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8 Genius Non-Food Ways to Use Your Freezer

Using your freezer only to stash frozen pizza and ice packs? You're missing out.

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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.

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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. By the way, here are some things you never knew your dishwasher could do, either.

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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. 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. You might not throw your jeans in the washing machine after this, but you can totally clean these surprising things in your washing machine.

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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). Check out these things you should never put in your fridge.

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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.

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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.) Don’t miss these foods you didn’t know you could freeze.

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iStock/Miyuki Satake

Eliminate dust mites

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. You should also check out the surprising things you can clean in your dishwasher.