Whether we’re trying to reduce plastic waste or save a few pennies, many of us have wondered whether we can reuse Ziploc bags.
The good news is, plastic food storage bags including Ziploc bags can be washed and reused. Doing this can help reduce plastic waste and save some money.
Read on to find out when it’s safe to reuse Ziploc bags and how to wash, dry and store them to get the most use out of them.
Can Ziploc Bags Be Washed and Reused?
Yes, it’s safe to wash your Ziploc bags and use them again, with a couple of exceptions.
First, be sure to choose good quality, thick plastic bags. You may pay more, but they will last longer. Thinner plastic bags will wear down and develop tears sooner than good quality bags.
Once plastic storage bags do develop tears, it’s best to throw them away as they are no longer providing airtight protection.
Are Reusable Ziploc Bags Safe?
In rare cases, it can be risky to reuse Ziploc bags due to bacteria.
If you use a plastic bag to store raw meat, eggs or seafood, it’s best to discard it.
Whilst you can wash Ziploc bags, it’s tougher to completely remove all food residue than it is from Tupperware.
These kinds of foods can contain harmful bacteria that could contaminate other food, so it’s best not to take the risk.
How to Wash Reusable Ziploc Bags
- Turn the bag inside out so you’re cleaning the surface which the food has touched. If you have used the bag to store dry food such as baked goods, it may not be necessary to turn it inside out, you may just be able to rinse the bag.
- Use washing up liquid on a sponge or cloth to clean the bag as normal. Be sure to get into all the corners.
- Rinse off using warm, not hot, water. Hot water could break the plastic down and either cause holes or cause the plastic to leach into food.
- Leave to air dry before storing.
In the dishwasher
- Turn the bags inside out.
- Put them in the top rack of your dishwasher.
- Use another item to anchor them down so they don’t move around during the washing process.
- Air dry them before storing.
Washing your Ziploc bags in the dishwasher is safe. However, the water temperature and pressure may cause them to wear down faster.
If you’re looking to extend their lifespan for as long as possible, hand-wash them instead.
How to Dry Ziploc Bags
You can dry your Ziploc bags on the drying rack with the rest of your dishes, or you can hang them up somewhere to ensure they dry throughout.
Some people stand a few wooden or metal sticks, a chopstick for example, in a jar and hang the bags on the sticks to allow the water to drip out.
How to Store Ziploc Bags
Be sure to follow these tips to keep your Ziploc bags in the best condition for as long as possible.
- Roll them up or store flat instead of scrunching them up.
- Store them separate from other items so that they don’t snag and tear.
- Store them separately according to size so you don’t have to rummage around to find the one you need.
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