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Cleaning sustainable bags

Reusable Grocery Bags

How to make your sustainable bags…more sustainable

So you have found just the right sustainable bag for you and the way that you shop. We are going to tell you how to make your reusable grocery bags even more sustainable.

By following these simple rules you can protec yourself and your family from food safety hazards associated with their use.

Tip 1. Wash reusable grocery bags frequently

If your reusable shopping bags are made of cloth, you should wash them in the washing machine with laundry detergent and then put them in the drier or allow them to air dry. Take care to read the cleaning instructions carefully when you purchase your sustainable bag.

If there are any plastic components in your reusable bags, then wash those components by hand using warm, soapy water.

Tip 2. Use different reusable grocery bags for different types of food

For your grocery shopping you should keep one bag for raw meat products, another sustainable bag for raw fruit and vegetables, and a few other bags for packaged and ready-to-eat items.

An easy way to remember which bag is for which food type, is by using different coloured bags or by writing on your bags with a marker pen.

Tip 3. Don’t keep food in your bags for too long

Make your food shopping trip the last task that you do before going home. And unpack quickly when you arrive home.

Food that requires refrigeration must be put away within a maximum of two hours to prevent bacteria reaching harmful levels.

Check out our insulated bag post to learn more about the most sustainable insulated shopping bags.

Tip 4. Keep shopping bags in a suitable place

Choose a location that is cool and dry for storing reusable shopping bags – and don’t store them in your car.

Research has found that boots of cars can be good incubators for bacteria. Be sure that shopping bags are fully dry after washing before you put them away.

Tip 5. Don’t use the bags for other purposes

Don’t use your sustainable shopping bags to transport other items such as shoes, gym clothes or paperwork. By doing so, you could be introducing bacteria to the bags which can cross-contaminate food at a later stage.

Tip 6. Clean surfaces where the bags have been placed

When you’ve unpacked and put away your reusable, sustainable  bags, be sure to clean and/or sanitise any benchtops or tables where you’ve placed the bags.

This prevents cross-contamination to food that you prepare later from any bacteria that was on the outside of the bag.

Common Question – Can I wash polyproperline bags?

Non woven polypropylene reusable bags, jute reusable bags, and recycled PET reusable bags are tricky to clean.

Some people do wash these bags in a washing machine. Check out our comprehensive article covering your sustainable bag options. It includes information about how to clean each sustainable bag type including which bags you should keep out of your washing machine.

Sustainable bags will be even more sustainable with regular cleaning

So there you have it. 6 tips for keeping your sustainable bags clean. When cleaner properly your reusable bags will last a really long time. And that means less harm to our environment and the wild life in our world.

Got any extra sustainable bag cleaning tips? We’d love to hear them so feel free to use the comments section below. 


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