Wordless Wednesday: Is Anyone Else Crazy Like This? Plastic Bag Washing Club!

by Dorothy Reinhold on January 5, 2011

Print This Post Print This Post Wordless Wednesday: Is Anyone Else Crazy Like This? on Shockingly Delicious

Well, ALMOST Wordless Wednesday: Please tell me I am not the biggest freakshow ever!

Although I try not to use them too often, when I do use a zipper-top plastic bag, I wash it and let it dry in my kitchen garden window. On a busy cooking day, or when I am using up a lot of leftovers, I might have 4-5 bags drying at any given time. I find that I can use a bag many, many times over if I simply wash it out after use and leave it to dry.

Puh-leeze, let there be someone else who does this. If you are in the club, please let me know so I don’t feel so freakish!

Send me a JPEG of your plastic bags drying in your kitchen (or whevever you dry them), and I will post it, and make you an honorary member of the…

Plastic Bag Washing Club!

Kim from Rusticgardenbistro.com in Orange County, Calif. perches hers atop her stack of handwashables drying in the sink. That’s a lotta pots and pans! Dinner must have been great!

Plastic Bag Washing Club

Lori from Beachtrading.com in Long Beach, Calif. also favors the dish stacking method of drying. She just finished washing up after making a pot of Crock-Pot chili. I’m sensing a colander theme here.

Plastic Bag Washing club

Rashmi at Yumkid.com is in the club! Little kids in the house…lotta sippy cups. (Where’s your colander, girl?)

Plastic Bag Washing Club

Kate from Katewoods in Australia has a little bucket full of tape and pens and “stuff” beside the sink, and drapes bags to dry them. She even saves plastic wrap (Glad Wrap).

Plastic Bag Washing Club

Betsy from BetsyLombard.com in Nevada City, Calif. simply dries them in the corner. Nuthin’ fancy needed! But…look below for her extra tweak…

Plastic Bag Washing Club

Now this, my friends, is a delux plastic bag holder, open at both ends with elastic at the top and the bottom, sort of like an air sock. Bags at the ready! Betsy’s husband’s Tennessee grandmother made it for her, and they call it…get this…a “pecker warmer.” I’ll wait for a second while you absorb that. Are you laughing? Because I am sophomoric, I will suggest an alternative alliterative name — how about “wienie warmer?”

Plastic Bag Washing Club

Jodie from Colorado Springs, CO turns them inside out to clean, and uses anything she has — including her faucet — to stand them up.
Plastic Bag Washing Club
Cassy Cohen Muronaka will wash out zipper-top bags on occasion, but ALWAYS washes out her FoodSaver vacuum sealer bags! “I love my vacuum sealer, and waved goodbye to frostburn the day I bought it,” she says.

This post was featured on

Around My Family Table

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

ella seneres June 25, 2022 at 12:52 pm

I have been doing this for decades, to reduce my waste. I rarely eat meat due to the cruelty of the process, and if I do, I never reuse those bags, I use them to put cat litter and cat poppi. Figure this, I do bulk at my local hippy store, and use about 60 bags a month, at least, for beans, and apples, and pecans, rice, every imaginable bulk item. 60 times 12 months is 720 bags I saved and did not throw in the trash. Every little bit counts, and I try to do my part as I have been a life long environmentalist and helped at the first recycling place in my town when I was arrested to divest out of South Africa, so went to do my penance there, and the guy said, yeah get a lot of court referrals, but I can never count on volunteers. Well, we worked out well, he began to trust me, and so he let me run the front of the show, while he was in the back doing the fork lift. When my time was up, he could not possible run the whole show by himself, so I stayed as a volunteer for one more year, helping him and helping seniors unload and make pleasant conversation and thanking them for being part of the solution. We all need to pitch in. I am glad others wash out their bags, I rarely, maybe one percent see people bring their own bags to shop. It is just easier to get new plastic bags, but at a high price for mama earth.


Dorothy Reinhold June 27, 2022 at 4:06 pm

“At a high price for mama Earth.”
Exactly right, Ella!


Judy P November 16, 2014 at 8:17 am

I generally don’t reuse those that had meat or poutry but IF I do, I make sure to soak it in bleach water. I often wash the bags and put the bag on my standing paper towel holder. But I have done the washing machine/towel trick if I’ve used a lot all at the same time like a party or holiday. But honestly, I’m shocked that I’m not the only one who reuses them. My family makes fun of me.


Dorothy Reinhold November 16, 2014 at 3:06 pm

You come sit right next to me and join my bag washing club! You are far from alone in this.


valerie marrsv April 22, 2012 at 9:29 am

I wash and I dry by propping on faucet, but I refuse to reuse anything that has touched flesh!


sandy January 22, 2011 at 1:33 pm

I have been reusing plastic bags of all sizes since the early ’90’s when the Tightwad lady wrote about it. But, I have a slightly different system. I wash mine in my machine, inside out, with my kitchen towels, etc. that get bleached. Then I hang them on my line to dry. It works great for me and I reuse them until leaking like a sieve.


Wendy January 21, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Great idea! I do that with my reusable veggie bags. Thanks for linking up to Tip Day Thursday.

Around My Family Table


christina d January 17, 2011 at 7:57 am

HA…hahahaha! I totally belong in this group. I have been reusing plastic bags until they are old and leaching toxins since college. I also water down all my dish soap, hand wash… I find those two things very related but probably just in my crazy mind! I LOVE LOVE LOVE all the pictures. I will take a picture the next time I do it. My picture will be almost EXACTLY like Rashmi as I have TONS of sippy cups and I have that BOON “grass” drying rack!


Dorothy January 17, 2011 at 8:19 am

Oh yes, please send along the photo from your own kitchen! I think club members like to see how others do it!


Kate January 12, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I belong ! I belong ! I am a total crusader for saving and recycling plastic bags or any bag really !


Cari January 11, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Count me in too! Mine even perch right on top of plants as well…


Mary January 5, 2011 at 10:09 pm

I’m right there with you!! I’m not sure how many years they take to decompose in a landfill, so I try to get the most mileage possible.


Holly January 5, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Dorothy…we do the same thing at our house and was so happy to see that we weren’t alone!!! And, yes, saving money is an incentive, but recycling is so important today. Our world seems to be a complete throw away environment. Everything is plastic and paper, made for the trash container.
Thanks for sharing.


Dorothy January 5, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Holly, I agree with you. Less throwaway, more reuse/recycle.


Sylvia Hilliard January 16, 2011 at 9:45 am

Sorry Dorothy, I find this practice totally unsanitary. I can hear a wave of boos from your club members. I always thought that your dishes do not get clean enough unless you place them in the dishwasher. Of course, some cooking utensils and such cannot be placed in the dishwasher. But, washing plastic bags and reusing them just sounds like you’re asking for bacteria to sneak into your next use of them. Maybe I worry too much. I always clean off my counters after each use and throw away used bags. I use plastic containers for leftovers repeatedly though. Some of which are dishwasher safe.
Sorry I cannot join your club, but have fun sharing your quirky common practice.


Dorothy January 16, 2011 at 11:48 am

Yeah, I’m sure you’re right if the contents were raw meat or something like that. But if it’s just a bread product, muffins, trail mix, nuts, carrots, something more “clean,” then washing out the bag shouldn’t be a problem, in my opinion. I tend to throw out bags that have had meat or chicken or something sticky/icky, but I definitely wash out bags that had dry goods in them. Cook’s decision, and yours is valid!


Kim January 5, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Yup, my hand went up too. I’m a zip top bag washer and saver like you Dorothy. They are expensive so why throw ’em out if you can use ’em. But like you and Erika, I throw them away if they’ve had something with a strong scent.


Debbie January 5, 2011 at 12:55 pm

I do but mainly with dry food. Are the Ziploc Eco really more eco friendly? Or is that a complete marketing scam?


Dorothy January 5, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Debbie, I didn’t even know there was such as thing as Ziploc Eco. Will have to look for it and see.


Surfer Girl January 5, 2011 at 5:17 pm

‘Ziploc Eco’?? That’s an oxymoron if I ever heard one! Plastic NEVER biodegrades. Google ‘garbage patch’ and read about the Pacific Gyre to see where all of our plastic ends up…


Kim January 5, 2011 at 10:03 am

Raising hand here.

I like to stretch things to the max. So I reuse these puppies, too. They’re expensive!!!! And we buy the freezer ones, so they’re a little more heavy duty, and can withstand a few rinsings.



Karen January 5, 2011 at 9:51 am

Definitely with you on that!


Erika - In Erika's Kitchen January 5, 2011 at 8:58 am

You’re not a freak. I do it sometimes – depends what’s been in the bag. I reuse zip-top bags for bread quite a few times. If the contents have been sticky or slimy or heavily flavored (i.e. garlic), I throw them out.


Dorothy January 5, 2011 at 10:08 am

Yeah, I do the same Erika. I throw it out only if I can’t get the stink out, or if it has contained garlic marinade or something like that (like fish) whose residue or smell just won’t come out with a dish soap washing. I’m pretty vigorous with these bags, and they can stand up to it!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: