Apples can be washed before eating rather than before storing unless there is any noticeable dirt. If that is the case, wash under running water and dry thoroughly. There is a good publication on apple storage techniques from Purdue University Home Storage of Apples. Here is some general information on handling apples: • Handle apples gently—they bruise very easily and should not be squeezed or dropped—even an inch. • Store only perfect fruits that are free from punctures or bruises. • Do not store apples that have glassy spots in the flesh, known as "water core." • Check stored fruit periodically. One rotten apple will spoil the barrel if not removed. • Keep apples cold—close to but not below 32°F. Relative humidity should be at a 90% level. (Cellars and garages are usually cooler than the rest of the house but are not cool enough for good apple storage). • Store small quantities of fruit in perforated food-grade polyethylene bags to sustain humidity. • Do not seal or tie bags. • Generally, early ripening apples do not store well for long periods of time.