How To Keep Food Cold When Your Fridge Is Broken


Your fridge breaking down is one of the worst things that can happen to you as a homeowner. You can search for “refrigerator repair near me” and hire professionals to fix it for you. However, you also need to be quick and figure out a way to keep items inside the refrigerator cool and preserved. Let’s check out how you can do that.

The Details

  1. A ton of ice – When your fridge stops working, ice is the next best thing to keep things cool. You’ll need to drive quickly to a convenience store and bug tens of pounds of ice. Even if the refrigerator breaks down, it still holds all its insulation properties. It has thick walls and seals on the door to make sure that the inside is isolated from the hot external environment and keep the fridge running as efficiently as possible. Those same design choices also make the fridge a giant cooler.

Get those large bags of convenience store ice and shove them inside the refrigerator. Since ice would melt over time, water would leak out and that means you need to put thick towels right by the door of the fridge to keep the mess in check. Inside the fridge compartment, fresh produce is more likely to spoil or lose that freshness when the fridge isn’t working. So, shove more ice into the crisper drawers along with the veggies to keep them from spoiling.

On the other hand, make sure that meat and other such products are in the freezer and properly wrapped with food-safe cellophane. After that, shove the freezer with ice and let it do its job. You don’t want the meat to absorb water from the melting ice. Moreover, whenever you want to take items out of the fridge, make sure to be quick so that the cold air stays inside the fridge and doesn’t leak out. You can also crank up the thermostat and make your home cooler so that there’s less exchange of heat between the fridge and its surrounding environment.

  1. Dry ice – While ice can do a great job at keeping things cool, dry ice is a far superior solution. Dry ice is solidified carbon dioxide that is much colder than ice at around -109 degrees. Moreover, dry ice directly turns into gas instead of turning into water and getting into your food. Due to the exceedingly low temperature of dry ice and its property of directly turning into gas, there’s no need for towels to contain a wet mess and there’s no need to buy a lot of dry ice either.

With standard-sized refrigerators, just 10 pounds of dry ice would be enough to keep things cool till the technician drops by to fix the refrigerator. Once you get dry ice, place it on the top shelf. As the air cools at the top, it will get heavier and sink down to the lower shelves to keep the cooling process going. If you buy more dry ice, you can divide it into equal portions and place them on each shelf for more effective cooling.

However, you also need to practice caution while handling dry ice. Since it is too cold, it can cause freeze burns if you touch it directly. Get thick gloves for handling dry ice. Moreover, as dry ice rises in temperature and turns into carbon dioxide, you’ll need good ventilation in place. Excessive carbon dioxide can be harmful to you and your family. It may cause respiratory issues, irregular heartbeat, elevated blood pressure levels, and even induce coma. Keep a window open so that the carbon dioxide can escape the room.

  1. Get a cooler – If you live a minimal lifestyle and try to generate the least waste possible you may not have a lot of items stocked inside the fridge. In that case, you can improvise and make use of a cooler to keep things cool. If you don’t have a cooler, you can rent one out of borrow one from your neighbor or friends.

However, the space inside the cooler is limited and that means you’ll need to make some hard choices. Begin by checking the items inside the fridge and make a list with perishables as the top priority. This includes frozen food, meat, and dairy. Transfer the perishables inside the cooler, shove them with ice and seal it properly.

The sauces and condiments inside the fridge can survive with the remaining cool air of the fridge without an issue. It’s the same for eggs. On the other hand, if you have leftovers packed up, make sure to put them in the microwave and consume them as quickly as possible. You can also allow fruits and veggies to fend for themselves with the remaining cool air in the refrigerator. 

  1. Freezer – Few people are fortunate enough to have a dedicated freezer along with a refrigerator in the same home. If you’re one of those people, then you have a good opportunity here. Similar to the steps you followed for the cooler, make a priority list of the things inside the refrigerator and transfer perishables inside the fridge. If the space allows it, you can also put fresh produce including fruits and veggies inside the fridge.

Everything that’s frozen can be thawed later on and won’t spoil your food. However, make sure to not put all items inside the freezer even if you have extra space. For instance, you don’t want to put soda cans or bottles inside the freezer. Otherwise, they would burst from the expanding ice crystals


When your refrigerator breaks down you have a few options to keep things cool inside the refrigerator. You can either use a lot of ice or dry ice or start consuming things and put the rest of the items inside a cooler. Either way, you’ll need to get your fridge to work again and hire a pro for the job. To do that, you can search for “refrigerator repair near me”.

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