So you’re in the habit of using reusable bags. That’s wonderful! Using sustainable, eco-friendly totes is fantastic, but many people don’t consider the potentially germy repercussions. Combating plastic overuse is commendable, but if you don’t clean your reusable totes, you’re increasing your risk for exposure to bacteria, mold and cross-contaminated products. Here are some ways to keep your reusable bags clean and safe:
- Color-code: Keep meat and fish products in their own bag, separate from produce. Obviously this bag is more likely to carry bacteria when used often, and if you use the same one regularly for meat products, you’ll remember to take extra care to clean it!
- Store in a Cool, Dry Place: Bacteria loves dark, moist areas, so the more fresh air and space your bags have to breathe, the cleaner they’ll be!
- Wipe Down: Get in the habit of wiping down your recycled poly-woven plastic totes after every use (particularly when carrying produce or meat). Use either mild soapy water on a damp cloth or natural cleaners like Method or Mrs. Meyer’s. Or, you could even make your own! Leave bags out to thoroughly dry before storing them. For cotton or nylon bags, simply throw them in the wash!
- For a Deep Clean: Let recycled plastic bags soak for 15 minutes in hot water with 2 teaspoons dish washing liquid and 1 cup hydrogen peroxide, then air dry!
Below, Melissa with Clean My Space explains more about cleaning reusable bags!