5 Ways to Keep Your Reusable Bags Clean and Sanitary

Reusable shopping bags

Reusable shopping bags are a far better option when compared to plastic disposable bags. Plastic bags are used for an average of 25 minutes before being thrown away, and over 100 billion of these bags are used per year in the U.S. averaging to about 350 to 500 per person. Reusable bags help remove these plastic bags and keep them out of our landfills, but these bags are used more often than we sometimes realize. Routine use means routine care should be performed, but many people aren’t aware of how to clean reusable shopping bags. Read below to see how to clean these bags, care for them and keep them as safe as possible for your groceries.


Your reusable grocery bags should be washed after every use. Foods are sealed, but that doesn’t mean they can’t leak or spill. Washing your reusable bags after every use will remove bacteria and food that may spill. Your reusable bags can be washed like kitchen towels.


After washing your bags, ensure that they are completely dry before putting them away and storing them. Bags that are slightly damp can grow mold and other dangerous bacteria if stored and not allowed to properly dry. Dry bags in the dryer or allow them to air dry before storing.

Label Bags

Just as you separate foods, you should have separate reusable bags as well. Labeled reusable bags make is easier to know what foods go in what bag. Bags that carry fresh produce and raw meats are especially important to label. If labeling isn’t an option consider different colored bags or insulated bags especially for raw meats. Always wrap raw meat in another bag before placing in your reusable bags for added safety.

Use Correctly

Your reusable grocery bags should be used for groceries only. Sometimes is it convenient to just grab a bag on the way out the door for odds and ends sorts of items, but this practice should be avoided. Try not to carry chemical items in your reusable bags, or soiled diapers or even gym clothes. Avoiding this can avoid cross contamination of your groceries.


Many people think that the best way to remember to use their bags is to keep them in their car so they can get them on their way into the store. Many cars get much hotter inside that the weather is outside. This warm air the perfect breeding ground for bacteria causing them to spread and multiply.

Always remember to follow label directions when washing your reusable bags. This will help ensure longer life of your bags as well as proper sanitation. An average reusable bag has a life span equal to 700 disposable plastic bags, which means your bags see a lot of usage. Following proper practices to keep them clean and sanitary will help keep your family safe and help the environment as well.

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