Does Garlic Go Bad? (And Other Things You Need To Know About This)

Does garlic go bad? It is a lingering question that everyone in the kitchen pretends to know the answer to. This question seems trivial for some people, who will say: “It is just garlic“. But for me, it is important. I consider this to be the most necessary staple in the kitchen. Anyone can use it for various cuisines and recipes, and you will love the health benefits too.

This is why many people try to hoard this item in their pantries. But, despite having a long shelf life, it will eventually go bad. This is the result of a number of different factors. Let me explain them to you.


How Long Does It Take For Garlic To Go Bad?

Food spoilage can be caused by various different factors. The first one to take note of is the ingredient’s packaging. Pieces of garlic that still have bulbs on them will last for a month. They could last even longer if you put them in a cool and dark area of your kitchen.

However, most of the garlic sold commercially is already peeled and separated. This particular process requires constant refrigeration in order to slow down the spoilage. Getting peeled garlic is very convenient for you, as it can take a bit of time to peel it yourself.

If you have minced garlic, you can expect it to remain eatable for up to a year (as long as it is inside a refrigerator). But always take note of the expiry date to be on the safe side.

To summarize, here is the expected lifespan of the different types of garlic:

  • Fresh Garlic (Whole) – 3 to 6 months (inside a refrigerator).
  • Fresh Garlic (Cloves) – 1 to 2 months (inside a refrigerator).
  • Chopped Garlic – 1 week (inside a refrigerator).
  • Minced Garlic – Up to a year (inside a refrigerator).

As you will notice, the quality of the garlic is dependent on how you store it. Of course, you should practice proper storage on any kitchen ingredients if you want to preserve its freshness and edibility.

How Do You Know If A Clove Of Garlic Is Rotten Already

By just looking at the garlic, you can instantly figure out its current condition. There are several physical indicators that determine whether it is close to rotting or not. For example, if you can spot some brown areas, the garlic is close to spoiling, and if it is going a yellowish color, then dispose of it immediately as it will produce an overwhelming taste.

I usually inspect their freshness before I start cooking them, as I don’t want to get caught off guard. After all, I have kids with sensitive stomachs. Furthermore, I always practice proper cooking etiquette and hygiene, as this improves my recipes.

You need to look at the clove’s center. If you notice any green roots slowly sprouting on it, then the garlic is about to go bad. You can still use the garlic, but make sure you remove the roots first. Otherwise, your dish will have a bitter flavor.

Of course, we are all aware of the risks of eating any spoiled food. Therefore, you need to be responsible when preparing and cooking your ingredients. Your wellbeing is on the line here.

Proper Storage Of Garlic

There are ways to increase the lifespan of garlic. One of them is storing the garlic in an open container, but it must not have a lid or cover because air circulation is important for the preservation of garlic. Moreover, the storage area should be dark, cold, and dry.

However, I don’t recommend the use of a refrigerator as this setting can cause sprouts to grow from the garlic. Once you start removing these sprouts off the garlic, its lifespan will start to degrade.

Another good way of storing garlic is by hanging them in a mesh basket or a paper bag. The tiny openings of these containers allow the air to circulate. On the other hand, plastic bags and other containers that don’t have openings can lead to a build up of moisture, which lowers the lifespan of the ingredient and causes mold to grow. 

Once you have peeled the garlic, the storage container should be closed. Peeled and minced garlic should be stored in an airtight container as much as possible. The flesh of the garlic is vulnerable to rotting, especially if it is exposed to air.


Any ingredients will go bad eventually. Even a resilient item like garlic can’t escape this process. But there are ways that you can delay this natural process, which I have mentioned to you here.

Therefore, please follow and practice these methods religiously. It is important that we preserve our food in a manner that does not generate too much waste and will save precious money too!

Did you learn from this article? If you have any questions about this subject, just feel free to ask me in the comment section below. I will try my best to respond as quickly as possible. Happy cooking!