Removing Air from Ziplock Bags


We will never buy the vacuum seal machine and expensive bags because we vacuum seal the easy and frugal way. Place contents in a ziploc bag and immerse in a sink full of water, keeping opened end of bag just above the water line. The pressure of the water against the outside of the bag will force out all the air in it. And, voila, it's done. Zip shut and you're good to go!

By annelaundrie from Green Bay, WI



I am going to have to try this! Thanks so much for the tip!

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By Keeper 58 1,056 01/13/2010

I tried it. It works. Thanks a million.

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By Karen 11 35 01/13/2010

I have the expensive bag sealers and really like them but sometimes they don't seal properly. Do the bags stay sealed using your method and for how long? Appreciate your suggestion and will try it. Thanks.

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By Betty 104 753 01/13/2010

Good idea. Just one less gadget taking up space in the kitchen. I bought a Seal-A-Meal one time on a whim and after reading the directions figured it was more trouble that it was worth and returned it to the store.

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By tahlula 4 203 01/13/2010

Simply brilliant! Thanks

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By Cricket 205 896 01/17/2011

I voted your tip down because there is a much simpler and just as frugal way to get the air out of the bags. Just prior to sealing the bag, simply put a drinking straw in and then seal the bag all the way over to the straw. Then suck the air out through the straw. When the air is all out, quickly pull out the straw and seal the last tiny bit.

Works every time!

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By Teresa Tart 1 345 01/17/2011

The only thing about this is you have to run a sink full of water every time you want to seal something. If you have a water bill that is going to cost and if you don't that is wasting water unless you can think of another way to use the water. Reusing the water may not be a problem some times but there could be times when you are in a hurry or can't thing of a way.

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By Lois 2 5 01/17/2011

Then what do you do with the water? In CA we can't waste water. The poster who uses a straw has to be careful of what is in the bag. She can be inhaling something like salmonella. If the contents are solid, just lay the bag on the counter, press out the air, and ziplock. If the contents are liquid, freeze them in a rigid container, then remove and put them in a freezer-safe bag. It makes them easier to stack in the freezer, too. I have the Foodsaver, and love it. I also freeze bread before vaccuum packing. The bread doesn't get mashed.

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By Peggy 63 173 01/17/2011

I use the straw method myself. This seems too wasteful of water.

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By Jill 4 738 01/17/2011

I also use the straw method with great success. (To the poster who said you might ingest something...you have more control than that!) We don't have a water bill; but I would never want to waste that much water--though if you were packaging up a bunch of items to freeze (such as a couple of family packages of meat purchased on sale), you could probably do with a mixing bowl of water and it would be great. In fact, it might be worth buying a bucket at the dollar store to use; then afterward you could use the water for something else (like plant watering, pouring into another bucket for mopping, etc.)

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By Hearts1 12 31 01/17/2011

I don't know why you said we will never buy a sealing machine! I received a Food Saver for my 60th birthday and love it! Not only can I buy in bulk, but it saves food far longer than any Ziplock Bag can!

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By sherry 1 01/17/2011

Great idea I am going to tell family and friends. Thank you.

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By JULIA 1 7 01/17/2011

My partner has bought me two of those stupid machines! All they do is take up space in the drawer and waste my time getting them in and out. They don't take all the air out of a bag either! Thanks for your hint.

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By Lizzyanny 9 1,216 01/17/2011

Seems like comparing this method to the food saver is comparing apples and oranges. Air will return to the plastic bag as well as moisture (plastic is permeable, the food saver bags are not). The long term moisture airfree storage would not be there with the plastic bags.

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By Marty Dick 163 955 01/17/2011

I close the bag almost completely. I insert a soda straw, taking care not to touch the food inside, and draw the air out and quickly close the remainder of the zipper. I just take my thumb and press the zipper closed while quickly yanking out the straw.

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By vshepardsmith 1 03/08/2014

I just came across this thread. I love these great ideas. I just put up a bunch of Brussels sprouts and used the straw method. However I used the air mattress blow up/suck out pump with a straw attached. It worked wonderfully. Of course you'd have to be careful of moisture and particles getting sucked up into it. I'm sure that's not recommended usage ;) but it worked!

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By Debbie Dzurilla 28 1,124 12/22/2014

Don't know that this method would keep out freezer burn and keep contents good for very long. We have a foodsaver and make very good use of it and it ends up being a savings when there's no food going to waste. I watch for the bags to be on sale or use a coupon.

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