10 Ways To Reuse Ziploc Bags

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Looking for ways to reuse Ziploc bags? You’re not alone! I love how durable they are, and how strongly they seal but used to feel so guilty about using them.

After all, that same sturdy plastic which makes them so useful around the home also makes them awful for landfills. Most municipal recycling programs won’t even accept them, which means many people choose not to use them at all.

For those of us who can’t pass by their convenience, there are ways to reduce the 500 or so bags each American family uses per year.

How To Reuse Ziploc Bags

1. Store small objects. Coupons, batteries, spare bread bag ties, those sweetener packets you keep stealing borrowing from your favorite coffee shop: used baggies are still perfect for corralling small things in drawers or on shelves.

2. Travel wipes. Whether you’re taking a long road trip, or just like to stay fresh throughout the day, a used plastic bag makes a great way to store homemade body, baby and makeup-remover wipes.

3. Ice packs for injuries. Fill a used zipper bag with half water and half vodka or rubbing alcohol, and stash it in the freezer. The water freezes but the alcohol doesn’t, so you’ll have a nice, slushy ice pack ready to treat boo-boos.

4. Travel with toiletries. Altitude changes, rough baggage handlers, and thoughtless TSA agents can all cause your toiletries to leak on the contents of your suitcase. Reuse Ziploc bags to carry shampoo, conditioner, and body wash in your luggage, and you won’t arrive with an unexpected mess.

5. Dog duty. If you’ve got a pooch, you know you’ve got to scoop poop. Reuse Ziploc bags to scoop poop by putting one on your hand like a glove and picking up the dog’s leavings. Pull the zipper opening back over your hand and seal it to avoid stinking up your garage before trash pickup day.

6. Keep clean hands while cooking. Need to knead dough? Making meatloaf? Cooking chicken? Reuse Ziploc bags by slipping them over your hands to keep them, and your food, clean.

7. Read and relax. There are few things I enjoy more than soaking in a nice, hot bath and reading by candlelight. When I first got my Kindle, I thought I’d have to give that up until I realized that putting it in a plastic Ziploc bag is the perfect way to enjoy my eBook without worrying about water damage.

8. Crush crumbs. Need to make a graham crust or crush some crackers for a topping? Pop them in an old zip bag, seal and run your rolling pin over it.

9. Use as a funnel. Reuse Ziploc bags as funnels by filling them with rice, flour or whatever you want to pour into a small-mouthed container. Snip off one corner and squeeze the contents out.

10. Keep your knees clean and dry. Whether you’re scrubbing floors or pulling weeds, old plastic bags make great knee protectors. Just cut the bottom of the bag off, and slide it up your legs. Use the zipper to adjust tightness as needed and, boom, your knees stay dry!

The great thing about reusing Ziploc bags that are past their prime is that you’re not only saving money, but you’re also saving landfill space. Once you’ve used and reused it to where it’s no longer useful, you can toss them in the plastic bag recycling bin at your grocery store where they’ll get processed correctly.

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  1. Awesome! (said in singsong voice) I also reuse my ziplocks until I can’t stand the idea of washing even one more. Like you, I’ve found other uses for them, but you added a few I hadn’t thought of!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      My husband rolls his eyes whenever he finds me standing in the kitchen, staring at a used plastic bag and trying to figure out how to get a few more uses out of it. But it drives me nuts to throw those things out!

  2. Mariette's Back to Basics says:

    Dearest Katie,

    As usual, you give a lot of wisdom here. Thanks for sharing.
    Hugs to you and your dear husband.

  3. Thanks for tips. I don’t reuse bags with any type of fats because fats leave a film, which can spoil.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I understand your concern, and you’re absolutely right that fats or oils can go rancid. I’ve found that washing them takes care of the problem.