Iceberg lettuce provides crunch to burgers and sandwiches. It’s also suitable for salad when combined with other lettuce varieties and vegetables. The lettuce leaves begin browning soon after harvest or purchase if not stored properly. Browning occurs from spoilage. Reddish-brown discolorations, called rust, occur when there is too much moisture on the lettuce head. Managing the moisture level during storage prevents both spoilage and rust.

Things You'll Need

Set the lettuce on the counter, stem side down. Lift and thump the stem solidly against the counter. Cut the loosened core out of the lettuce head with a stainless steel knife.

Remove the outer leaves from the head of iceberg lettuce. Rinse the remaining head under cool running water.

Place the lettuce in a colander and allow the excess water to drain. Alternatively, use a salad spinner to dry the lettuce.

Wrap the lettuce in a paper towel. Set the wrapped lettuce in a plastic bag and store in the vegetable crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

Replace the towel daily. The towel prevents moisture from collecting in the bag, which can cause browning.


  • Iceberg lettuce stores well for 3 to 5 days.