Last year Maxwell shared his surprising freezer method of 'washing' jeans, and last week Jill posted about freezing all her wool clothes and decor to get rid of moths (pictured). It got me thinking about the various other inedible things we should and do store in the fridge and freezer. Though I have an apartment fridge with decidedly ungenerous proportions, I always keep batteries in the fridge and candles in the freezer, but are these genuinely good ideas or old wives' tales? Let's take a look at some of the things you might want to store at chilly temperatures. Batteries: Batteries remain freshest when stored in cool, dry places. That's why I've always kept them in the fridge, like the owner of the fridge above (can you spot the batteries on the lowest door shelf?) But it turns out that storing them in the fridge isn't totally necessary after all, unless your apartment is unusually balmy. Low temperatures do indeed extend the lives of alkaline batteries, but according to WiseGeek, only by a few minutes at best. Lithium batteries may benefit more from being refrigerated, since they degrade much faster in warm temperatures. But then you should let them come slowly to room temperature before using them, to prevent condensation.
Candles: There seems to be some disagreement on this point, but I have always found that freezing candles before using them helps prolong their lives, since it delays melting. This seems more effective on my normal 12" tapers and thick scented candles than on skinny candles like birthday and Hanukkah candles. Have you found this to be true, as well?
Film: If you use old-school film for your camera, you might want to keep it in the fridge, especially during summer months when heat rises above 75°F. It's probably not necessary, but it could help maintain optimum performance. If you do keep your film in the fridge, let it slowly come to room temp before using it, to eliminate risk of condensation. Also, according to Kodak, refrigerating film won't help keep it fresh beyond its expiry date, so don't get too excited.
Lipstick: Keeping cosmetics cold is apparently a good way to keep them fresher longer, but I've kept lipstick out at room temperature for years without noticing anything awry. Might be worth trying though — especially for special-occasion shades that don't get used too much. Has anyone tried it?
Eye creams: Nothing feels more vivifying to tired, puffy eyes than cold moisturizer. Dermatologists and cosmeticians recommend keeping eye cream in the fridge for a little de-puffying pick-me-up whenever your eyes need it!
Is there anything else inedible you keep in the fridge for any reason?
Images: 1 Jill Slater on Apartment Therapy; 2 Green Prophet; 3 Fabulous Fashions 4 Sensible Style; 4 Range Finder Forum user jonmanjiro; 5 D Fashions; 6 Daily Glow.