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We have a question about how to label things for the freezer in general, but that's for if you've managed to plan ahead. What if you have a bag in the freezer, already thoroughly frozen, so tape doesn't stick well and markers don't write well? What's a good way to label it at that point?

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    (Note: this was originally posted as an answer to that previous question, but it's a new question that seemed pretty useful, so I figured I'd go ahead and ask.) – Cascabel Nov 3 '16 at 5:30
21

If you can’t get the marker to work, just add another bag around the old one.

18

Get a piece of paper, preferably a bit thicker. Write on it with black marker. Wet small part of it with warm water and stick to the frozen thing. The water will freeze acting as a glue.

  • That's a fantastic idea! I was going to suggest using masking tape or painters tape and write on that... but it may not stick well to a wet/frozen bag. – SnakeDoc Nov 3 '16 at 19:12
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    I find that ice on the bag easily pops off. I think the paper would work the same way. If the bag can still flex, I think this would not work. Otherwise, it depends on the plastic. But generally, they are smooth and hydrophobic. THat is, the bag will not “wet”. – JDługosz Nov 4 '16 at 1:33
  • @JDługosz I guess this depends on the use case. I use this method and it works fine for me, but then again I don't move things around that much. I sometimes rearrange them, but most of the time they aren't moving. – MatthewRock Nov 4 '16 at 9:28
  • Yeah, this seems like it'd work reasonably well for infrequently moved inflexible things (hard containers or bags filled with something frozen into a solid chunk that you'll use all at once) but less well for flexible things that get shuffled around and opened and closed (like a bag of loose berries). – Cascabel Nov 4 '16 at 13:44
10

I've used freezer bag clips labelled in marker or chinagraph pencil. You could write on a room temperature clip then swap it for whatever closure you use, or add it to a tied bag. To reuse, chinagraph comes off with a wet cloth (e.g. washing up), most markers come off with alcohol (surgical spirit for example).

Some marker pens do work so long as you wipe the bag immediately and write fast before condensation forms.

4

I usually wrap my freezer bags with some brown paper (similar to what you'd get from a butcher). This lets me label the front and sides, because I often need to put frozen stuff side-up as I'm rotating things in the freezer.

So, you can just cut a brown paper bag so it wraps around whatever you need to label, and a tiny bit of tape to secure the ends of the paper once it's around your frozen bag.

Also comes in handy to see if your freezer was off for a period of time, as you'll see watermarks on the paper if anything managed to thaw more than a tiny bit.

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