Home refrigerators allow you to keep food fresh and cold, but it's important to avoid placing food and non-food items in the refrigerator that don't belong there. Consult the lists below to learn which items are better stored somewhere else.

Non-Food Items

For a variety of reasons, you should avoid putting these items in the refrigerator:

  • Batteries: Contrary to popular belief, refrigerating batteries does not increase their performance. It actually causes them to corrode faster due to the condensation.
  • Nail Polish: The reduced temperature of the refrigerator causes the polish to thicken and makes it difficult to apply later.
  • Perfume: The moisture, reduced temperature, and light of your refrigerator cause the synthetic fragrances and essential oils of perfume to break down.

The best place to store all of these items is in a drawer at room temperature.

Food Items

Although you might assume most foods go in the refrigerator, placing these items in a cooled environment can make them inedible:

  • Bread: Refrigerating bread can cause it to go stale faster because its starches re-crystalize in a cold environment. Bread will last up to seven days at room temperature or longer if you freeze it in an air-tight container.
  • Coffee: The condensation from the refrigerator may affect the flavor of your coffee when you brew it. A better place to store it is a dry, air-tight container.
  • Honey: Like bread, honey crystalizes in the cold environment of a refrigerator. It is then too thick for you to pour. It will keep much better when stored in the pantry.
  • Jam: Jams contain an adequate amount of preservatives to remain fresh when stored in a cupboard, counter, or on the kitchen table.
  • Ketchup and Mustard: These condiments will not come out of the bottle properly when they have been refrigerated. You can also keep these food items in the pantry.
  • Potatoes: The moisture present in a refrigerator can affect the taste of potatoes, so you're better off placing them in a paper bag and storing them in the pantry. Avoid plastic bags because they trap moisture and cause premature decay.