for a quick answer. But if you’re new to mangoes and want to learn a bit more about them, including telling if one is ripe, read on.

Here’s what we cover below:

  • knowing if a mango is ripe (hint: it’s rarely about the color)
  • details on storing whole and cut mangoes
  • tips for accelerating ripening; helpful if your mango is unripe and you want it ready for eating as soon as possible

Let’s start by discussing ripeness, as knowing if yours is ripe or not is essential to how you store it.

Whole mango before cutting
Whole mango before cutting

How to Tell if Mango Is Ripe?

A mango is ripe when it gives a little when you apply gentle pressure using your fingers. If it’s firm and has no give, it’s not yet ripe, and if it’s soft and has a lot of give, it is already overripe. Feeling the fruit is the only reliable way to tell if it’s already good to eat or not.

Now, there are three other characteristics that might help you tell if your mango is ripe, but remember that feel is the primary one that’s the most reliable.

The first is the smell.

If the stem end of your mango gives off a fruity smell, that usually means the mango is good to eat. But if yours doesn’t smell like much, it might be perfectly ripe just as well.

(None of the mangoes I ever bought had a fruity aroma, and they all were ripe and tasted sweet.)

The second characteristic is color.

Some mango varieties change color as they ripen, similar to how bananas go from green to yellow as they mature. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for all popular varieties, and some of them don’t change color at all.

(For instance, the Keitt variety stays green even after it ripens.)

The last one is signs of skin shriveling. If you notice that the skin, usually near the stem end, starts to shrivel, that’s a sure sign the mango is ripe.

Of course, shriveling is usually a sign that a fruit or veggie is starting to deteriorate, and it’s the same for mangoes. In other words, you don’t have to (or even want to) wait until that happens.

Long story short, unless you want to memorize how each mango variety changes as it ripens, it’s best to stick to how it feels to the touch.

Now that you know which is which, it’s time to talk about storage practices.

Prepping mango half
Prepping mango half

How to Store Whole Mangoes

Store your unripe mangoes on the counter at room temperature until they ripen. Once ripe, transfer them into the fridge, where they can sit without any extra packaging for 5 to 7 days. If you leave a ripe mango at room temperature, it’ll go overripe within 2 to 3 days.

If you don’t particularly care how long it’ll take until your unripe mango ripens, feel free to put it in a fruit basket or wherever else you store your fruits. But if you’d like it to be ready within a couple of days tops, make sure it sits in a sealed bag.

The ripening process usually takes several days, and that’s when the fruit becomes sweeter and softer.

(More on accelerating ripening in a moment.)

Last but not least, remember to check your mangoes every day so that you catch the moment they’re ripe and should be moved to the fridge.

When it comes to refrigerating a ripe mango, just placing it in the fridge is good enough. It doesn’t need any wrapping, bags, or any of that.

A veggie drawer is probably a better option than a regular fridge shelf, as it’s much more humid than the rest of the refrigerator. Unless, of course, you have a whole bunch of ripening fruits and veggies in there releasing a ton of ethylene.

If that’s the case, better stick to a regular shelf, or your mango will go overripe fast.

Pureed mango
Pureed mango – just seal it and it’s ready for storage

Now, let’s say you have an unripe mango or two, and you’d like to get them ready for eating as soon as possible. Here’s what you can do:

How to Speed Up Ripening

To ripen your mangoes faster, you can put them in a sealed paper bag. The more mangoes in the bag, the better, as they will produce more ethylene gas, which helps with the process.

If you want to speed things up even further or have just one or two mangoes on hand, you can throw another fruit or vegetable that produces ethylene in that bag.

There’s a whole bunch of options, like avocados or tomatoes, but you might as well go with something as common as an apple, pear, or banana. Just make sure whatever you put in that bag is ripening.

How to Store a Cut Mango

Cut mangoes last 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. It’s best to store them either in a resealable bag or an airtight container.

For large pieces, like halves, I suggest a ziploc bag, as it takes much less space than a container. For smaller cuts, diced mango, or mango puree, an airtight container is the best option.

How to store cut mango: a resealable bag
How to store cut mango: a resealable bag

The most important thing is that the fruit is sealed tight, so that it doesn’t dry out. That means that simply wrapping the fruit with plastic wrap works fine if you don’t have a bag or container on hand.

(Don’t try that with pureed mango, though.)

Last but not least, you can freeze mango. So if you can’t use the fruit before it goes bad (more on that in my How long does mango last? article), you can always save it for later.

Of course, freezing the mango somewhat limits what you can do with it afterward, but there are still plenty of options for using it.

Muffins with mango puree
Muffins with pureed frozen mango