How To Clean Reusable Food Storage Bags?

How To Clean Reusable Food Storage Bags

Cleaning reusable food storage bags is an important step in maintaining the safety and quality of the food stored in them. Here’s how to clean reusable food storage bags:

  • Empty the bag of any remaining food or debris.
  • Rinse the bag with warm water to remove any loose food particles.
  • Use a mild detergent or a mixture of baking soda and water to clean the bag, being careful to scrub the corners and seams thoroughly.
  • Rinse the bag thoroughly with warm water to remove any soap residue.
  • Hang the bag up to air dry or use a clean towel to pat it dry.

It is important to clean reusable food storage bags regularly, especially if they have been used to store raw meat, to prevent the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause spoilage and food-borne illness. Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals to clean the bags, as these can damage the material and potentially contaminate the food stored in them.

In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about cleaning reusable food storage bags and share some tips for keeping them in tip-top shape. So, let’s take a look at how best to keep your reusable food storage bags clean and ready for use!

Types of Reusable Food Storage Bags

Let’s dive into the world of reusable food storage bags.

1. Silicone Bags:

  • Durability: Silicone bags are known for their durability. They are resistant to tearing and can withstand a wide range of temperatures, making them suitable for both freezing and heating.
  • Ease of Use: Most silicone bags come with a secure seal, making them airtight and leak-proof. They are also transparent, allowing easy identification of the stored contents.
  • Cleaning: Silicone bags are dishwasher-safe, which makes cleaning a breeze. Alternatively, they can be hand-washed with mild soap and water.

2. Fabric Bags:

  • Durability: Fabric bags vary in durability depending on the material. Some are sturdy and can last a long time, while others may wear out sooner.
  • Ease of Use: Fabric bags often have a zip or drawstring closure. While they may not be as airtight as silicone, they are lightweight and flexible, making them easy to store.
  • Cleaning: Most fabric bags are machine washable. However, they may retain food odors, so it’s essential to clean them thoroughly. Some may also require air drying.

3. Plastic Bags (PET, PEVA, etc.):

  • Durability: The durability of plastic bags can vary, with some being more robust than others. Check the material specifications for durability.
  • Ease of Use: Plastic bags are usually lightweight and have a seal for freshness. However, they may not be as durable in the long run compared to silicone.
  • Cleaning: Plastic bags are often easy to clean and can be washed by hand or in the dishwasher. Be cautious with high heat, as it can affect the integrity of some plastics.

4. Beeswax Wraps:

  • Durability: Beeswax wraps are less durable compared to silicone but can be an eco-friendly alternative for certain uses.
  • Ease of Use: They are pliable and can be molded to cover various shapes of food items. However, they may not be suitable for liquids or raw meat.
  • Cleaning: Beeswax wraps are usually wiped clean with a damp cloth. They are not designed for heavy washing or hot water.

Choosing the right type of reusable food storage bag depends on your specific needs and preferences. Consider factors like durability, ease of use, and cleaning requirements to find the best fit for your lifestyle.

Cleaning Methods for Reusable Food Storage Bags

How To Clean Reusable Food Storage Bags?

Keeping your reusable food storage bags clean is essential for maintaining their longevity and ensuring the safety of your food. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning them effectively:

Step-by-Step Cleaning Guide for Reusable Food Storage Bags:

  1. Rinse Immediately After Use:
    • After using the bag, empty any remaining food and give it a quick rinse under running water. This prevents food residue from drying and sticking to the bag, making it easier to clean later.
  2. Handwashing with Soap and Water:
    • Fill a basin or your sink with warm water.
    • Add a small amount of mild dish soap.
    • Submerge the reusable bag in the soapy water and use a soft brush or sponge to scrub the interior and exterior surfaces.
    • Pay attention to any areas with stubborn stains or residue.
  3. Dishwasher Cleaning:
    • Check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the bag is dishwasher-safe.
    • Turn the bag inside out and place it on the top rack of the dishwasher.
    • Avoid using high heat settings, as extreme temperatures can damage certain types of reusable bags.
    • After the dishwasher cycle is complete, allow the bag to air dry.
  4. Soaking in Vinegar Solution:
    • For stubborn odors or stains, create a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar.
    • Submerge the bag in the vinegar solution and let it soak for an hour or more.
    • Scrub the bag with a brush or sponge, focusing on areas with residue.
    • Rinse the bag thoroughly with water to remove any vinegar smell.
  5. Thorough Drying:
    • After cleaning, prop the bag open or use a drying rack to ensure proper air circulation.
    • Ensure the bag is completely dry before storing it to prevent mold or mildew growth.
    • Avoid folding or sealing the bag before it’s fully dried.

Importance of Rinsing and Drying:

  • Rinsing immediately after use prevents food particles from drying and sticking to the bag, making the cleaning process more challenging.
  • Thorough drying is crucial to prevent the growth of mold or mildew, ensuring your reusable bags remain safe for food storage.

By following these steps and incorporating these practices into your routine, you can maintain the cleanliness and longevity of your reusable food storage bags.

Tips for Maintaining Reusable Food Storage Bags

Maintaining reusable food storage bags properly can extend their lifespan and ensure they remain safe for use. Here are some additional tips:

  1. Avoid Harsh Chemicals and Abrasive Scrubbers:
    • Stick to mild dish soap when cleaning your reusable bags. Harsh chemicals can damage the materials and compromise their integrity.
    • Use a soft brush, sponge, or cloth for cleaning. Avoid abrasive scrubbers that may scratch or weaken the surface of the bag.
  2. Regular Inspection for Wear and Tear:
    • Periodically inspect your reusable bags for any signs of wear and tear. Look for holes, weakened seams, or damage to the closure mechanisms.
    • If you notice any issues, consider replacing the bag to maintain its effectiveness and prevent potential contamination.
  3. Store in a Clean and Dry Environment:
    • Store your reusable bags in a clean and dry area. Avoid damp or humid places that could promote the growth of mold or mildew.
    • Ensure the bags are completely dry before storing them to prevent any moisture-related issues.
  4. Label and Rotate Contents:
    • Labeling the contents and date of storage can help you keep track of what’s inside and when it was stored. This can be particularly helpful for items in the freezer.
    • Rotate the use of your bags to prevent certain bags from being used more frequently than others, distributing wear more evenly.
  5. Use Properly for Various Foods:
    • Be mindful of the types of foods you store in different bags. For instance, if a bag is used for storing raw meat, make sure to clean it thoroughly and avoid using it for other food items without proper cleaning.
  6. Avoid Overstuffing:
    • Overfilling your reusable bags can strain the seams and closures. Avoid overstuffing to prevent unnecessary wear and tear, and ensure the bags can close properly.
  7. Follow Manufacturer Guidelines:
    • Always adhere to the manufacturer’s care instructions and guidelines. These may include specific temperature limits, cleaning methods, and recommendations for usage.
  8. Educate Household Members:
    • Ensure that everyone in your household is aware of the proper care and use of reusable bags. This helps in maintaining consistency in their care and prolongs their life.

By incorporating these tips into your routine, you can maintain the quality and longevity of your reusable food storage bags, making them a sustainable and reliable option for your food storage needs.


  1. Can I clean reusable food storage bags in the dishwasher?
    • Yes, many reusable food storage bags are dishwasher-safe. However, it’s essential to check the product’s instructions, as some may recommend handwashing for prolonged durability.
  2. How do I remove stubborn stains from reusable food storage bags?
    • For stubborn stains, try soaking the bags in a mixture of warm water and baking soda. You can also use a mild dish soap or white vinegar. Scrub gently with a brush or sponge to remove stains.
  3. Can I use bleach to clean reusable food storage bags?
    • It’s not recommended to use bleach, as it can degrade the material and leave harmful residues. Stick to using mild, eco-friendly cleaners or those recommended by the bag’s manufacturer.
  4. Is it safe to reuse food storage bags for different types of food?
    • It’s best to designate specific bags for different types of food to avoid cross-contamination. If you need to switch, clean the bags thoroughly with soap and water or follow the manufacturer’s cleaning guidelines.
  5. How often should I replace reusable food storage bags?
    • The lifespan of reusable food storage bags varies based on material and usage. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific recommendations. Inspect bags regularly for signs of wear, such as tears or weakened seals, and replace them if needed.

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