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!

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By anne from Green Bay, WI

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January 12, 20100 found this helpful

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

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January 13, 20100 found this helpful

I tried it. It works. Thanks a million.

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January 13, 20100 found this helpful

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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January 13, 20100 found this helpful

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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January 13, 20100 found this helpful

Simply brilliant! Thanks

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January 17, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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Works every time!

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January 17, 20110 found this helpful

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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January 17, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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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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January 17, 20110 found this helpful

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

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January 17, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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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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January 17, 20110 found this helpful

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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January 17, 20110 found this helpful

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

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January 17, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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They don't take all the air out of a bag either! Thanks for your hint.

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January 17, 20110 found this helpful

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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November 3, 20190 found this helpful

I've owned food savers but realize the straw method is just as good if not better. It does take a couple tries to perfect. You can get 99.9% of the air out by quickly pulling out the straw with your teeth as you give the bag a gentle squeeze & seal, and at most a few drops of liquid might squirt out. Also you don't suck the air out of the bag using your lungs.

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Just suck on the straw using your mouth. That creates way more suction and if some does get in your mouth you can just spit it out and use some mouthwash. At least you won't have inhaled or swallowed any. Think of it like giving a bl--,,, never mind. Also, zip-lok freezer bags are not moisture or air permeable.

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January 17, 20110 found this helpful

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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March 8, 20140 found this helpful

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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December 22, 20140 found this helpful

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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