Now that you have to pay for carrier bags more and more of us are using reusable bags that we have bought from supermarkets. But have you ever stopped to think about how dirty they can be? How many times a week do we use them? What if our hands become unclean from touching the bags and you’re placing fresh food in there? It makes sense to make sure that these bags are as clean as they can be as they will last you a long time!
Clean Reusable Bags
For bags that are made from cotton, or other materials such as polyester, these can generally be machine washed like how you would normally wash these materials. We recommend that you put them on a hot water setting (the hottest the material can stand without shrinking) with a detergent. This way the hot water as well as the detergent will kill any nasty germs lurking in the bag!
For the more common plastic bags, we recommend turning them inside out and wiping them with a hot cloth. Make sure that you have sprayed your cloth with a cleaner, such as Topit, so that as well as the hot water within the cloth getting rid of germs, the cleaner is also helping with that. An alternative to cleaning with a cloth is cleaning with an antibacterial wipe.
We would also recommend this method for canvas bags that have a plastic type lining.
If some of your reusable bags have holes in them, go back to the specific shop and ask to have it replaced. It is a bag for life after all. Holes inside reusable bags make it easier for bacteria and dirt to get inside without you knowing. These bags aren’t just to make it easier for you to carry your shopping home, but it’s also to protect the food inside.
How To Keep Reusable Bags Clean
It would be good to bear the following tips in mind for the future when you are doing your food shopping:
- Always have separate bags for different types of food product: meat, fruit and vegetables, cleaning products, general cupboard food, etc. – This is important because different types of food can be susceptible to different types of bacteria and germs. You don’t want any bacteria that could be on meat to mix with your vegetables.
- If your reusable bags are dirty because a food stuff has leaked in there, do not just fold them up and put them away! Make sure you follow the steps outlined above so that you are properly cleaning them for use next time. If you fold the bag up, not only will this make more bacteria, but you will likely forget about the bag and it could be sticky (as well as unclean) for the next time you use it. Try to clean it straight away, whilst it’s in your mind.
- If there is a potential for something to leak, try double bagging it. This way the leak hopefully shouldn’t contaminate any other products, keeping it contained to one bag which should be easier to clean by itself, than if you had various bottles to clean as well.
- Always make sure your hands are clean. Dealing with clean bags when your hands are dirty will only make the bags dirty again. Try having a small bottle of hand cleaner on you so that you can clean your hands when on the go.
Reusable bags aren’t just important for the environment but they also make things easier for you as a consumer. Always make sure that you are using clean bags so that you aren’t raising the possibilities of becoming ill. Don’t forget, if the bag is on it’s last legs, go back to the shop and get it replaced.