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

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.

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

    1. I use Avery removable labels (address labels)

      1 Reply
      1. re: BeefeaterRocks

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

        2 Replies
        1. re: cookie monster

          I have done this for years. Works fine.

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

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

                1. 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

                    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. 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

                      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

                        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

                          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

                            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

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

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                My Avery package is labeled Multi-Purpose Labels Removable

                                1. re: BeefeaterRocks

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

                    2. 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. Blue painters tape and a black sharpie.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: taos

                          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

                            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

                              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. Masking tape and permanant marker.Labels rarely come off

                            1. 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

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

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  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. 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. 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

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

                                    1. 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

                                        Oops, sorry, make that a whiteboard marker.

                                      2. Use wine bottle markers. The marks come off in the dishwasher.


                                        1. Add me to the Scotch tape and Sharpie party.