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What's the best way to label containers for the freezer?

c oliver Jan 6, 2009 09:00 AM

I put a lot of things in ziploc bags so labelling is easy. But if I use containers, what can I use that's removeable but won't detach spontaneously in the freezer? It seems like plain, old paper tape would come off once it was frozen. Thanks to all of you, I have SO much in my freezer now that my old brain can't remember what's in what. Suggestions? Thanks.

  1. CPla Jan 7, 2009 09:20 AM

    I store food in rubbermaid containers that have areas with a smooth surface on the sides. So I just use a permanent marker and write on the smooth area, because it actually washes off with just dish washing liquid under the tap.

    If I were to write on a rough portion I guess I would need alcohol to erase it.

    Works just as well on Ziploc bags.

    1 Reply
    1. re: CPla
      CPla Jan 10, 2009 09:12 AM

      Oops, sorry, make that a whiteboard marker.

    2. stilton Jan 6, 2009 11:57 PM

      Gaffer tape. Yellow for cookie and other doughs, white for everything else.

      1. p
        pepperqueen Jan 6, 2009 10:23 PM

        I use a sharpie and write on the lid with contents, date. Soap and water washes off the lid enough to write on it again.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pepperqueen
          Sooeygun Jan 7, 2009 05:42 AM

          That's what I do as well. Some lids need a little more scrubbing to get it off, but I've never had a case where it wouldn't come off.

        2. Sam Fujisaka Jan 6, 2009 07:04 PM

          Permanent mark each of your containers with a simple number. When you fill and store each, enter the contents on a digital, print, or handwritten piece of paper kept nearby. You have containers marked 1 through 20, say; and a list of the contents somewhere near the freezer. So much easier than labels. And you never have to change the number of each/any/every container - just the recording of the contents.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Sam Fujisaka
            goodhealthgourmet Jan 6, 2009 07:37 PM


          2. f
            fourunder Jan 6, 2009 06:53 PM

            There's a pencil known as a China Marker.. you probably know it , but just do not remember them. They are the pencils made of wax by Dixon...and are paper covered and you peel them back with a string....no need for sharpening. They are available at Staples and The Office Depot Stores..


            2 Replies
            1. re: fourunder
              c oliver Jan 6, 2009 07:02 PM

              You're right. I know those but didn't remember :) Does the writing come off pretty easily? Thanks.

              1. re: c oliver
                fourunder Jan 6, 2009 07:31 PM

                Yes, the writing comes off easily with soap and warm water....a little easier if you use an abrasive sponge.

                My brother makes his own wine, and instead of applying homemade computer generated labels as he used to do, he now marks the bottles with the China markers.

                BTW....the phrase used in commercial kitchens for food prepared and stored in the refrigerator or the freezer is......LABEL, DATE AND ROTATE.

            2. r
              rdch Jan 6, 2009 06:15 PM

              Masking tape and permanant marker.Labels rarely come off

              1. t
                taos Jan 6, 2009 04:23 PM

                Blue painters tape and a black sharpie.

                3 Replies
                1. re: taos
                  RGC1982 Jan 6, 2009 04:45 PM

                  I don't know what brand you use, but mine peeled off when I tried it. Not nearly as sticky as freezer tapel

                  1. re: RGC1982
                    c oliver Jan 6, 2009 05:14 PM

                    Yeah, I've been concerned about non-freezer specific adhesives. It just seems like some of these products would get "stiff" and come off.

                    1. re: RGC1982
                      taos Jan 7, 2009 01:36 AM

                      I like the painters tape especially for that reason. It's barely sticks so it can be easily removed and replaced with a a new label. For anything more permanent I use my P-touch label maker.

                  2. r
                    RGC1982 Jan 6, 2009 04:16 PM

                    Freezer tape, which looks like masking tape, but can be found in most supermarkets, sticks very well for a long time in the freezer. I have never seen a label come off, and you can write on it with a pen or marker.

                    1. Deenso Jan 6, 2009 12:33 PM

                      How about old-fashioned freezer tape? It used to be sold in rolls and/or pre-cut labels at supermarkets, in the food wrap section. You could write on it with a permanent ink laundry marker - like a Sharpie. If it's not in your supermarket, check your local houseware/hardware store. I'm pretty sure that 3M is still making the stuff.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: Deenso
                        JoanN Jan 6, 2009 04:00 PM

                        I used to use that kind of freezer tape, but when I ran out I couldn't find it again. I switched to Avery labels and I like them a lot. I've never had them come off, yet I can remove them easily when I want to. The freezer tape was a lot harder to remove.

                        As for not remembering what's in the freezer, a year or so ago I began keeping a running list in a small Word table document that I can update and print out easily. I keep in a magnetized clip on the front of my fridge. It's been a great help in reminding me what's there so that I use it and keeping me from buying something I've already got. I can't believe it took me as long as it did to set up something so simple.

                        1. re: JoanN
                          MakingSense Jan 6, 2009 07:05 PM

                          A woman asked me about freezer tape in the grocery store last month. Said she had been looking all over town for it.
                          I had given up looking some time ago. Guess when people stopped using freezer paper, etc., it fell out of favor.
                          The last of my old roll never would come completely off of my containers.

                          I switched to Avery labels too.
                          They're great and come in lots of sizes and colors and can even be printed off on the computer. I don't do that b/c my computer ink runs when it gets wet.
                          I use a waterproof marker on the Averys - always with a DATE.
                          The Averys peel off the plastic containers very easily - when I want them to - and don't leave any sticky residue. They don't fall off in the freezer of their own free will.

                          1. re: MakingSense
                            LindaWhit Jan 7, 2009 07:54 AM

                            I was going to say Freezer Tape or Masking Tape, although masking tape can fall off (doesn't seem to like to stick to foil). And you can usually find freezer tape in hardware stores. http://tinyurl.com/883eb4

                            Didn't even know that Avery made removable address labels.

                            1. re: LindaWhit
                              JoanN Jan 7, 2009 08:43 AM

                              It's not that it's actually labeled a "removable" label, just that they are easy to remove, at least from plastic lids.

                              1. re: JoanN
                                LindaWhit Jan 7, 2009 09:16 AM

                                Ahhh, got it. I guess I'll stick with my masking or freezer tape. :-)

                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                  BeefeaterRocks Jan 10, 2009 12:05 PM

                                  My Avery package is labeled Multi-Purpose Labels Removable

                                  1. re: BeefeaterRocks
                                    JoanN Jan 10, 2009 01:49 PM

                                    Oh. That's interesting. Mine are just called "White File Folder Labels."

                      2. s
                        Steady Habits Jan 6, 2009 12:08 PM

                        I use blue painter's tape and a black pen. It's easy to spot.

                        I had one piece come off, once. It usually doesn't if I press it down well before putting the food in the baggie. In cases where I wrap the food inside the baggie, in foil or press 'n seal, I put the blue tape on that and then enclose it all in the baggie.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Steady Habits
                          scubadoo97 Jan 12, 2009 02:55 PM

                          Same here. Blue painter's tape goes on and off with ease whether it's a zip bag or container. Leaves no residue to deal with.

                        2. c
                          cheesecake17 Jan 6, 2009 11:55 AM

                          I use masking tape, or if I want to write more info on the label, a piece of paper scotch taped on.

                          1. c oliver Jan 6, 2009 09:53 AM

                            Every one is a great idea! Never thought I'd get so excited about labels - haha

                            1. Caralien Jan 6, 2009 09:32 AM

                              Permanent marker/Sharpie
                              (can be removed with rubbing alcohol when container is reused)

                              I've used this on Ziplock bags, Mason Jars (metal lid), Rubbermaid, Ziplock containers, assorted take-away containers we've reused...on tupperware, it tends to seep in. Masking tape or Scotch tape are also options, as long as the container is complete dry and grease-free before applying the label (obvious, but easily forgotten when quickly filling and labeling).

                              If the lid is clear, a label or slip of paper can be put on the underside of the lid so it won't peel off, but this only works for dry goods.

                              1. c
                                CocoaNut Jan 6, 2009 09:26 AM

                                masking tape

                                1. cookie monster Jan 6, 2009 09:23 AM

                                  I use basic Scotch tape and a permanent marker - stays on fine in the freezer.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: cookie monster
                                    Janet Jan 6, 2009 10:02 PM

                                    I have done this for years. Works fine.

                                  2. BeefeaterRocks Jan 6, 2009 09:21 AM

                                    I use Avery removable labels (address labels)

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: BeefeaterRocks
                                      Non Cognomina Jan 6, 2009 06:02 PM

                                      I use the Avery removable address labels, too. During the holidays when I load up the freezer with cookie doughs and batters, I print off the labels with the finishing directions and stick it right on the container so I don't have to look up the recipe when I go for the final bake off (i.e. Gingerbread Cookies, Roll to 1/3" 375F x 7-9 min).

                                    2. MMRuth Jan 6, 2009 09:17 AM

                                      My mother uses little labels with adhesive on them. I sometimes use masking tape.

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