How Long Can Garlic Sit Out?

Garlic is a delicious, pungent bulb that adds flavor and zest to your favorite dishes. It’s also one of the easiest ingredients to store in the kitchen. So how long can you leave the garlic out before it spoils? What are some signs that your garlic has gone bad? And what about storing fresh garlic at room temperature instead of in the fridge—is that safe? Let’s answer these questions below!

How Long Can Garlic Sit Out?

The shelf life of garlic depends on a variety of factors, such as the storage temperature, the preparation method, and how it was stored. But in general, unpeeled cloves will last 3- 5 months at room temperature, while peeled cloves will last 7-10 days at room temperature.

Why Does Garlic Go Bad So Quickly?

Like all members of this family, garlic is very sensitive to air. When exposed to too much oxygen, especially in hot temperatures, it will begin to go bad.

So if you leave your garlic sitting out too long and then use it later in cooking (or try eating raw), you’ll probably end up with a bitter taste on your breath—not exactly what we’re going for!

How Can You Tell If Garlic Is Spoiled?

If you’re unsure whether your garlic is rotten, here are some ways to tell.

Check its color. Good, fresh garlic should be firm and dry. If it has a dark or blackish color—even if the clove isn’t soft—you should toss it out (unless you want to eat it as is). This can be caused by mold on the surface of your garlic.

Feel for moisture or stickiness in between cloves. If you feel moisture in between cloves, discard your entire head of garlic immediately; this means that it has spoiled and gone bad at some point during storage time, even though it might not have any other signs of spoilage yet.

Smell the cloves before peeling them open to test their freshness. Freshly harvested garlic will smell like nothing when opened up; however old or spoiled garlic will give off an unpleasant odor and should not be eaten raw because this could cause stomach upset in some people due.

Storing Garlic At Room Temperature

Garlic is a great ingredient to have in your pantry, but it can be tricky to keep fresh.

If you choose to store garlic at room temperature, store them properly in a plastic wrap container with an airtight lid or put it into storage bags with little holes punched through them (to allow for proper ventilation).

Whether the garlic is unpeeled or peeled, keep them away from direct sunlight and heat. The best place to store garlic is in the pantry or cupboard.

Is It Safe To Eat Garlic That Was Left Out Overnight?

If you’re wondering whether it’s safe to eat garlic that was left out overnight, the good news is yes! Garlic is a natural preservative and doesn’t need refrigeration to survive. (It even grows underground and thrives in non-fertile soil.)

The bad news is that once chopped or minced, garlic loses its flavor and aroma within 24 hours. So if you don’t use all of your chopped garlic right away, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freeze it so that you can use it later.

How Long Does Garlic Last In The Fridge?

If you’re not looking to use your garlic immediately, it’s best to store it in the refrigerator. The optimal temperature for storing fresh garlic is between 32 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Garlic that has been refrigerated will last for about two months before becoming soft and mushy, but it can still be used at this point.

If you want to keep the garlic longer than two months, then you can keep it in the freezer instead of the fridge. Frozen garlic will last up to six months before developing freezer burn—again, allowing you plenty of time to use whatever is left over from your original purchase!


With these tips, you can rest assured that your garlic will last longer and you’ll get to enjoy it more often. We hope these tips on how long garlic lasts were helpful!