Reusing Mesh Produce Bags

Category Reusing
Help the environment and save money by reusing your mesh produce bags. This is a page about reusing mesh produce bags.


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I always save my net vegetable bags and use them for a variety of things, like:

  • A safe dish, bathroom or even body scrubber.

  • A kitty toy. For some reason, kitty loves to play with them!

  • Or carefully snip off the metal part that seals one side closed but leave the other side intact so it's an open bag. Bring them back to the stores when grocery shopping. I use them when buying loose vegetables instead of using plastic bags, which take over 100 years each to decompose in landfills!

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To save bringing home all those plastic produce bags, I save all the net bags that oranges, onions, etc. come in and take them to the store to put my fruits and vegs in them. They have almost no weight, so don't worry about paying extra at the scale. They wash and dry easy too!


By Barbara from B.C. Canada

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Another use for the 'mesh onion bags' is for putting peanuts in and hanging on trees or the eaves of your home. I have been doing this for years and enjoy watching the chickadees and woodpeckers as they cling to the bags and eat away at the peanuts (unsalted of course).

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Instead of spending money on mesh netting for flower pot drainage, you can make your own for free with general items you probably already purchase.

Pot Drainage from Garlic Mesh - piece of mesh packaging in the bottom of a clay pot

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Use mesh produce bags, especially the colored ones, in place of lace for craft projects. It can be easily cut with scissors and adds texture without the expense of using lace.

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We are making up little beach/park/vacation/school trip bags with recycled netted onion bags. The kids keep all their things together by throwing their sunglasses, comb, sunscreen, sanitizer, change purse and incidentals in their own individual bags.

A netted vegetable bag with summer essentials like sunglasses and sunscreen.

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Please do not use any type of netted bag(s) to feed the birds. I did this for a number of years without a problem. Then one time, I had to rescue a bird that had gotten its leg tangled in the netting.


It was a horrible experience for the bird and me. If I wasn't home to help the bird, it would have died from stress, cold weather, or who knows what. Use the wire square holders.

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May 4, 2016

This is a page about making a recycled mesh bag pot scrubber. Mesh produce bags can find a second calling as a pot scrubber.

Making a Recycled Mesh Bag Pot Scrubber

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March 2, 2016

This is a page about making a mesh produce bag earring display. Reuse a plastic mesh bag to create a convenient earring display for yourself or as an inexpensive gift.

Making a Mesh Produce Bag Earring Display

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May 23, 2019

Take your mesh produce bag for garlic, onions or citrus and repurpose it for washing dirty hands outside. Hang it near an outdoor sink or faucet where it can drip dry when not in use.

Reuse Garlic Bag as Soap Bag being used to wash hands.

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April 17, 2012

This page is about uses for mesh orange bags. Recycle your mesh bags in a variety of useful ways.

Oranges in Mesh Bag

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

July 7, 2009

Ideas for reusing the mesh bags that onions come in. Post your ideas!


Use for Mesh Onion Bags

The mesh bags that onions come in are effective for washing small items in the dishwasher. It will hold all the items in place so that they won't wind up in the bottom of the dishwasher. (08/31/2004)


By ThriftyFun

Uses for Mesh Onion Bags

I got the 10 lb size from my grocery store. In fall, I fill them with the leaves I'm raking and use them to cover my rose bushes, just use rocks to weigh them down. They're still in great condition after 6 yrs.

You can also use the small ones to hang suet feeders in the trees for birds. Roll some shortening into birdseed, put inside the mesh and hang near your window.

I've also thought that you could wash the mesh well, put a sponge inside, weave string around to cinch closed and you have a homemade 'body polisher' for the shower. (I've seen them for sale in the beauty dept.)

Along those lines you could put soap in the mesh instead of a sponge and make soap on a rope. Now if you rinse out an old liquid detergent container (the huge ones with the spigot that sit on their sides), fill with water, hang the soap/mesh bag on the spigot, you have a wash station for camp or the worksite.



By Lee-Ann

Uses for Mesh Onion Bags

My daughter uses those mesh bags to scrub off her bird's perches and ladders. They scrape off the icky stuff and scour the wood without having to use steel wool which might leave bits of metal for the bird. We usually cut them down into pieces if it's a large bag. (08/31/2004)

By Allison Dey

Uses for Mesh Onion Bags

The best idea I have heard is to take a mesh bag, add several used soap pieces, close and hang close to your outdoor water spigot. Great to wash yours, or kis, dirty hands before coming in the house. (08/31/2004)

By leno

Uses for Mesh Onion Bags

Hi, In Australia you can buy plastic sponge type handheld scrubbers for non-stick fry-pans (skillets) and saucepans but they can be expensive. I found myself in a bind once when I wanted to get some gunk of my pan and had nothing to use. I remembered a friend told me that the onion bags scrunched up make good scrubbers.


When they wear out just find another. I usually try to keep one or 2 under the sink just in case. Make sure there are no metal clips or tags that might scratch the non-stick surface. It is guaranteed to get off hard to shift burnt offerings without scratching the surface.


By Beverley

Uses for Mesh Onion Bags

These home made scrubbies are also great for getting Bugs off your windshiled.Keep one in the car in a zipper bag with a little dishwater on it. The bugs come of & any residue can be rinsed off using the rinse button with the wipers or with bottled water. Or even with water left in your cup from fast food lunch. (09/21/2004)

By Linne

Toy Bag For The Car

I wash out the mesh bag that my onions come in and use it to store toys for the car. That way everything is together in the car. Use a bread bag clip or a rubber band to close the mesh bag.

By SK (01/29/2005)

Uses for Mesh Onion Bags

In the garden, I use the onion bags to put in the bottom of flower pots. Helps keep the potting soil in and lets the water drain out. When the plants are ready to be removed to the garden you can rinse them off and use them again. I used some in the bottom of this work boot. LOL

They are also good to clean the BBQ grill. Then just toss in the trash. Some jobs are just to yucky to try to reuse it. (01/29/2005)

By Vi Johnson

Uses for Mesh Onion Bags

I use mesh bags as scrubbies when I am washing dishes and pots (01/30/2005)

By Lois

Uses for Mesh Onion Bags

If you have indoor cats and have trouble keeping them out of your plants, just put the mesh bags around the base of the plant. They don't like it because it gets caught in their paws and you can water as usual. (02/05/2005)

By Leona

Uses for Mesh Onion Bags

Use them to store flower bulbs in. (03/30/2006)

By Carol

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July 7, 2009

I use the plastic mesh bags that contain vegetables and fruit as a scrub pad. I put a folded up old facecloth or a old small hand towel in the bag and tie the open end with a elastic band and voila, a super scrubber for everything you need to clean. When done, take out the rag, wash and use again the next time.

By Marie Rose from Calgary, Alberta, Canada


Recycling Mesh Vegetable Bags

They are also good to put on the dirt in your house plants. Cats won't get into your plants , they don't like the mesh. Their claws get tangled in it. (06/13/2006)


Recycling Mesh Vegetable Bags

You can use these bags as bird feeders also. You can buy suet --commercial or at the grocery store. Just place it in the bag and hang from a tree. Woodpeckers love suet. (06/18/2006)

By Peg Ward

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