Why You Should Always Put a Coin in the Freezer Before You Leave Home

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  • Post last modified:June 17, 2024
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You are currently viewing Why You Should Always Put a Coin in the Freezer Before You Leave Home

Leaving home for an extended period, whether for vacation or a business trip, often comes with a checklist of tasks to ensure everything remains in order while you’re away. One such lesser-known but incredibly useful tip is placing a coin in the freezer. This simple act can save you from potential foodborne illnesses and give you peace of mind. Here’s why you should consider it:

Understanding the Coin in the Freezer Trick

The idea behind this trick is to help you determine if there has been a power outage while you were away and whether your food has been compromised. It involves freezing a small container of water, then placing a coin on top of the frozen water before leaving.

How It Works

  1. Freeze a Container of Water: Before your trip, fill a small container (like a plastic cup) with water and place it in the freezer.
  2. Add the Coin: Once the water is completely frozen, place a coin on top of the ice.
  3. Leave It in the Freezer: Leave the container with the coin in your freezer for the duration of your absence.

What It Tells You

When you return, check the coin’s position:

  • Coin Still on Top: If the coin is still on top of the ice, it means your freezer maintained its temperature throughout your absence. Your food is safe to consume.
  • Coin at the Bottom: If the coin has sunk to the bottom, it indicates that the ice melted at some point, suggesting a power outage. The water melted and refroze, causing the coin to sink. In this case, your food may have thawed and refrozen, making it potentially unsafe to eat.

Why It’s Important

1. Food Safety

Perishable items in your freezer can spoil if they thaw and then refreeze. Consuming such food can lead to food poisoning. This trick helps you assess whether your food stayed frozen the entire time or not.

2. Peace of Mind

Knowing that you have a reliable method to check the integrity of your frozen food can provide peace of mind. It’s one less thing to worry about when you return from your trip.

3. Simplicity and Cost-Effectiveness

This method is incredibly simple and doesn’t require any special equipment—just a coin and a small container of water. It’s a cost-effective way to monitor your freezer without investing in pricey gadgets.

Additional Tips

  • Check Local Power Outage Records: Sometimes, local utility companies provide records of power outages, which can give you an idea of any disruptions while you were away.
  • Consider Backup Power Solutions: If you travel frequently, investing in a backup power supply for your refrigerator and freezer can be a worthwhile investment.
  • Regular Maintenance: Ensure your freezer is in good working order and that its seals are intact to maintain consistent temperatures.


The coin in the freezer trick is a simple, ingenious way to ensure your food remains safe during your absence. By taking this small step before you leave, you can avoid the risk of foodborne illnesses and return home with peace of mind. Next time you prepare for a trip, add this to your checklist—it’s a quick and easy habit that can make a big difference.

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