The Ultimate Guide to Maintaining Reusable Shopping Bags

reusable shopping bags

Reusable shopping bags are all the rage these days. Not only do they help reduce your carbon footprint, but they also save you money in the long run. However, reusable grocery bags require some maintenance to keep them clean and durable for years of use like any other bag! On this page, we will go over how to properly maintain reusable shopping bags so that you can enjoy them for a long time.

1. Don't Put Sharp Objects in Them

One of the common pitfalls of having a reusable grocery bag is putting sharp objects in them. This can puncture the bag and render it useless. To avoid this, make sure only to put softer items in your reusable shopping bags.

If you must transport sharp objects, be sure to use a separate container or bag for them. This will help keep your reusable shopping bags damage-free.

2. Put Messy Items in a Separate Paper Bag

Of course, one of our main goals here is to avoid putting items in single-use plastic bags. But if you are carrying something potentially messy, such as potatoes, put them in an extra paper bag and then recycle the bag after properly using it! 

Put messy or wet items in a separate paper bag before placing them in your reusable bag so that they do not make everything else inside of the reusable shopping bag dirty. This will help keep all of your groceries clean and fresh.

3. Wipe Them Down After Every Use

It's a good idea to wipe down your reusable shopping bags after every use. This will help remove any dirt or bacteria accumulated during the trip to the grocery store. Sometimes, you might even spill the contents of your groceries, making a mess. 

For best results, wipe your bags down when you return home. You can either use a wet cloth or some soapy water to do this - whichever you find more convenient. Just make sure to give them a good cleaning so that they are ready for your next grocery trip!

4. Hang Them to Dry

After you've wiped them down, it's a good idea to hang your reusable shopping bags up to dry. This will help prevent any bacteria or mold from growing inside of them. If you don't have anywhere to hang them, you can also lay them out flat to dry. Just make sure that they are completely dry before being placed in their proper storage space. 

5. Store Them in a Cool, Dry Place

Be sure to store your reusable shopping bags in a cool and dry place. Furthermore, this will help prevent any mold or mildew from growing on them, which can cause severe damage. Ideally, it would help if you stored your reusable grocery bags somewhere like a closet or drawer where they will be protected from things like sunlight and moisture.

6. Routinely Check for Holes 

Lastly, be sure to check your reusable shopping bags for any holes or rips. The last thing you want is a bag breaking mid-use and spilling everything out onto the floor! This can force you to purchase items without using them simply because they fall out of the bag while shopping. If you find small tears in your reusable grocery bags, seal them up with tape or sew them over so they don't get any bigger.

7. Check Manufacturer Instructions

Instruction manual concept illustration

You should also check with the manufacturer for any specific care or maintenance that your reusable shopping bags may require. Every type of bag is different and has its own needs when it comes to keeping them clean and fresh!

However, sometimes the manufacturer won't be indicated. In this case, use some basic common sense and see if you can determine what the bag's material is and how to best care for it. 

8. Put Reusable Bags Inside a Collapsible Shopping Bag

A collapsible shopping bag is not only portable and reusable but can also be used to store other reusable bags! This is a great way to keep all of your shopping bags in one place and make transportation easy.

If you have a collapsible shopping bag, be sure to put your reusable grocery bags inside it so that they are protected when not in use. This will help prolong the life of your reusable shopping bags.

9. Avoid Using a Washing Machine

Although it can be tempting to use a washing machine to clean your reusable shopping bags, it's not the best idea. The agitation from the washer can cause damage to the material of the bag and may even make it difficult to reuse!

If you need to clean your reusable grocery bags, try using a wet cloth or soapy water instead. As explored above, this is the best way to remove any dirt or bacteria accumulated during the trip to the grocery store.

10. Use a Mesh Bag for Produce

If you're using reusable shopping bags to buy fresh produce, it's a good idea to use a mesh bag such as mesh laundry bags. This will help keep your fruits and vegetables clean and free from any dirt or bacteria on them. Plus, it's easy to wash the mesh bag once you're done with your groceries, and it will be ready for your next trip to the store!

11. Use Reusable Shopping Bags for Larger Bulk Items

When buying bulk items like grains, cereals, or nuts, it's a good idea to use a reusable shopping bag designed explicitly for this purpose. This will help keep the food inside clean and free from dirt or bacteria. In addition, these sorts of items will often be stored in the bag without risking damage to the bag. 

Main Points & Summary

People carrying jigsaw pieces

By following these simple tips, you can keep your reusable shopping bags in excellent condition for years of use! Not only will this help reduce your environmental impact, but it will also save you some money in the long run. So what are you waiting for? Start using reusable shopping bags and collapsible shopping bags today!