Have you ever been craving a mango but realized the ones that you bought at the store were not ripe yet? Did you give up and think you were out of luck? Well, lucky for you there are ways to ripen your mango so you can eat it as soon as possible.

lemon, mango
Caroline Liu

The First Way

One way to speed up the ripening process is to leave the mangos in a paper bag or wrap them in newspaper. You've probably heard of this trick for avocados, but it works for mangoes too. You can leave the bag or newspaper collection on the kitchen counter overnight and you should find ripeness in the morning.

Jina Kim

Why does this happen?

Mangoes wrapped in a paper bag will release ethylene. This is an odourless gas that speeds up the ripening process. You learn something new every day.

More Ways to Speed It Up

Another way to speed up the ripening process is to submerge the mango in a bowl of uncooked rice or popcorn kernels. The rice or popcorn helps trap the ethylene gas around the mango which makes it ripen faster. This is an old wives trick that came from India and should make your mangos ripe within a day.


keith.bellvay on Flickr

Not satisfied with any of those trick? You can also put your mangos in a ventilated wooden or cardboard box with lots of hay. That is how mangos are originally sold in India.

A lazy way to ripen a mango is in the microwave. Warning: it might not taste as good. To do it, you use a knife to poke the mango in 4-5 places to help the steam escape. Then you wrap the mango in a small towel and place it in the microwave for 10 seconds. When the time is up, take it out and press it with your fingers to check its ripeness. If the mango has become soft, then it is ripening. Make a small cut and see if it is ripe enough. If not, microwave it for another 5-10 seconds to achieve desired softness.

coffee, beer, tea, beans
Leanna Smith

Finally, there is the natural way. Set the unripe mango on the kitchen counter at room temperature. This is the most natural way but it might take a few days until your mango is plump, juicy and ready to eat.

pasta, bamboo shoots, french fries, macaroni, vegetable
Elizabeth Philip

How do you know if your mango is ripe?

The best way to know if your mango is ripe is by smelling it. You can sniff the stem and if it has a heavy, fruity odour then it's ripe. If you don't smell anything than it's not. Just as simple as that.

The Colour

Don't rely on the colour of the mango. Most ripe mangos will also feature rich reds and burnt yellows more than soft greens. Ripe mangos are not always red and yellow. Forget about the look and use softness as a guide.

juice, apple, sweet, mango, pear
Alex Weiner

Storing Your Ripe Mango

Keep the mango in the refrigerator so it does not get riper. Do not store it in the fridge before they are ripe as it can get damaged by the cold temperature and it will stop the ripening process.

tea, cake, sushi
Alice Zhou

Now that you know everything you need to know about mangos, go ahead and start ripening.