How to Clean Reusable Storage Bags: The Easiest, Simplest Method
You compost, you switched to glass food storage containers years ago, and you recently replaced your zip-top bag habit with reusable silicone ones. They probably cost you a pretty penny, though, so we’re guessing you’re determined to take care of them properly. You want these things to last without getting grimy or falling apart!
Note: There are lots of options on the market these days, but we’re going to be talking about Stasher bags; we love them and they’re also the biggest players in the game. But know that the steps and tips will most likely apply to other brands, too.
Before we begin, there’s a few things to keep in mind.
First, part of the appeal of Stasher bags is that they’re dishwasher-safe. (Check to see if this is the case for your reusable bags!) By all means, run them through the dishwasher to take care of normal cleaning. Sometimes, though, you’ll want to do a more thorough cleaning by hand.
Also, to help avoid unsightly stains, keep food in like-colored bags. For instance, if you’re storing pasta with a tomato-based sauce or a curry, opt for raspberry- or citrus-colored bags to disguise potential stains.
Finally, never turn your reusable bags inside out! This could compromise the seal of the edges of the bag.
Beyond that, here’s how to clean your reusable storage bags when they need a little extra TLC.
How to Clean Reusable Food Storage Bags
What You’ll Need
- Small scrub brush
- Baking soda
- Distilled white vinegar
- Lemon juice
- Light cooking oil
- Paper or cloth towel
- Rinse the inside of your bag with hot water: To get the corners, fill the bag about a quarter of the way with water, close it, and swish the water around. Use a small brush to dislodge stubborn crumbs if you need to.
- Make a cleaning solution: Mix equal parts baking soda, distilled white vinegar, and lemon juice.
- Apply the paste: Use your fingers or the scrub brush to apply the paste all over the inside of your bag and let it sit for about half an hour. You can set it flat and flip it after about 15 minutes.
- Rinse: Rinse the bag thoroughly with warm water. Then, dry the bag with a towel in order to avoid water spots.
- Dry/erase water spots: If you don’t dry the bag or have leftover water spots, you can polish them out with a paper towel moistened with a touch of cooking oil. (Pro tip: a light film of oil will also help prevent future stains.)
- If you spot any mold, you can soak your Stasher in either distilled white vinegar or boiling water.
- Address stains with baking soda and water, that same vinegar paste from above, or with a sunbath.