8 things to take out of your car right now before they freeze - East Idaho News

8 things to take out of your car right now before they freeze

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IDAHO FALLS – For some of us, our car acts as a storage unit for the trip between work and home.

With the record-cold temperatures in eastern Idaho this week, it’s important to leave some of your vital items at home. Here’s what and why:


According to “Dr. Potato” at IdahoPotato.com, potatoes that have been frozen probably should not be used, as the taste and quality decrease rapidly.

“Once frozen the cell structure changes as well as the taste,” says Dr. Potato. “They will turn black when cooked.”


Your cell phone hates the cold just as much as you do. Although we typically tend to see our devices getting too hot, allowing them to get too cold is dangerous too.

NBC News reports that batteries are easily damaged in extremely cold temperatures.

“If you leave your device in the cold for too long, its battery will die and its LCD screen will likely start having issues, and possibly die completely. Furthermore, if you leave it in the cold and then bring it into a warm room quickly, you can cause condensation to build up inside the device, which has the potential for more long-term damage.

Apple suggests storing your device “where the temperature is between -4º and 113º F. Don’t leave your device in your car because temperatures in parked cars can exceed this range.”

Carbonated drinks

As a Rexburg family learned early Monday morning, it’s important to take your carbonated drinks out of the car when the weather dips into the negatives.

“What’s dangerous is the carbon dioxide gas,” says Louis Bloomfield, a physicist at the University of Virginia. “Once it has been forced out of the water as the water crystallizes, the carbon dioxide accumulates in the small remaining space in the can, and the pressure of that gas skyrockets.”

exploded pop
Courtesy Janeese Summers

Children, elderly people and pets

This one is self-explanatory. If you wouldn’t want to sit in the car while it’s parked outside, neither do your loved ones!

The National Weather Service in Pocatello reports the current weather is “capable of causing frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 5 to 10 minutes.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says children and elderly people can be more susceptible to hypothermia at cold temperatures than adults.

Even a small amount of time in an unheated car can cause catastrophic results. Just don’t do it.


Certain drugs can become unuseful after too much time spent in the cold.

According to the American Diabetes Association, not only can injecting cold insulin make it more painful, but it can cause the insulin to clump together, rendering it dangerous to use at all.

Jeff Pilz, a specialty practice pharmacist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, recommends that if you know a package of medication is on its way to your home, take the time to make sure it is brought indoors or to a safe temperature as soon as possible.


If you’re braving a trip to the grocery store during extremely cold weather, don’t forget to bring your eggs into your home as soon as possible.

Eggs can go bad quickly in cold weather, and with egg prices at an all-time high, that’s not something you want to go to waste.

And you shouldn’t be freezing eggs in their shells, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But if you do and the shell cracks, throw them away immediately. If the shell survives the freezing process, you can safely keep the frozen egg and use it.

To prepare the frozen egg, just allow it enough time to defrost in the fridge. 

Musical instruments

If left in the cold, your musical instruments may not be singing the same tune afterward.

Wind instruments often go flat in the cold, and string instruments will become sharp if left in freezing temperatures, according to Classic FM.

Dr. Tom Fisher, a professor from the Nottingham School of Art and Design, says that your own saliva can freeze inside the instrument.

“Blowing down a brass instrument leads to condensation forming inside,” Dr. Fisher says. “It is feasible that on a really cold day, an outside gig could lead to water freezing inside the instrument. This would stop the valves working.”

Temperature can also affect the way wind instruments sound. Because sound travels more slowly in cooler air, the speed of the sound through the air decreases by around two feet per second, Classic FM reports, making your beautiful music sound “sluggish.”

Household cleaners

Lots of common household cleaners have a high water content, meaning they will quickly freeze and can crack the bottles they’re stored inside.

When it warms up, you will be left with a bunch of soapy suds to help you clean out your car.