The COVID-19 outbreak has prompted a lot of us to start thinking about things we’ve never wondered before, like, “How do I keep my kids busy at home?”, “How many hours of Netflix can I watch in one sitting?”, and of course, the reason we’re here, “Does anyone have tips on how to clean reusable grocery bags?”.
Cleaning and disinfecting your grocery bags not only helps stop the spread of germs, but also helps halt food cross-contamination. Think of all the different foods you throw into your reusable bags, from meat to dairy to items from the bulk bin that meet and greet one another. Yup, it’s time to clean.
Before we get down and dirty with the how to wash reusable bags tips, it’s good to understand the difference between cleaning and disinfecting. There’s an important distinction that is especially pertinent right now:
The takeaway here is that it’s a two-step process: first, clean your grocery bags, and then disinfect them.
Up first: let’s put on our gloves and get those reusable grocery bags clean!
The cleaning method really depends on the type of bag you have:
What are non-woven bags, exactly? They are made from non-woven polypropylene, which is a type of plastic that doesn’t hold up well when in the washer or dryer. Wash them by hand in warm soapy water and line dry.
Cotton Totes & Canvas Grocery Bags
Cotton and canvas reusable grocery bags are the easiest to clean! Throw them in the washer with detergent and hot water and you’re good to go. They’re even dryer-friendly.
Be especially thorough when cleaning insulated bags, as they are typically used to keep meat and dairy items cool on your way back from the grocery store. Wash by hand in warm soapy water, followed by an anti-bacterial wipe, taking extra care with the seams. Line dry.
The tip on how to clean nylon grocery bags is to hand wash in warm soapy water, turn inside out, and line dry.
Disinfecting your reusable bags should always be your second and final step. Remember, washing is the key to cleaning the bags and disinfecting is how you remove the germs.
How to disinfect grocery bags is exactly how you would disinfect any object or surface:
And, you’re done! You have now learned how to clean and disinfect reusable grocery bags, which is a safe practice to always use.
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