Here's How To Clean Your Reusable Food Storage Bags

Between reusable water bottles, storage bags and food wraps, consumers have a whole new drawer in their kitchen that they have to learn how to clean. With all of the benefits of reduced waste and a lowered carbon footprint, it's a good idea to invest in these new forms of food and beverage storage and learn how to clean them with ease. If you have a few reusable storage bags floating around your kitchen, you've likely had to decipher how to best clean them. Should they go in the dishwasher? Is soap and water an adequate wash?

Luckily, they're rather easy to clean and can save you and the planet tons of resources. According to The Spruce, you should wash your bags after every use to avoid build-up and bacteria growth. While many brands can go straight into the top rack of your dishwasher, a hand-wash will better reach the nooks and crannies where food can hide. 

To hand wash these items, start by filling your sink with warm, soapy water. The outlet suggests tossing the bags in and letting them fill with water so they remain fully submerged for about three minutes. Then simply use a sponge or gentle cloth to wipe down the sides of the bags. However, resist the urge to flip the bag inside out, the outlet notes, as this can damage the adhesives and the material itself.

There's an easy way to clean the corners of your reusable bags

Beyond using your own soap, The Kitchn notes that you can make your own cleaning solution that will naturally dissolve grime and bits of food. Start with a mixture of equal parts baking soda, lemon juice and white vinegar. From here, apply the paste with your fingers to the entirety of the bag and let it sit for 30 minutes — flipping it on the other side halfway through. Rinse with warm water to remove the solution then pat dry with a towel. The outlet notes that adding cooking oil to any stuck-on stains or water spots will help remove them after this process as well.

If you notice build-up around the corners of your bags, you can try an easy method that involves a healthy dose of shaking. Fill your bag halfway with warm soapy water and shake vigorously. Up and down, side-to-side, move it as quickly as possible to dislodge and disinfect.

The outlet also suggests using similar colored bags for various colors of food, i.e. blueberries going in a blue bag to lessen the chance of staining. If you notice mold, however, it's a job for boiling water or distilled white vinegar.

There are plenty of natural, low-cost ways to clean your reusable bags and increase their longevity while going much easier on Mother Earth.