onions and potatoes

How to Store Onions, Garlic & Potatoes

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Onions, garlic and potatoes often come in large bags and but only use one or two at a time.  Then, the others are left to go bad.  They mold, they rot, they turn color and they become inedible and downright yucky.  It’s wasteful and, if you’re like most people these days, you don’t have money to waste.  So what to do?  Here are a few simple ideas for saving the lives of these delicious foods:

  • Separate lives:  A simple mistake that is often made is throwing all of your produce into one drawer.  Don’t store potatoes and onions together.  When put together, they create yucky gases and will cause BOTH of these handy, tasty foods to go bad more quickly.  In addition, according to the official Idaho Potato Page, potatoes should not be stored in the fridge.
  • Proper containers:   Garlic does well stored in a ventilated terracotta garlic keeper.   There are cloth bags made specifically for produce that need air such as onions and potatoes.  You can find them at your local kitchen supply store or for a great price on Amazon.
  • Brown bag it:  If you don’t care to spend the money on a special container, just put them in a paper bag with holes punched into it.  It sounds crazy but The Yummy Life has an excellent post about this that you’ll want to check out!  Or even store them in a cardboard box.  It’s easy and works great..  they will keep for months this way.  Yes!
  • Tie them up:  Onions are great stored in pantyhose!  Cut the leg off a new pair of pantyhose and drop an onion in.  Tie a knot and drop the next onion in.  Continue until all of the onions are in.  Hang in a dry cool place…  when you want an onion, grab a pair of scissors and snip one off.
  • Keep them in the dark:  Potatoes and onions are best stored in the dark in a cool place (separately of course).  If you have a basement, this is a great place to store them!

If you like to buy your potatoes, onions and garlic in bulk but hate finding them nasty and ruined in your drawers then try these tips.  That way you can always have them on hand for your favorite dishes.

Find great non-cooking uses for potatoes here including removing glue from your skin and more!

More tips here


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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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  1. Hi Holly………..I just found your site not 10 minutes ago, and felt compelled to write you a note. My lifelong vocation has been a Construction Manager, Project Manager, etc. Always supervision at the General Contractor level. Why do I say this…..ok here it is: In my work, we produce blueprints and plans that convey the what and the where. But…does not convey so much the how. The how always comes from a persons experience and schooling.

    Why did I respond so quickly….is that now only did you give your readers the what….and where (to place things or find things) but you also included that ingredient that makes you endeared to your readers, and you show them the how. This little extra step is what separates the doer’s from those that are just yapping. Greats job…..I will be studying more of your site as I am a full blown Type 2 Diabetic, live alone, and I have never had such a challenge as eating correctly for my condition. Thank you….!

    1. Thank you for your kind words. So glad you found my site Steve and hope you find some great things to cook too!

    2. Hi Holly & Steve,

      Holly, thank you so much for posting this, my onions were always sprouting or spoiling before I could use them up & it was upsetting to waste food. So, thanks!! Unrelated, I luv your name ;)

      Yours in health (because your health is your wealth) Cheers to you both, building things inside & outside of the kitchen,

      Holly xo, xo :-)5 stars

  2. Hello Holly,
    I read this page, How to Store Onions, Garlic & Potatoes, realized that it must have been helpful to countless people besides me since the page popped up first of “About 7,050,000 results (0.57 seconds)” on my oddly phrased google search, “mix onions and potatoes in refrigerator?”
    I was shocked to see that the post is from Apr 15, 2014 and to now 1/23/2020 only had two comments. I gave your Recipe Rating 5 stars! :-)
    Also, a first for me, I am allowing push notifications from your website.
    Lastly, I love your description of yourself. I have struggled my whole life to describe myself.
    Best wishes,
    Self proclaimed Polymath who isn’t so good at higher math ;-) and knows that he knows very little.5 stars

  3. I store my potatoes in a brown paper bag as well as onions but they’re in the same bin (open cover) and I’ve never had a problem . I’m single so my issue is that I don’t consume the potatoes fast enough and that’s why they end up shriveled with sprouts. Rarely do I ever find one that’ just flat out rotten. Onions I use up much more quickly. Another thing that may help to prevent spoiling is to examine each potato and onion when you buy them in a bulk bag and discard any bad ones then use the ones that are borderline first.

    1. To clarify, the onions and potatoes are each in their own bag but in the same uncovered bin in very low light conditions.