No doubt, the idea of reusing ziplock bags ends up being quite a polarizing topic these days. Accordingly, some people might save and reuse these bags, be it for economic or environmental reasons. Well, whether you want to reuse the bags or not, it is your choice. However, if you choose to reuse ziplock bags, here’s a complete guide and some tips for you!
Meet Ziplock Bags
In the past, zipper storage bags were what are ziplock bags called. Moreover, the name “ziplock” comes from how you can seal the top of the bag reclosable with a locking device, which is an adhesive zipper or zip lock slider. These bags first came onto the market in 1960. Back then, the bags were meant to be used for boiling. Yes, you read it right, for boiling! How?
So, basically, we were supposed to submerge them with the food contents inside in boiling water on the stovetop. The goal? It was simply to heat the food.
However, polyethylene plastic, which is the material of ziplock bags, comes with a softening point of approximately 96 degrees Celcius. Thus, you should not boil the bags at temperatures up to this level. Otherwise, it can cause the material to break down and leach microscopic plastic particles into the food items. Instead, you should consider the maximum temperature for a Ziplock bag, which is around 80 degrees Celsius.
Later on, these reusable ziplock bags ended up being one of the most popular plastic bag types. The zipper bag material contains a thin and flexible polyethylene resin. Meanwhile, the best uses for ziplock mylar bags are to store different products, including milk jugs, egg cartons, and other items.
Are Ziplock Bags Safe for Food Storage?
Yes, these bags are the most convenient way for easy food storage. In fact, whatever food items you need to store in the refrigerator or freezer, you can simply place them safely in a ziplock bag. Also note that although the bags are less airtight, the FDA has approved these bags to be ideal for food storage.
But What Feature Makes Ziplock Bags Perfect for Food Storage?
The main feature of these bags is that they are airtight and come with a tight seal. So, when you seal your food items in a Ziplock bag, the bag will prevent oxygen and other contaminants from entering. This way, the bags keep your food fresh while also preventing spoilage.
Whether you need mylar zip-lock bags for vegetables or other items, they will keep your food fresh for a long time. Better yet, depending on the type of food items you want to store, you can expect them to last for days, weeks, or even months.
Here are some general guidelines!
- Fruits and vegetables will last for one to two days
- Cooked meat can last for three to four days
- Bread will last for one to two days
- Pizzas can stay fresh for two to three days
- Cookies can keep crunchy for two to three weeks
Overall, whenever you need to store any type of food item, you should consider using ziplock bags. On the other hand, you should note that ziplock bags are not the same as freezer bags. Freezer bags are made of high-grade polyethylene. Thus, they have a superb top-sealing feature to help you prevent freezer burn and food spillage.
Meanwhile, ziplock bags are a type of storage bag made of low-end plastic or silicone. Also, keep in mind that these bags come with a simple sealing system. In this context, ziplock bags are more suitable for short-term storage of food in the fridge or pantry. Moreover, you can also learn about Mylar Bags for Long-Term Food Storage: How to Use, What to Store, and More.
Is It Possible to Reuse Ziplock Bags?
Generally speaking, we will find mixed opinions on whether it is possible to reuse ziplock bags or not. For sure, some people will simply recycle the bags. Meanwhile, some others recommend using a fresh bag each time and simply throwing the old ones away.
Moreover, research has mentioned that the average American family uses about 500 ziplock bags per year. What does it mean?
It means that a person might use about 1.37 ziplock bags per day.
Nevertheless, this number might also vary depending on the person’s lifestyle, preferences, and habits. For sure, some people might need to use more or less ziplock bags than others. Furthermore, these bags are popular as a convenient and versatile product. Yet, of course, the bags also have a significant environmental impact. Why?
Because ziplock bags are made from non-renewable resources. Hence, it will take a long time for the bags to degrade. In this context, it is a great idea to reuse ziplock bags as much as possible.
One thing to note here is that you will see a recyclable symbol in front of a ziplock bag. This surely means that you can recycle the bag when appropriately discarded.
However, you want to consider reusing ziplock bags as long as you know the safe way to do so.
How to Wash And Reuse Ziplock Bags?
Without any hesitation, you can wash and reuse ziplock bags.
So how to wash reusable ziplock mylar bags? And how to dry reusable ziplock mylar bags?
Here’s your answer to the question of how to clean reusable ziplock mylar bags!
Simply wash them by hand with warm water and dish soap. Or else, you can also put the bags in the dishwasher.
When it comes to completely drying ziplock bags, there are some best ways to do this:
- Hang them upside down
- Lay the bags flat on a towel
- Prop your ziplock bags open with a wooden spoon
How to Store Reusable Ziplock Bags?
After washing and drying off the bags, you can store these reusable ziplock bags with a few options:
- Fold them and arrange them in a basket for easy access
- Use a dispenser that can hold different sizes of bags and mount it on the wall
- Get a hanging organizer to store your bags vertically and save space
Tips to Reuse Ziplock Bags
Well then, now that you have cleaned and dried your ziplock bags, you can have peace of mind to reuse them.
Have a look at some tips to reuse the bags!
Make Ice Packs
Yes, you can make some ice packs by filling the bags with water and then freezing them in the freezer. Believe it, these handmade ice packs will be perfect to soothe injuries. Better yet, they will keep your food items cold.
Reuse Ziplock Bags as Quick Lunch Box
Make a quick lunch box from reusable ziplock bags when you’re on the go. All you need to do is fill the bags with rice, then add some seasonings, vegetables, and protein to the rice. Next, you can microwave it for a few minutes and enjoy your meal right out of the bag.
Store Small Items
You can clean ziplock bags and reuse them to store some small items. For example, you can organize your craft supplies or office supplies inside the bags. With their transparent display, you will be able to see the items you place inside.
Reuse Ziplock Bags as Convenient Packaging
Another way to reuse ziplock bags is by making them as packaging to send some things to your friends. Thanks to their sealable feature, the bags will keep your items safe during transit. To make it easier, you can also write a note or a label on the bags with a permanent marker.
Protect Your Jewelry Items
If you haven’t known this, reusable zip lock bags also work well in storing your jewelry items. Indeed, custom mylar bags will protect your jewelry from tangling, scratching, or even getting damaged.
Wrapping It Up
Without any doubt, we know that ziplock bags are ideal for food storage as they prevent oxygen and other contaminants from entering your food items. However, if we consider their significant environmental impact, it is a great idea to reuse the bags properly. Yes, you simply need to wash them, dry them, and store the bags properly before reusing them.
Hopefully, the complete guide and tips we revealed here will help you reuse ziplock bags according to your needs. For further guidance, you can feel free to discuss your concerns with professionals at The Custom Mylar Bags!
Are freezer bags the same as zip-lock bags?
No, they are not the same. freezer bags have a superb top-sealing feature to help you prevent freezer burn and food spillage. Meanwhile, ziplock bags come with a simple sealing system that makes them more suitable for short-term storage of food in the fridge or pantry.
How many ziplock bags are being used by a person per day?
On average, a person might use about 1.37 Ziplock bags per day.
Is it possible to boil Ziplock freezer bags?
Yes, it is possible to boil ziplock freezer bags. But we should not exceed boiling the bags above 96 degrees Celcius.
What is the maximum temperature for a Ziplock bag?
The maximum temperature for a Ziplock bag is around 80 degrees Celsius.