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Do Mung Beans Smell? (5 reasons why)

When you spend a lot of time trying to grow mung bean sprouts only to end up with a smelly mess, you may ask yourself; do mung beans smell?

If your mung beans smell, something is wrong. There are several reasons why mung beans smell.

The main reasons are; poor seeds quality, presoaking seeds for too long, failure to rinse sprouts, insufficient air circulation, and high temperatures.


In this article, we will discuss the possible reasons why your mung beans smell, how to properly store mung beans, their shelf life, and signs that your mung beans have gone bad.

We will also give tips on how to ensure you don’t end up with smelly mung beans.

Five possible reasons why your mung beans smell.

When you grow mung beans in the right conditions and are still fresh, they should not have an unpleasant smell. If your mung bean sprouts smell, the chances are that they have gone bad.

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Here are five possible reasons why your mung beans smell.

  • Your seeds were of poor quality.

If your sprouting mung beans have a smell, you may have used poor-quality seeds. You don’t necessarily need special sprouting seeds; the regular ones will do.

Just make sure you buy them from a credible supplier. This way, you are sure that the seeds underwent the necessary testing and did not have dangerous pathogens.

  • Presoaking seeds for too long.

To grow mung beans sprouts, you have to presoak the seeds first. You should only soak the seeds for 6-12 hours.

If you soak them for longer than 12 hours, the growing process does not start as it should. Therefore, your mung beans may end up having molds and even smell.

  • Failure to rinse sprouts/ irregular rinsing.

During the sprouting process, you must rinse the sprouts regularly. It would be best if you rinsed the sprouts at least two times a day.


Remember to use water liberally because the sprouts need sufficient water to grow. Additionally, rinsing plays a significant role in removing any unwanted buildup.

Failure to rinse sprouts regularly can cause them to dry out or have a bad smell due to the buildup.

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  • Insufficient air circulation.

Mung bean sprouts need enough air circulation for them to grow properly.


It would help if you did not store mung bean sprouts in your kitchen cabinet, and neither should you store them where there is direct sunlight.

It would be best if you stored mung beans where there is proper air circulation. This way, they won’t end up having a terrible smell.

  • High temperatures.

You need to grow mung bean sprouts at room temperature for the best results. It is crucial that you keep the sprouts at room temperature (70-80 degrees Fahrenheit) throughout the sprouting process. 

If the temperatures are too high, the sprouts will end up sweating. Consequently, it will encourage the growth of mold and bacteria, which results in them smelling.

Other reasons

Failure to drain the seeds properly.

After rinsing your sprouts, you should drain them properly.

If you don’t, the sprouts will sit in water for long hours and consequently pose a health risk and create a conducive environment for mold to grow.

Make a point of removing all the excess water to prevent spoilage and unpleasant smell.

Failure to observe cleanliness.

Generally, mung beans sprouts need to grow in a clean environment.

Additionally, it is important that you thoroughly clean your equipment after and before every grow cycle. You can use soap and water to clean. Alternatively, use hydrogen peroxide or bleach.

Other than that, you should also use clean water to rinse your sprouts. If you use contaminated water, you may end up with smelly mung beans.

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How to properly store mung beans.


To make the most out of mung beans, you should store them properly.

There are three ways you can store mung beans; at room temperature, in the refrigerator, and in the freezer.

Let’s discuss how to properly store mung beans in the ways mentioned above.

At room temperature

You can store mung beans at room temperature. All you need to do is wash them thoroughly, then store them away from direct sunlight.

It would be best to store them at a place where there is sufficient airflow that will enable the beans to dry up after you have washed them.

In the refrigerator


To store mung beans in the refrigerator, you first have to wash them thoroughly using cold water. By washing, you will remove any unwanted growth or residue.

After washing, place the sprouts in a moist paper towel, then place them in a plastic bag. Refrigerate for up to six weeks.

Alternatively, you can place the beans in a container filled with ice water, seal the container and refrigerate.

It would be best if you replaced the ice water daily for the mung beans to remain fresh.

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In the freezer


If you want mung beans to last for several months, you should freeze them. To freeze mung beans, wash them thoroughly, then lay them on a baking sheet.

Place the mung beans in your freezer for 30 minutes or until they harden completely. Once they harden, remove them from the freezer and transfer them to freezer bags.

Seal the bags and store them in your freezer for up to 10 months.

Mung beans shelf life.


Generally, mung beans have a short shelf life. However, how long your mung beans will last greatly depends on how you store them.

If you store mung beans in your refrigerator, they will stay fresh for up to six weeks. If properly frozen, mung beans will maintain their good quality for up to 10 months.

If you store mung beans at room temperature, they can last for a maximum of two weeks.

Therefore, if you want them to last longer than two weeks, you should consider storing them in the refrigerator or freezer.

Signs that your mung beans have gone bad.


Here are a few signs that your mung beans have gone bad and are no longer safe to eat.

  • Molds.

If you see molds growing on your mung beans, they have gone bad. 

The surface of mung beans should be shiny. If you notice a white layer covering the surface, it is mold, and you should throw out the mung beans.

  • Bad odor.

A fishy, sour, or pungent smell is an indication that mung beans are no longer safe to eat. Mung beans should only have an earthy smell.

  • Off taste.

If you taste mung beans and they are soggy, chewy, or have a sour taste, the chances are they have gone bad. Fresh mung beans should not be soggy. Instead, they should have a snap to them.

If your mung beans have any of the signs above, you should dispose of them.

Mung beans are easy to grow, so wash the container you were using and start growing them all over again.

Tips to ensure your mung bean sprouts don’t go bad.


Here are a few things you can do so that your mung bean sprouts don’t go bad.

  • Store them away from direct sunlight and ensure they have good airflow.

You must store the sprouts away from direct sunlight and ensure they have good airflow. Sunlight can make the sprouts get too hot.

Good airflow will ensure that the sprouts dry up at a faster rate after you have washed them.

  • Wash your sprouts frequently.

It would be best if you washed mung bean sprouts at least twice a day. This way, they will stay fresh, and you can get rid of any unwanted growths. Additionally, washing the sprouts frequently encourages them to grow.

Note that if you do not wash the sprouts, they will start smelling and go bad.

  • Consume them fresh, preferably right after sprouting.

If you want to get the best out of mung bean sprouts, eat them immediately after the sprouting process. If you leave them stored in your fridge for weeks, they can easily go bad.

  • Thoroughly clean the sprouts before eating.

Before eating the sprouts, you should clean them thoroughly. Remember that when in water, they are prone to bacteria growth.

Therefore clean them thoroughly to avoid infections.


Mung beans have gained popularity over the years because they are nutritious. Most people opt to sprout them at home.

If you try sprouting mung beans and they end up being smelly, throw them out. Use the tips we have discussed above to ensure they don’t smell.

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