Dried Fruit, Paint Brushes, and 8 Other Things You Should Keep in the Fridge


Did you know your chill box is good for keeping a variety of things other than the standard perishables? Here are 10 things that will benefit from being added to your fridge.

1. Paint rollers or brushes

Not quite done painting? There's no need to clean everything just yet. Wrap up those rollers or paint brushes in aluminum foil or a wet towel and pop them into the refrigerator. The next day, take them out, and resume painting without missing a beat.

2. Medications

We keep our Pepto-Bismol in the refrigerator. Somehow, the chilled sensation makes it easier to get down. And there are several other medications that should kept be in the fridge, too, as the label should indicate.

3. Bulbs

Like the look of potted bulbs like daffodils, hyacinths, and crocus? A pot on your desk will remind you that spring is just around the corner. Hopefully. Chilling the bulbs breaks their normal cycle, allowing the plant to bloom earlier.

4. Washcloths

If you've got a sick kid, or it's just a sticky, hot day, dampen a washcloth, pop it into a plastic bag, and tuck it into your refrigerator. It'll feel really wonderful when you take it out.

5. Dried fruit

Wait... it's dried, right? So shouldn't it last a while without being chilled? Yes. However, as it turns out, refrigerating it will make it last even longer. Just make sure it's in a sealed container. You might find out you like the flavors of some fruits even better when chilled.

6. Polymer clay

Polymer clay is fun for making all sorts of stuff (like this gorgeous faux sea glass), but it should be stored in a cool place lest it decomposes. Heat is not its friend. Just make sure it's wrapped up well and marked.

7. Dishes for cold meals

Keeping some bowls in the fridge for ice cream, or small plates for salad and other cold meals, is ideal. The food will taste fresher, longer. (Beer mugs in the freezer will always serve you well, too.)

8. Fresh Flowers

Keep cut flowers in the fridge until you are ready to arrange them. Blooms will stay prettier and last longer.

9. Nuts

Ever pulled nuts out of your pantry and found that they taste awful? That flavor is called "rancid," folks, and that's what happens when nuts go bad. Nuts contain oils, so they're best off kept tightly sealed in your refrigerator for up to six months, or in the freezer for up to a year.

10. Eye masks

Suppose you stayed home with a cold, and then you watched "The Notebook." Now you have really puffy eyes. No problem, just pull your chilled eye mask out of the refrigerator and get the swelling down.

But make sure it's actually cold enough

How cold is your refrigerator? For food safety, it should be between 32 and 40 F. If you don't already have one, invest in a refrigerator thermometer.

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