Freeze Fridge Nasties For Easier Disposal

Freeze Fridge Nasties For Easier Disposal

It happens to us all occasionally — leftovers lurk in the fridge long enough to be both unidentifiable and scary to open. Lifehacker reader Nick offers a neat trick for getting rid of those odiferous problems without unnecessary nastiness.

Here’s Nick’s suggestion in his own words:

Over the long weekend I took advantage of the extra time to clean out the fridge. In doing so I found a few plastic containers filled with what I assume was once pasta . . . the thought of opening up the container and dealing with the inevitable stink and stickiness made me feel ill. So I stuck the box in the freezer. The next day I simply upended the frozen block into the bin and swiftly moved it outside. As the block was frozen, it not only came out altogether (no scraping goo off the bottom of the container), but it also meant no awful smells in the kitchen.

That’s a clever and effective idea. If the frozen former foodstuff won’t fall out of the container, a quick rinse under the hot tap should set it free without undue reeking.

As we’re running Earth Month around here, this also seems an opportune moment to remind everyone to defrost their freezers, thereby avoiding energy wastage. Thanks Nick!


  • Environmental vandal!!!!

    Let me see – it takes over 80 times the energy to freeze the water in your food than it does to cool it by one degree – by the time it has reached the end temperature its about 100 times. I can see the CO2 balloons just emanating from your fridge.

    So on top of the wastage and all the greenhouse gases produced in delivery the green and stinky morsel of food to your container, you add further insult to injury by freezing it so it doesn’t offend your delicate nose.

    Man up – deal with the stink and throw it out before you freeze it.

    • Interesting assertion – i wouldn’t have thought that freezing food would be so environmentally devastating. Since you clearly know about this sort of stuff, could you give me a rough idea of the energy cost of freezing <200g of cooked pasta and pasta sauce? Then perhaps an indication of how this compares to the energy cost of say, running a car?

  • @Morgan, I don’t see my freezer working extra hard as soon as I place my cold leftovers in there. The freezer remains at a constant temperature. As long as your leftovers aren’t super-heated, where’s the problem?

    • Will, it’s due to a phenomenon called ‘latent heat of fusion’ where the energy is not being used to change the temperature of the object, but to change it’s physical phase state. (solidliquid)

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!