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Jan 23, 2014 05:57 AM

How do you dry plastic bags after you wash them?

I'm asking in cookware, assuming I'll need to buy something...
I prefer to reuse plastic bags, but haven't figured out a good method for drying them. For most everything else, if it doesn't go in the dishwasher, can either stack so it airdrys, or dry myself and put away. Plastic bags get wadded up and don't dry well. I find myself hanging them from the faucet or cabinet knobs.... Any ideas? Thanks!

(PS: I did a search, didn't see anything related.)

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  1. Washing plastic bags? Grandma, is that you on Chowhound? Still have that drawer full of wire twisties?

    13 Replies
    1. re: BiscuitBoy

      HAHA, I was gonna say "Hey ma, when didja get a computer, how long you been a hound, and pretty sexy handle, "mselectra"!

      Yeah, my mother reuses and reuses and reuses ziploc bags.
      I *think* she washes them only one at a time. I saw the bag placed OVER the spigot of the sink to drip and dry.

      1. re: BiscuitBoy

        Hey, my late mom washed plastic straws. Yuck, I always brought my own to her house.

        Loved your response, BB!!

          1. re: breadchick

            yes, ick -- although probably not any rational/scientific/hygienic reason it's actually icky? I can't imagine using plastic straws often enough to even think of this -- I bet they're more common in households with little kids, right?

            1. re: mselectra

              Straws in alcoholic drinks are prohibited here, supposedly bugs lay eggs in them because they sit so long. That's enough to make me not a fan of straws in general. My husband on the other hand likes them, I think something to do with his teeth sensitivity.

              1. re: mselectra

                Yes, my mother had them for milkshakes for the grandchildren, and my sister loves ice in her soda but not the feeling of the ice against her teeth. Stuff like that.

                In my house, I keep the NEW straws in a ziplock bag, so no worry about bugs. And I don't re-use them, ha.

                (I like black straws, so bought some in bulk online.)

              2. re: breadchick

                Yep my mom washed disposable straws too.

                Growing up everyone I knew washed ziplocs. Now, mind you, not that anyone in my family actually purchased ziplocs, they were way too expensive but if one came into the house, it was washed and reused until it feel apart.

                I remember someone saying they used chopsticks in a mug as a drying tree.

                I do catch myself saving good/clean ziplocs for another use and it always reminds me of my grandmother. I don't however, wash them. My OCD husband would have a fit if he came home to bags drying in the kitchen.

              3. re: BiscuitBoy

                I laughed, but the truth is every once in a while I wish I had a wire twistie lying around. :-)

                1. re: nokitchen

                  If you can power up the way back machine, there was an entire shoe box full of new ties in my parent's house.

                  1. re: nokitchen

                    That's what the junk drawer is for in the kitchen. ;) Also elastics, scissors, thinGs of that nature...

                    1. re: kattyeyes

                      Ha! We didn't have a junk drawer, we had a junk BOX, so great was my father's hoarding ability/problem and there was at least scissors in there.

                  2. re: BiscuitBoy

                    Some plastic bags are hard to replace. There was a thread yesterday on how hard it is to find non-zipperlock bags, and I baby along a few bread-loaf-size bags that I couldn't replace. I wash them in hot soapy water, rinse them under running water, and put them on a three-bar folding towel rack I have in my shower stall. They dry there quickly. I don't repurpose bags that have had meat in them. Ziplock bags are everywhere and easy to replace---no need to save them. But the bread size ones are wonderful for home-baked loaves---and irreplaceable.

                  3. Turn them inside out and air dry...but I like Biscuit's reply more :)

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: HillJ

                      Well, yes, I do that -- it just gets cluttered and they get wadded up. I saw a sort of tree thing for drying them at a store once, so maybe I should search around to figure out what that was...

                      I'm actually shocked that you all assume you're only going to use them once and throw them out. Seems pretty wasteful to me, didn't realize that was so common. I'm trying to cut down on use of plastic altogether... But not exactly my most pressing concern at the moment, I admit. And I swear I don't have too many twisties in the drawer....

                      But I guess I should ask my grandmother for advice, as I know she reuses them too, ;)

                      1. re: mselectra

                        I only reuse the plastics that didn't contain wet or refrigerated foods. Like wrapped snacks, dry cereal. I'm more concerned about the odor..which isn't always easy to remove.

                        1. re: HillJ

                          If it's not meat I'll often repurpose it. I rinse (don't go crazy) and hang to dry on a wooden spoon or grater or whatever vertical thing on the counter first catches my eye. This time of year, with the heat on, it dries in a jiffy.

                          1. re: coll

                            Coll -- this has basically been my method. I'm thinking my issue is having such a small kitchen and counter -- I don't usually leave anything out on it at all at night, so a couple bags make it feel cluttered to me.

                            1. re: mselectra

                              The older I get, the more clutter I can live with. But I understand if it's not for you!

                              1. re: coll

                                There's a lot of clutter in the rest of my life, but something about that clean kitchen counter in the morning makes me feel like life's not totally out of control - ha!

                                1. re: mselectra

                                  I know that feeling, when I occasionally wake up to a sparkling clean kitchen ;-)

                          2. re: HillJ

                            if it's dry stuff, I tend to just shake them out and not wash, so that's easy. Haven't had issues with odor that I've noticed, but if it's too stinky or slimy, I'll toss.

                          3. re: mselectra

                            I'm not a grandma, but I reuse them too, if they've held frozen bagels or something like that that won't contaminate the bag. I have my knives in a large wooden knife block. I will hook the bag onto the handle ends of a few knives sticking out of the block, and they dry pretty quickly that way.

                            I save the wire twist ties too. I *hate* those little square plastic thingies that they use to close packages of bread now. Once you take it off, it's near impossible to get it back on w/o breaking it.

                            1. re: HeyImBack

                              I don't like the square plastic thingies either. I save twist ties and rubber bands. There are so many times when one saves the day!

                        2. Here's a DIY drying rack. I would make it tall so you have airflow underneath.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: zackly

                            I like that one. I found some other DIYs, too -- here's a post from apartmenttherapy:

                            1. re: zackly

                              After I looked up the link, I pulled out an old glass flower frog that resembles the linked object, stuck some chopsticks in it, and put a wet plastic bag over a chopstick. It needs to be taller for the bag in question, so maybe some skewers or dowels would be better. Or a variety of heights.

                              1. re: sr44

                                There you go! Take the frog with you if you're going to shop for dowels, to make sure they'll fit in the holes. Or else be prepared to do a bit of whittling...

                                1. re: ellabee

                                  I can't tell you how excited I am with this. Somehow I've acquired a number of these frogs which have some use as pencil holders, but not much.

                                  1. re: sr44

                                    OK, so a bit off-topic: I love the old flower frogs made of lead. I use them for bunches of peonies because the flower heads are so large and wonderful. Keeps them in place.

                                    So, how soon do I want Spring???? I am sooo over this cold weather.

                                    To keep it on topic - I would use straws over the spikes in the frogs, that might work too?

                                    1. re: breadchick

                                      Sure. My frogs are glass or ceramic, and I've been trying to find a new use for them. Pencil holder is as good as I've got, until the blinding flash that they could be used to dry plastic bags. I've had a few chopsticks in a jar, which worked pretty well, but not as well as the frog.

                            2. How about a pasta dryer? Usually has wood prongs for hanging pasta, so you can insert a bag in the prong?


                              1 Reply
                              1. re: breadchick

                                great idea! And cost less than the paper bag racks I found on amazon.

                              2. I have several empty (and clean) wine bottles beside my drying rack, and I shake out the just-washed bag, and put it upside down on a wine bottle. Air can circulate, and the bag is dry within a day. (Glad to know I'm not the only one who reuses bags!!)

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: hungryjoanne

                                  I've used wine (and other) bottles, too -- as I've often just washed them out, too, to prep for recycling.