Reusing Ziploc Bags

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 969 Posts
March 2, 2010

Cheese bag.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

Read More Comments

More Solutions

This page contains the following solutions.

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
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.

A used plastic bag that has been washed and is drying.


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. To make it more stable and more eye appealing on my counter, I took the label off and filled it half way with marbles.


May 16, 2020

I don't know about you but we go through Ziplocs like crazy! So what with how much we use them and how expensive they are, we've been rewashing ours. Now granted, after about 3 washes I would say it's about time to throw them away depending on what brand you use.


But a few more uses for just one Ziploc gets you a long way!

How To Reuse Ziploc Bags - bag drying


January 17, 2008

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.


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 255 Posts
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.

A baggie dryer with clips to hold sandwich bags.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 519 Posts
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.


11 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

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.

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.

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.

August 9, 20080 found this helpful

thank you all great feedback

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 969 Posts
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.

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)

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.

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.

November 3, 20090 found this helpful

You don't have to wash them everytime! Just mark the freezer bag with it's contents. Once you've used the contents, zip it shut (minus the air) and stow it in the freezer empty! I've done this for years until the bag is so worn out it can't be used for the freezer.That's when I clean them out and use for other things!

Answer this Question

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


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 337 Feedbacks
June 25, 20130 found this helpful

I don't see anything wrong with washing out your ziplocks either. My mother-in-law washed and reused all sorts of bags. She washed them with the dishes, dried, and hung them up to air. I suppose you could keep them in the freezer, but I just keep my clean rewashed bags in the drawer.

Read More Answers

August 4, 2011

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


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 290 Feedbacks
August 4, 20110 found this helpful

I wouldn't reuse freezer bags a second time to freeze meat, even though they
have been washed. I think most of us have read about the ground turkey salmonella outbreak. I don't think that you can sanitize the freezer bag thoroughly enough to use a second time.

You can buy off brand freezer bags cheap enough at the dollar stores, and they cost less than Ziploc.

August 5, 20110 found this helpful

Washing Plastic Bags

Plastic bags that have stored most foods can be turned inside out, washed and dried in a dish rack. This isn't true for bags that have contained raw meat. Unless you wash the bags in water hotter than 165 degrees Fahrenheit or use bleach, harmful bacteria may still be present. The bag may have hard-to-reach areas, like the grooves of a plastic storage bag, that are hard to wash.

Harmful Bacteria

The bacteria that remain on a bag that has contained raw meat are extremely harmful. Salmonella, the most common source of food-borne illness, causes diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever. This harmful bacteria lives in raw meat and can contaminate other foods if raw meat juices come into contact with them. This is why storing salad or even crackers in a bag that has contained meat is a bad idea. E. coli, another harmful bacteria, is another contaminant that could be present.

Cooking Doesn't Kill all Bacteria

You might think that it's OK to store meat in a bag that has already contained raw meat, believing that once the meat is cooked all bacteria will be killed. However, cooking temperatures are not always high enough to kill all bacteria, especially if the meat isn't cooked perfectly well-done. To avoid the risk of illness, it's best not to store any food in plastic bags that have contained meat.

Reusing Bags for Other Purposes

While it isn't safe to store food in bags that have contained meat, they can be used for other purposes. They can be used to dispose of kitty litter or to pick up after your dog in the yard. If it's snowing outside, you can put them on the side mirrors and windshield wipers of your car at night to make scraping easier in the morning. Always remember to wash your hands after handling them.

August 5, 20110 found this helpful

What I do to economize on freezer bags is to package the raw meat in the quantities we will use in inexpensive sandwich (zipper) bags. I make sure to squeeze all air out. Then, I pack the smaller bags into a gallon size freezer bag. The second (outer) bag adds extra protection, and I can quickly take out the quantity I need, and set the smaller bag on a plate to catch any potential drips. If the pieces of meat won't fit in a sandwich bag, I wrap them in plastic wrap, then put in a freezer bag. If the bag in the freezer is still in good shape, I may add more sandwich bags of raw meat.

But I have to agree with the other posts that re-using bags that raw meat has been in contact with is not worth the risk. One visit to the doctor can erase all savings in a hurry! I will re-use bags that have had bread/rolls, cookies, raw veggies and such in them, but not cooked or raw meats. If she is averse to using a new bag each time, she should purchase re-useable freezer containers that can be thoroughly washed and dried.


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 172 Posts
August 5, 20110 found this helpful

I do the same thing as Jilson. If your meat is wrapped in something first, be it a plastic sandwich bag or plastic wrap, it really does not come into contact with the outer bag. It also, as she says give extra protection. Many times I will buy 10 pounds of ground beef and freeze it in 1 pound bags. This works great to freeze it in this manner. I don't reuse any bags that have come in contact with the meat either.


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 450 Feedbacks
August 5, 20110 found this helpful

My guess is that if she doesn't know by now she isn't going to learn why. Anything that comes in contact with raw meat that can't be thourally washed, like a plate, needs to be thrown away because bacteria are there and freezing doesn't kill it. Does she really need the two cents she saves?


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 846 Posts
August 5, 20110 found this helpful

Plastics of any sort absorb meat bacteria such as salmonella and e-coli and that's why it's not even safe to reuse the styrofoam meat trays for food. And I wouldn't recommend even cleaning meat touched plastics with bleach and then reusing for food because the bleach will absorb into the plastic and then will leach into your food.

Perhaps your wife could go ahead and save a couple of pennies by washing and drying them but then reuse them only to store non-food items such as ribbon and bows, craft supplies, things like nails and screws, gardening supplies or even use for picking up doggie poopie if you walk your dog and if you don't walk your dog donate them to a neighbor who does. There are oodles of other uses for them that are safe. Reuse them for anything other than food because risking your health and life is not worth saving some money.

August 5, 20110 found this helpful

I've thought about the fact that each time I use hot water, soap and my time to wash out and dry a plastic bag, I probably could have bought another bag.

August 6, 20110 found this helpful

Using bags from the dollar store is not such a great idea either. Where do these products come from? If you use these products next to your food who knows? Better to use the brands you trust. You can't put a price on on keeping your family safe.

August 6, 20110 found this helpful

I have heard you should'nt reuse them too. But I also wash them real good and reuse. Been doing this for years and am still alive and well.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 846 Posts
August 7, 20110 found this helpful

Just wanted to add to Summerofsunshine51's comment. I ask, "Why tempt fate?" This isn't a food analogy I am sharing here but an analogy of general dangers we should all heed just the same.

I have a friend who wouldn't listen to me about the dangers of mixing chlorine bleach with liquid dish soap because she had done it her entire life and it had never hurt her so she was just going to keep doing it. Then one day she could barely breathe because of the resulting chlorine gas and had to go to the emergency room. Thankfully she ended up being okay but she doesn't mix them together anymore.

Taking risks when it comes to salmonella and e-coli bacteria from raw meats is no different.

Answer this Question

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.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 969 Posts
May 5, 20090 found this helpful

Keep photos, patterns, dry goods, craft supplies, medicines, camping gear and so much more in them. If you can't take them home, then yes, donate them to a school or church, the local shelter or thrift shop.


Bronze Request Medal for All Time! 59 Requests
May 6, 20090 found this helpful

Check your local grocery store...some have recycling bins. Or, if your city recycles, call and ask if they accept plastic bags.


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 102 Feedbacks
May 7, 20090 found this helpful

I have a dog and have to BUY zip lock bags to collect the droppings in on our walks. Ask your dog owner friends if they want the free bags, or the local vet or animal shelter. I would love it if someone would give me these bags for free!

Read More Answers
In This Page
Better Living Green Living ReusingMay 20, 2012
Valentine's Ideas!
St. Patrick's Ideas!
Birthday Ideas!
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2024-02-05 13:37:28 in 24 secs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2024 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.