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Your freezer, your rules. 

Sarra Sedghi
September 27, 2018

The Internet's been abuzz with this woman's story about losing her life savings after trading in her freezer, so that got us thinking: Besides large sums of cash, what other strange things do people keep in their freezers? Lots, it turns out. 

The freezer can be far more than an appliance; for plenty of people, it’s a fireproof safe, a deodorizer, and an icy in-between space for anything from compost to roadkill. Here are the most common, as well as most bizarre, things we found. 

Important documents

Wills, deeds, and birth certificates are all common freezer documents, sealed in a plastic bag for extra protection. It makes sense: most contemporary freezers can withstand fire, and those papers are way too important to burn. 

Deceased pets

When a pet dies, you might not want to bury it out of sentimentality or grief. Lots of people prefer DIY cryptotherapy and store small deceased animals on ice. For anyone living through a harsh winter, however, freezer stowage is necessary if that spot in the yard is iced over, at least until the great thaw. 

Bait

Fishers, falconers, and snake owners alike have a habit of storing bait and “pet food” like mice in the freezer to keep it fresh (and possibly out of sight). Hey, if it works. 

Clothing

You’ve heard that sticking stinky shoes in the freezer will eliminate odor, and lice or moth-infested hats and sweaters will be pest-free after a few rounds in the freezer. But lots of people use the freezer as an alternative to washing clothes. And while it’s a good idea in theory, standard kitchen freezers don’t get cold enough to exterminate bacteria—for that, it’s gotta be minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and average kitchens don’t have that capability yet. Instead, a regular ‘ole freezer just slows down bacteria until they stop moving, and once they warm up they start again. 

Trash

The absolute worst side effect of trash (especially compostable items) is all the bugs it attracts; fruit flies and cockroaches do not make for a happy kitchen. “Sometimes I’m too tired to take out the garbage so I put it in the freezer so I don’t get bugs,” says writer Jasmine Bager Cruz. “It also firms up any liquid so I can dispose of it cleanly later.” It doesn’t have to stay there forever, just until garbage day. 

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