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Reusing Ziploc Bags

Category Reusing
Ziplock bags are often very sturdy and can be recycled in many ways. This page is about reusing ziplock bags.


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March 2, 2010

I get my cheese sliced in these wonderful zip locks. Their unigue shape got me to thinking that I can use them for other things besides food. Once they are cleaned and dried you can use for:


You can all think of many more, I am sure. I hope this helps!

Source: My own brain always thinking.

By Sandi/Poor But Proud from Yorktown, VA

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By 7 found this helpful
December 18, 2018

I bake a lot and freeze my baked goods in zippered freezer bags. I rinse them out and reuse them. To make sure they dry completely and quickly, I turn them inside out and use a magnet and hang it upside down on my refrigerator. I place the magnet on the inside of the bag to keep it open. You could use any magnetic surface.

You can wash out and reuse many bags. I throw out the ones that contained raw meat.

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March 1, 2010

When I rinse out a ziploc or other such bag, I let it drip dry over an empty 1 liter plastic beverage bottle. However the bottle was so light it tipped over with any little bump, which was annoying. To make it more stable and more eye appealing on my counter, I took the label off and filled it half way with marbles. I don't use many ziplocs so one bottle is enough for my counter.


By Dorothy Myers from New York

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February 5, 20100 found this helpful
Top Comment

I have been doing this for years. My husband made me a bag dryer, a piece of wood, with 3 holes drilled in it, then 3 dowels put in the holes. Hang the bags over one or two of the dowels. Works very well.

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January 17, 20080 found this helpful

Someone mentioned washing and reusing ziploc bags. I'd like to offer this side note: Please do not reuse bags that have contained meats. I'd rather throw away the bag, than to possibly get sick from contaminated plastic. It just isn't worth it.

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February 3, 2017

I have been washing and reusing baggies for years. I just don't see the reason to throw one out after its been used, unless it contained meat.


Washing baggies out is easy, but drying them can take up space.

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May 2, 2006

Save those tiny ziploc bags when you come across them, the ones that hold small samples, etc. They can be recycled for all sorts of things, such as sewing kits, eyeglass repair kits, or if they are bigger, groupings of cosmetic samples.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
August 8, 2008

Can you reuse Ziploc freezer bags after you have defrosted what was already in it? It seems like a lot of money to keep throwing them away.

Joyce from Danvers, MA


By (Guest Post)
August 8, 20080 found this helpful

I don't re-use the ones that had meat stored in them, but I do re-use the ones that held vegetables, fruit, bread, etc.

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By Cindy (Guest Post)
August 8, 20080 found this helpful

And bad for the envirnonment. I certainly would wash them out, but do not use up a sinkful of fresh water to do it.

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By Halfalake (Guest Post)
August 8, 20080 found this helpful

I reuse freezer & sandwich bags all the time. I wash them w/ hot soapy water, rinse them 3x w/ cold water to get out all the soap & then I rinse them 1-2x more w/ hot water; let them dry & they are ready to reuse again.


I also believe that it is a waste & a danger to our environment to only use them once & then throw them away.

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August 9, 20080 found this helpful

thank you all great feedback

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By Paula (Guest Post)
August 9, 20080 found this helpful

I have used, washed, and re-used plastic bags for years; then, it occurred to me that if I am going to all the trouble to wash those blasted bags, then why not just buy bowls with lids and use those? While both deteriorate eventually, the bowls do last longer, so I think that I am saving a little money there.

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August 9, 20080 found this helpful

I do not know if this is a safe practice. I know that most plastics including containers and water bottles are only meant to use one time because after an amount of time they start to leak chemicals into to your food.


If anyone knows where to check this out at I would like to know as well.

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By kitsch (Guest Post)
August 9, 20080 found this helpful

I use a regular sandwich bag to put items to be frozen in, then put them in freezer bags to freeze. That way, the freezer bag is clean and ready to use again.

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August 9, 20080 found this helpful

I also wash my bags and hang them up by a clothespin to air dry. I freeze a lot of vegetables and I use zipper sandwach bags - put in about 1 1l2 cups each and then put 4 - 5 of these bags in a larger freezer bag. They are double bagged and I don't feel quite as quilty if I throw out the sandwich bag.

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By DEBRADJ. (Guest Post)
August 10, 20080 found this helpful

I reuse my freezer bags to store store bought buns in it helps them keep longer and I just reuse the same bag as long as its not damaged.

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By Betty (Guest Post)
August 10, 20080 found this helpful

I reuse zip lock freezer bags if they are new and have not had meat in them. It just seems such a waste to throw it away when I can wash it and hang it to dry. My husband made me a rack to hang them on for drying.

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August 11, 20080 found this helpful

I reuse my Ziploc Freezer Bags to put food scraps like meat or anything that might smell. Then I put it in the freezer until trash day. Then it goes in the trash. Saves the trash from smelling.

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August 11, 20080 found this helpful

I reuse my bags as well unless raw meat was stored in them. I wash with hot sudsy water, rinse with hot water and then hang to dry. I love the rack that Betty's husband made. What I usually do it to put upside down over a tall drinking glass or simular. Sometimes I use a magnet and hang off the fridge. Then I throw them away when worn out.

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August 11, 20080 found this helpful

I, too, have been washing these bags and reusing them for many years [though I like the Glad bags better for sealing]. I turn them inside out and let them stand in my dish drainer to dry overnight.

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By Dorothy (Guest Post)
August 12, 20080 found this helpful

I use mine over and over. Just wash them and dry them good and reuse them. Also another tip for you is that if you had marked what was in the bag with a magic marker, you can remove the name and date on the bag with the magic eraser sponges. They come off fast and you can remark them then when you freeze something else in the bags.

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August 17, 20080 found this helpful

Keep something in mind about plastic zip lock bags...THEY ARE NOT JUST FOR FOOD!! Here are just a few things I use mine for. The sandwich are great for...
Craft supplies
CD's (in the case or in a paper sleeve to prevent static)
Sewing and First Aid kits
Buck Wheat Ice Packs
Stationary supplies
The little snack size are perfect for...
Make up
Waterproof matches
Medicines (clearly marked or still in bottles)
Camping toothbrushes and mini pastes
Color swatches on your way to the paint store
Mini facial tissues
Hide A Key's

Gallon Sized ones are great for...
Undies and personal things in your suitcase
Folded right, tee's go in their great
Some shoes will fit in these nice big ones
Several packages of nylons
Hair curlers and products you think might leak
Important papers and books

And anything you want to keep clean, sanitary and be able to see and get to fast. And yes, I have used all of these ideas in used, washed bags. I sit mine over the handle, spout, or entire tea pot to dry overnight.

1. I don't turn mine inside out, as I think it stretches the edges of the zipper and defeats the purpose. That's just me.

2. If you put in spaghetti sauce or bbq chicken and then want to use it for a rare book, then yes, please use a new one. I get 20 for 1.00 and believe me, they are worth every penny! When they are ready to throw out, I donate them to the animal shelter for dog trainers to use for scooping.

If you look closely, you can see that at one time, I used this bag for lace.

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By Pat Magroine (Guest Post)
September 8, 20080 found this helpful

Here's another good tip for using zip bags that I didn't see mentioned yet.
When you are in the kitchen cooking and need to refer to the recipe card, (like a 3"x5", etc.), place it in a sandwich size zipper bag to keep it clean when handling. You can still pick it up and read it, even if your hands are greasy, sticky, sweaty, or whatever!

My 50-year old recipe index cards still look brand new! Hee-Hee! Now, isn't that a smart & easy tip!:o)

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September 8, 20080 found this helpful

I keep all our remotes like new by tightly wrapping them in the plain freezer plastic bags - leaving the"light" at the end unwrapped, I can wrap 3 or 4 from a large bag, depending on remote size, & secure together with wide"scotch" tape, they last a long time before they need recovering.

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By Amber G. (Guest Post)
September 29, 20080 found this helpful

I hear all you ladies saying you reuse ziplock bags, but I am not sure if you can and it be healthy for you. Does anyone know if it is O.K. to do this? We need to start helping our husbands save money in the family so please someone find the real truth on reusing plastic bags. God Bless All.

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By 1 found this helpful
June 23, 2013

I usually will first insert the food in a plastic bag from the supermarket produce dept as a liner for the Ziploc thereby keeping the Ziploc clean for future use. Empty used Ziploc bags are kept in the freezer. Is there any health problem with this method?

By Leefall

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August 4, 20110 found this helpful

I need to know why you can't reuse freezer bags after you used them to freeze meat. My wife will wash them out and reuse to freeze meat again. Help me with this answer. Thank you.

By Rick F. from Central FL

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By 0 found this helpful
April 28, 2009

At my work we receive a lot of Ziploc bags of all sizes with parts in them. Can we recycle them? We also get parts very thick plastic bags, about 9 x 12. Can we recycle them? Please help, it kills me to throw these away. Thank you.

By Maggi from new Milford, CT


April 28, 20090 found this helpful

Gosh, don't throw them away. There are many places that would put them to good use for example I use many plastic bags in our church thrift shop. You could also put them on Free Cycle, I'm sure someone will grab them.

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