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Does Pre-Chilling Your Cooler Keep Your Drinks Cold Longer?

People reach for bottles out of a cooler filled with ice.
New Africa/Shutterstock.com

Whether it’s a fall tailgate or a summer day at the beach, a drink cooler is a must-have accessory. After all, no one wants a warm beer or a bottle of water that’s the same temperature as your morning shower. So is there a way to make your cooler even more effective?

A recent TikTok from content creator Anna Truth argues that you should be pre-chilling your cooler. Turns out, she’s right!


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The reason pre-chilling makes your cooler so effective makes so much sense. Think about its insulation. It’s designed to keep the interior cool, right? Well, unfortunately, it also does the same thing with heat.

If you store your cooler in a garage or shed that doesn’t have air conditioning, that heat gets trapped inside and stays there. Pour ice into a hot cooler, and it won’t last nearly as long, cutting short your time with ice-cold drinks.

But Truth’s suggestion isn’t anything new. Major cooler brands like Yeti and Igloo both recommend pre-chilling your cooler before use. So how do you do it? You’ll need a little forethought.

You’ll need a bag or two of ice, depending on the size of your cooler. You’ll dump all that ice into the hot cooler and wait several hours before dumping the old ice and adding in a fresh batch alongside your food or drink. While Truth recommended 24 hours in her video, Yeti and Igloo suggest overnight or just a few hours. But hey, if you want to chill it overnight, why not?

If you’ve got a big event coming up, you might want to grab an extra bag of ice. If you pick up some beers and wine while you’re grabbing it but forget to chill them, this handy quick-cooling trick should help.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is the Assignments Editor at LifeSavvy. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer with a focus on beauty and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Allure, and Hello Giggles. Read Full Bio »
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