Ziploc Bag Washer




Introduction: Ziploc Bag Washer

This is a really simple thing I came up with to try to solve the problem of how to wash a zip lock bag so it can be reused.

I usually feel very guilty about throwing out a zip lock bag when it's clearly still perfectly functional but just has some crumbs or something from whatever was in it last.**

I tried putting them in the dishwasher, stretching them around the prongs in the rack, but the force of the water usually sends them flying and they wind up at the bottom all rumpled up and soggy.  I also tried washing them in the washing machine, but then you have the problem of how to get them dry.

I looked online to see how other people had dealt with the problem and noticed a couple of clever products: the washywonder and this one: the bag-e-wash and wondered how I could reproduce them. 

**Note: mkambas made a good point which is you probably should  not try to reuse bags that have had meat products in them before

Step 1: Materials

vapour mask
hot knife
plastic bottle

Step 2: Remove the Top of the Bottle

While wearing the vapour mask oudoors...

cut the top of the bottle off as indicated

Step 3: Cut a Vertical Slice Window Into the Bottle

Starting at the waist, carefully cut some slices into the sides of the bottle.

If you let the heat of the hot knife do the cutting, you can go relaxed and slowly and have straighter lines.

Step 4: Cut Vertical Slices Around the Bottle

continue cutting vertical windows around the bottle, at least three

Step 5: Cut Off the Bottom of the Bottle

Cut away the bottom of the bottle as shown, leaving a margin of plastic for support

Step 6: Cut a Slice Into the Bottom Margin

Cut a slit in the bottom margin of plastic as indicated.  This allows the structures to be stacked concentrically for storing.

Step 7: Time to Wash That Baggie

Turn the zip lock baggie inside out.

straighten out any rumpled or folded edges as needed

Insert the prongs of the plastic form into it securely

Step 8: Top Shelf

Place the bag on the top shelf of the dishwasher with the opening facing down.

(Don't use this with a high temperature wash or other sanitizing features of your washer or it will probably deform the plastic too much.)

Step 9: Allow to Dry

After the dishwashing cycle is complete, remove the baggies with the form still inside and allow them to dry somewhere for a day or so.

I just put mine in a cupboard shelf

Once dry, remove the form and invert them right side out again. 

If they are still not quite dry, you can reinsert the form and allow the outside to dry this way also if needed.

Step 10: Hey It Works!

Clean baggies!  No hint of spice smell or previous contents, other than the writing, you would not know what was in there previously!

Step 11: Storage

When not in use, you can wrap the forms around each other concentrically to save space.

I Could Make That Contest

Participated in the
I Could Make That Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Plywood Challenge

      Plywood Challenge
    • Plastic Contest

      Plastic Contest
    • Battery Powered Contest

      Battery Powered Contest

    9 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Really appreciate the thought behind this thriftyness and you sharing your design. I also feel guilty about not reusing where sensible.

    From years ago, I remember a "Tightwad Gazette" piece on those of us who save plastic bags, and the racks we create trying to find a way to dry them. :)


    3 years ago

    I should think you'd be able to accomplish the same thing with much less cutting. Just cut off the bottoms. Since you're going to be turnign the bags inside out anyway, the "business" side of the bag is going to get full exposure to the dishwasher cycle. You can clean the outside of the bag once you take it out, with just a quick wipedown of the moisture left from the cycle. Should be enough. But then, I'm lazy and I don't have a hot knife. :P

    what a great idea! I am like you foobear I always feel guilty about throwing a ziplock away! thanks :) Re: your bio: And the more stuff you have, the more it costs to build stuff to store your stuff and keep your stuff out of the weather, and the more it costs tax wise, and if it's in your house, you have so much stuff you can't clean properly, and your stuff spills out into the garage, then you need a bigger garage and house, and then you worry someone might steal your stuff and then you have to buy security cameras, and your kids left home so you fill up their rooms, til it spills out into the hall, on and on. But we do like our stuff lol just ask me! So I like your stacking idea as well!


    I love this! But can't I just cut the bottles with a regular x-acto knife? I don't have hot knife.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    sure, of course you could, but the hot knife just makes it easier..


    7 years ago on Step 11

    nice job and clear presentation, thx much.
    frankly, i only recycle heavy duty freezer ziplocs that had no animal products stored in them. now i can wash/sterilize them with your method. i'm thinking of using a heavy-duty plastic cutlery holder (a tall cup with holes), the type that restaurants use to store and wash silverware!

    like you, i fold them inside out too, wipe them with a clean towel, and repeat the process on the other side.

    according to Ziploc's instructions on the package, you can microwave or boil-in-bag food in the freezer type bags, but not in the sandwitch ones.

    the latter ones i just shake out for crumbs and use them in the garage for small hardware storage (bolts, nuts, etc.).

    your instructable inspired me to find a new use for my plastic silverware holder. thanks very much!