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How To Tell If A Clementine Is Bad

How To Tell If A Clementine Is Bad

Clementines are sweet, delicious and nutritious citrus fruits, but like all fruits, they can go bad too soon if not stored properly. 

There are times when you should throw away an old or rotten clementine. Here’s how to tell if a clementine is bad:

  • Is there a break in the skin and it smells sour, earthy, or moldy, or just not like a fresh sweet fruity, orange scent?
  • Do you see fuzzy green mold around the stem?
  • Is it so soft that the skin breaks when you gently press it?
  • Is there a patch of black or dark brown on the skin?
  • If you took a bite and it tastes sour, bitter or just plain bad, spit it out and throw the whole thing away.

If you see any of these signs, throw away the clementine.

Let’s discuss more in depth about clementines.

Understanding Clementines

As for their origin, some suggest they might have originated in North Africa; other people propose that their roots trace back to the Canton region of China. But today, you can find them in many parts of the world.

Clementines are a good source of vitamin C and are low in calories. They are also small, seedless, and sweet, making them a convenient and delicious snack. 

They should feel soft when you squeeze them, and they will also have a fragrant, citrusy smell. When Clementines are fresh and ripe, they are bright orange.

How Long Do Clementines Last?

Now that we have a background about Clementines, let’s talk about their lifespan. 

The typical shelf life of clementines is up to a week at room temperature and two to three weeks in the refrigerator. However, the exact shelf life can vary depending on several factors, including how they are stored, and how ripe they are when you buy them.

Tips For Picking Out Clementines

When you’re at the grocery store, picking out fresh clementines can be challenging, so here are some tips to help you choose:

Look for the Right Color

The fresh clementines are a vibrant orange.

Give ‘Em a Squeeze

Gently press the clementine. It should yield slightly but not be mushy.

Sniff Test

Hold the clementine close to your nose and take a whiff. A fresh one should have a delightful citrusy aroma.

If you buy Clementines from a grocery store, ask the produce manager when they were delivered. Doing this will give you an idea of how fresh they are. On the other hand, if you plan to buy Clementines from a farmer’s market, ask the farmer how they were grown and harvested

Doing this will help you ensure that you are getting high-quality Clementines. I do this all the time.

Signs of a Bad Clementine

Let’s talk about the other part—spotting a bad clementine. You should also remember that even if you’ve chosen carefully at the store, a clementine can go bad if not stored properly.

Here are some of the common signs that you can look for in checking whether your Clementine has gone bad:


If your clementine starts turning brownish or has mold growing, it’s a clear indicator that it’s past its prime.


A clementine that’s gone bad will feel mushy, overly soft, or even a bit slimy when you touch it. That’s not what you want in a citrusy snack.


Instead of that lovely citrus scent, a bad clementine might give off a musty or off-putting odor. Trust your nose on this one.


Lastly, the proof is in its taste! If your clementine tastes sour, overly bitter, or just plain funky, it’s time to say goodbye.

Tips to Store Clementines Properly

Storing them at room temperature

Store clementines in a cool, dark place. Avoid storing them in direct sunlight or a hot location, as this will cause them to dry out, wrinkle, ripen too quickly, and go bad faster.

You can store clementines at room temperature for up to one week. If you need them longer, refrigerate them.

Refrigerate them

Storing your Clementines in the refrigerator will extend their storage life up to three weeks. No need to keep them in a container; just give them space in your crisper drawer. 

Do not wash clementines before storing them. Washing them before storage will remove the natural protective layer on the skin and make them more susceptible to spoiling.

Freeze them to make them last longer

If you want to store Clementines for a month or more, you should freeze them. Just know that it will change their texture, and once thawed will be very soft, probably only good for juicing at that point.

The bottom line

Knowing how to spot a bad clementine is crucial for your snacking pleasure. Fresh, sweet, fragrant clementines contain vitamin C and other good nutrients that benefit your health, making it one of my favorite snacks. 

Learn how to tell if a clementine is bad with these easy tips and checklists to remember, including the things to look out for in picking them out.

If you’ve ever had a clementine that tasted off, you know the disappointment it can bring.

Fresh fruits are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These can help you improve your overall health and well-being. 

But if it’s already spoiled, it is always best to be cautious and throw it away rather than take the risk. Before we get into the discarding topic, let us understand and get to know Clementines first, then identify the qualities or signs we want when buying them from a store.