Bagging the Germs: Steps Toward Cleaning Canvas
OK, so it’s no secret that we’re partial to re-using Malt-O-Meal bags. However, we do realize that they’re not practical for everything, like carrying your groceries. That’s what canvas shopping bags are for, and using them is a great step toward practicing a sustainable lifestyle.
But, let’s face it. They get dirty just like our clothes, yet we never think to wash them. They have unwashed fruit and veggies, meat that might leak through the package, or spilled goldfish crackers. Yuck! CNN Health says bacteria, mold and yeast can lead to not only food poisoning, but also skin infections or allergic reactions.
Avoid it by simply washing the bags. Here are a few helpful tips to keep them clean and germ-free.
- Blot and pretreat obvious stains just like you would a stain on your clothes. Special soap isn’t necessary; just use the stain remover on your shelf. EHow.com says you can throw bags into the washing machine except for the ones with decorative items on the outside. They’ll just get ruined.
- TLC Home recommends separating meat and fish while you’re shopping. When washing these particular bags, toss in a quarter cup of vinegar or half a lemon.
- When you get home and unpacked, put the bags on the clothesline or spread them out. TLC Home says this will help air out any leftover moisture.
We always have to give props to our friends at TerraCycle and Earth911 for their ideas on re-using Malt-O-Meal bags, but we also found another cool site that talks the talk. ReuseIt.com has bags and bins to help with shopping.
As a final note on bags, we chuckled when we saw this blog post from The Simple Dollar. The author talks about reusing Ziploc bags and cleaning them in the dishwasher. Now THAT’s dedication to sustainability! But as she finds out, it doesn’t really save much money. You’re better off not using them at all or just buying more as you need. We applaud the thought!
Got any cleaning tips to share with our Bag The Box readers? Comment here!
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