8 Genius Non-Food Ways to Use Your Freezer

Reopen sealed envelopes


To open a sealed envelope without ripping it to pieces, place it in a plastic bag and freeze for one to two hours. Take it out and immediately open with a knife or letter opener. Once it has reached room temperature, re-set the adhesive with moisture. (Here are 5 ways you can recycle envelopes.)

Make candles last longer


Place candles in the freezer for a day before burning to help them last nearly twice as long. Chilling the wax causes it to burn slower, and in some candles, also prevents dripping. Here are some other not-so-obvious ways to use candles.

Clean jeans without water


It can be nerve-wracking to wash a nice pair of jeans: There’s no guarantee they won’t shrink or fade (but if they do shrink, here’s how to un-shrink them). Instead, turn to the freezer when high-quality denim gets smelly. Place the jeans in a canvas bag and freeze overnight. Low temperatures kill bacteria from skin cells that cause odor. P.S.: Here are surprising reasons you smell.

De-bug wooden antiques


You found a beautiful antique wood bowl at the neighborhood flea market. Your one concern: Could it contain hidden bugs? Many antique wooden items harbor woodworm, a pest that breeds in and chews through wood, sometimes leaving holes. Place the item in a freezer for a few weeks to kill woodworms and their eggs.

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Simplify plastic wrap


If a sheet of plastic wrap keeps sticking to itself, place it in the freezer for a few minutes. The chill will remove some of the cling and prevent the wrap from bunching up (but only chill for a few minutes so it retains its hold). Here are some improved uses for plastic wrap.

Save seeds


If you have leftover seeds, preserve them until next growing season by storing them in the freezer. Check that the seeds are thoroughly dry and place in an airtight container to freeze. Allow to thaw completely before planting. Here are some seed sowing solutions.

Extend life of pantyhose


Tired of pantyhose barely lasting for more than a few wears? Wet new pantyhose, wring them out, and place in a plastic bag. Freeze overnight. The cold keeps the fibers tight, preventing runs and extending lifespan. Thaw at room temperature and allow to dry. (You’ll only need to do this once for each new pair of pantyhose.) Here are 23 other uses for pantyhose you’ve probably never thought about.

Eliminate dust mites

iStock/Miyuki Satake

They won’t survive in freezing temperatures. Place worn items, such as sweaters or bedding, in large plastic bags. Freeze overnight and wash. Your fabrics will be fresh, crisp, and dust-free. Speaking of dust mites, here’s why you should be washing your pillows way more often.)

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