12 Surprising Things You Should Keep in Your Fridge

By Paul Michael on 15 October 2014 0 comments

What do you keep in your fridge? If you're like most people in America, you store milk, eggs, meats, cheeses, soft drinks, juices, and a whole bunch of fruit and vegetables. In short, the fridge is for food, right? Well, not always. (See also: Fridge or Counter? Where to Store Fruit for Best Flavor)

Turns out there are lots of things better served cold, like these 12 surprising items you should consider keeping in your fridge.

1. Candles

You can extend the burning life of taper candles by storing them in your refrigerator. Place them in something that will stop them absorbing moisture, such as zip-lock bags, foil, or cling wrap. Then when the time comes to use them, you'll get more bright for your buck.

2. Rechargeable Batteries

When you're not using batteries, don't keep them in the junk drawer or garage cabinet. Instead, pop them in the fridge; batteries can be preserved by keeping them cold. You can extend them by minutes or hours, and can get some seemingly dead batteries to come back to life. The freezer works well for this, too.

3. Whole Wheat Flour

That's not a mistake. The wheat germ in whole-wheat flour has a short shelf life, and can go off pretty quickly. You should keep your whole-wheat flour in the fridge, but make sure you put it in an airtight container. Flour acts like sponge for other odors and flavors, and anything strong (like onion) can taint the whole batch. Nobody wants a bunch of onion flavored cupcakes.

4. Metal Spoons

Why would you want access to a cold spoon? This is a tip from people who work in the beauty profession. If you wake up with bags under your eyes, pressing the back of a cold metal spoon against them can take away the puffiness and swelling. This is, however, only a temporary solution. It also works with slices of cold cucumber, but the great thing about spoons is that they never go bad.

5. Skin Cream and Sunscreen

If you don't like the idea of pressing icy-cold metal to your face, store your skin cream in the fridge instead. Keeping it nice and cold will have a similar effect to the cold spoons, and it's also a soothing thing to put on in the hot weather. This goes double for sunscreen on hot days.

6. Nail Polish

Celebrity manicurist (yes, there is such a profession) Kait Mosh says that heat and light are the enemies of nail polish, and will thicken it up over time. As the father of two young girls, I can't tell you how many times I've tried applying goopy nail polish, with awful results. To stop this happening, keep your nail polish in the fridge. It will prolong the life and keep it flowing freely.

7. Bowls and Plates

If you're a fan of ice cream (and who isn't?) or other cold foods, it doesn't hurt to devote a section of your fridge to a few plates and bowls. They stack nicely, and when it comes time for a helping of ice cream, the cold bowl stops it from melting as quickly. It's also good for any other foods that will benefit from staying colder, longer.

8. Olive Oil

You may not realize it, but olive oil is delicate. Many experts agree that the best way to store olive oil is in the same conditions as wine — roughly 57 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, very few of us have a wine cellar or wine fridge, so the next best things is a spot in the regular fridge. (Note: High-end or premium extra-virgin olive oils should not get the same treatment, as it interferes with the flavor and aroma.)

9. Camera Film

Does anyone still use traditional camera film any more? Yes, they do. Like vinyl, it's starting to make a comeback. There are certain effects people want from traditional film that are difficult to fake in the digital world. However, it's a lot more difficult to get hold of camera film these days, and it's more expensive. So make sure it produces the best results by keeping your camera film in the fridge. It won't extend the shelf life though.

10. Nuts

You can double the shelf life of nuts by keeping them in the fridge. A tub of them in the pantry will last three months, but that can be extended to six months in your fridge. You can also freeze them and extend their life to over a year. Just like flour, remember to keep them in air-tight containers as they will absorb odors from strong-smelling foods.

11. Flower Bulbs

Professional gardeners can chime in on this one, but many people store tulip bulbs in the fridge for 12-16 weeks as a method of "forcing" them to send up shoots:

You can chill the bulbs in the old-fashioned way by potting them up and placing the pots in cold storage (40 to 45 F). An easier method, especially if space is limited, is to place the bulbs themselves in the fridge for the big chill, then planting in pots.

12. Dead Birds

How could I not include this one? Of course, don't expect to get your money back from the magic store. You have to admit, it's the most surprising item on the list!

What do you keep in your fridge, other than the obvious items? Let us know.

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