Did your grandma used to store her face cream in the fridge? Weird, right? Unless it wasn’t. Seems that many “old wives’ tales” about how to store things are actually pretty spot on.

There are several storage myths that have been bugging us, so we figured they were bugging you too. We went straight to the source to answer some of these questions once and for all.

1.  Should I Store Coffee in the Freezer?

Coffee beans

No.

“Fridges and freezers create moisture which can ruin the taste of your coffee beans,” says storage/organization expert Kelly McClenahan, of Price Self Storage and author of the blog, Live Uncluttered. “No one likes flavorless coffee first thing in the morning.”

2. Should I Store Champagne on its Side?

Champagne

Yes.

“Champagne and wine bottles should be stored in racks, bins, or wine boxes, on their sides or cork down so that the cork stays in contact with the wine,” says McClenahan.

This will keep the cork from drying out which can allow air to enter the bottle and lead to unwanted oxidation – in other words, yuck. Bonus tip: Champagne should be stored at a cool and constant temperature, ideally between 50 and 60 degrees.

3. Should I Store Batteries in the Freezer or Refrigerator?

Stack of used batteries

Not really.

Here’s the thing; we’ve heard this forever and people swear it makes them last longer. However, both Energizer and Duracell say to store them at room temp (as do we). But, let’s think this through: Why would the battery companies want their batteries to last longer? They want you to buy more! But they also want to stave off complaints so chances are good they know what they’re talking about. The folks at GreenBatteries.com concur, except if you live in a warm climate. Then you might be better off going fridge.

4. Should I Store Gasoline in the Garage?

Jerry Cans and Propane Tanks

Yes. 

Thought we were going to say no, didn’t you? But it’s better than in the house. Even better is if you have a detached garage, shed, or storage unit, says McClenahan. But go easy on the quantity; keep about 1 gallon for your tools in an approved gasoline container. Also, make sure you keep it at least 50 feet from a heat source, such as the water heater, space heater or furnace.

5. Should I Store Firewood Outside?

Firewood

Yes. 

It’s important to store it properly not just for safety, but for its longevity and the efficiency of its burn, says Brad Hines of The Tree Gentlemen. Tumbling logs can be dangerous, so stack them just a few feet tall, and keep the pile a few feet away from your house, so that insects like termites can’t transfer from the pile to the home, says Hines. Lay some lumber down first to elevate the stack and keep it dry and then criss-cross it every few logs to make the pile more stable and create airflow between the logs.

6. Should I Store Tomatoes in the Refrigerator?

Branch of tomatoes on white plate in open empty refrigerator

No. 

They can get mealy in the fridge. A better choice is to store them on the counter away from sunlight, says “Produce Pat” Ahern of Baldor Specialty Foods. “If you have bought some tomatoes that still need to ripen, place them in a closed brown bag, and the ethylene gas they naturally give off will help speed up the process.”

7. Should I Store Glasses Upside Down?

glassware1

Depends.

Either way, says McClenahan, who says this one is all personal preference. She slightly favors storing them rim down to keep the dust out, but first make sure they are completely dry because any residual moisture can turn into mildew.

8. Should I Store Bottled Water in the Car?

emergencywater

No.

Sorry, we get it: You never know when a powerful thirst might strike; you’re stuck in traffic; your kid is parched from sports practice. But a study from the University of Florida showed conclusively that when plastic water bottles were heated up, the material they are made of, polyethylene terephthalate, releases the chemicals antimony and bisphenol A. Known as BPA, this chemical seems to be safe at low levels, but has been shown to cause some potential health risks. Better safe than sorry on this one. Bring your water back inside when you get home.

9. Should I Store a DSLR Camera With the Lens on?

Young pretty woman with camera looking for new cadre

Yes.

But first make sure you have stored it in a dry, dust-free environment, says McClenahan. “Humidity in the air can cause serious damage,” she cautions, suggesting that you collect some extra silica bags, the kind that come in shoe boxes, to put with your camera, as the silica gel will soak up any moisture in the air and keep the equipment safe.

10. Should I Store Coolers Open or Closed?

Empty cooler

Either way, but…

You can store your ice chest with the lid shut, only if you make sure it is completely dry after washing it out. Otherwise mold can grow, say the good folks at Coleman.

 

Cathie Ericson