Everyone uses ziplock bags – it is hard to imagine life without them in a busy household of packing lunches, freezing food bought in bulk to save money, storing arts and crafts supplies. You get the idea. They are versatile bags that make life a little easier on us moms.
Have you ever considered reusing them to save money though? You can wash your ziplock bags out and reuse them, but there is a systematic way to do it to make it an easy process to wash your ziplock bags and reuse them.
Start with the right type of bags.
Reusing your ziplock bags starts with choosing the right bag for the job. By the right bag we mean the thicker, freezer-version bags. These bags are more flexible and durable and will withstand the wash and reuse for several times. If you have cute decorative ziplock bags that have only contained dry goods, you can reuse these several times as well.
Turn them inside out.
If you are washing out your ziplock bags that have had something dry inside (such as cereal) you can usually get away with just a quick rinse. For bigger bags, you should invert the bag so that you can have better access to the very bottom (and usually dirtiest) part of the bag.
Use cool or slightly warm water.
Use just a wee bit of dish soap and a very clean sponge and make sure that your ziplock bags are very clean and then rinse well with water. Plastic is never meant to sustain high heat, so we suggest lukewarm water to rinse. This prevents the plastic from stretching and causing it to lose strength.
Let them air dry.
You don’t want your bags getting moldy or smelly, the best way to achieve this is to allow them to air dry. You can hang them on a drying rack, hang them on the clothesline, or let them stand upright over wooden spoons in the dish drainer until they are completely dry and have no lingering moisture inside.
You can even use your dishwasher to clean them.
Not an ideal method I would choose – personally – but it is possible to wash your ziplock bags in the dishwasher. They need to be arranged on the top rack of the dishwasher and anchored so that they won’t get pushed around as the air and water jets hit them. You can also dry the ziplock bags in the dishwasher on the air-dry setting.
Keep in mind, however, that this method is like running dry-clean only clothing through a washing machine. Your clothing won’t last quite as long if you wash the items in the washing machine, just as the bags won’t last as long if you use the dishwasher to clean them. They will last longer if you hand wash them and let them air dry. I would only recommend the dishwasher method as a last resort.
So, there you have it! If you want to save some money on your household expenses, simply make sure that you frequently wash your ziplock bags (no matter what they are used for) so that they can be reused and last a little longer than one use and done. If you take care of them and follow these steps, you can get multiple uses out of one bag, and for a longer period provided you handle them with care and follow the steps outlined.
Who doesn’t like saving money – even on the little things – right?