How to Tell If a Watermelon Is Bad? (Updated 2024)

how to tell if a watermelon is bad

Are you curious how you can tell if a watermelon is bad? Stick around as we share the answer along with some tips.

There’s nothing like eating a sweet, juicy, and downright refreshing slice of watermelon on a scorching hot day. After all, this is one of the best ways to rehydrate and bring up your energy, especially in the summer. It tastes even better frozen – you can just imagine it as a healthier version of popsicles without the preservatives.

As this melon is certainly a must-have during the summer, it’s also essential to know when it has gone bad. Unlike other fruit such as apples and pears which tend to show signs of oxidation when sliced or opened, watermelon does not react in the same way.

With many people buying a watermelon at their farmer’s markets or nearby grocery stores, it leaves a person wondering just how to tell this fruit has gone bad. If you are buying pre-sliced watermelon, you’ll most likely want to know this as well. If so, we have a guide to help you out. Take a look.

What Is a Watermelon?

Sliced Watermelon

A watermelon, also known by its scientific name Citrullus lanatus, is a member of the gourd family. This juicy and succulent fruit grows on a vine-like plant. While grown around the world, this fruit is native to tropical Africa.

The name ‘watermelon’ is apt for this fruit, after all, it is made mostly of water. Water constitutes approximately 92% of its content. It also has a lot of vitamins and nutrients, including vitamins A, B6, and C. Moreover, they house powerful antioxidants as well as amino acids and lycopene, which help prevent bodily damage, illnesses, and even cancer.

Besides hydration, this fiber-rich fruit also aids in keeping your digestive tract healthy.

Because of the fruit’s high water content, it yields only a few calories, around 40 kcal per cup. You can even mindlessly consume it and feel no guilt.

There are different varieties of watermelons in existence. Apart from the most common with the reddish flesh and the green rind, there are some which have white or yellow flesh.

Fun Facts About Watermelons

Watermelon popsicles

The fruit’s popular all over the world, with Japan being one of the highest and most meticulous purveyors of this fruit. In fact, watermelons in the country can sell for up to $27,000, and for good reason –their cultivation process requires meticulousness as well as labor-intensive dedication.

Among the shapes that have gained fame, you can find boxed-shaped or heart-shaped melons. These makeup part of the luxury fruit selection deeply integrated within their gift-giving and honorific practices.

How to Tell if a Watermelon is Bad?


Although you may not purchase a $27,000 watermelon, this doesn’t mean you can just succumb to food waste. You need to know how to tell if a watermelon has gone bad.

One of the tell-tale signs that your fruit has gone to the point of no return is the appearance of age spots, dark spots, or even mold or slime. If you find mold or other similar spots on the fruit, don’t eat it.

Another sign that watermelon has gone bad is its smell. Watermelons naturally smell sweet and fresh, particularly when ripe. If a fruit gives off a sour, tangy, or even assaulting smell, throw it away.

The flesh of the watermelon should also look vibrant. Whether yellow, red or even white or orange, these colors should appear deep throughout. If the flesh seems dry, gritty, or has a sour and fizzy taste, throw it away. This means that the flesh has started to deteriorate and the water content has started to go out. If it has gone bad, you can also tell by its slimy or mushy texture.

The great thing about pre-sliced watermelon is that you can almost immediately see these signs. Plus, you can always refer to the best-by date. A good rule of thumb: consume the fruit before the expiration date or eat it by the designated period. If you can’t find a bet-by date, you should eat it within five days.

Stored properly in an air-tight container in the fridge, it can last for three to five days. Even then, make sure to exercise caution at all times. An uncut watermelon should last seven to 10 days at room temperature before turning bad, while a refrigerated, uncut fruit should last you for two to three weeks.

The Bottom Line

If you are preparing to have tons of this mouthwatering fruit this summer, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the signs a watermelon has gone bad. You might just need it with the change of weather coming up.

Is Your Watermelon Bad?

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