BY STEVE FISHER
DO YOU THINK of resealable bags as just
another way to store food? If so, you’re not
getting the full value of your purchase.
There are lots of other suggestions for use,
such as office organization or helping your
kids and grandkids keep their toys together.
(You don’t want to end up with a Lego
embedded in your foot.)
But storage is only the tip of the resealable bag iceberg. Here are some ways to
maximize their potential.
Kimberly Danger’s website, Mommysavers (
mommysavers.com/uses-for-ziploc-bags), includes these nifty ideas.
Tablet protector in the kitchen. Prevent
spills that will ruin your iPad or Galaxy Tab
by placing it in a gallon-size bag and sealing
it. The device’s touch screen should still
work through the plastic, and you can follow
recipes without destroying the device.
Knead dough. Use the bag like a glove
and knead your dough. This will prevent
your hands from getting sticky and may
even help to simplify cleanup.
Car mirror protectors. When the weather
is frigid or snow’s on the way, put plastic
Costco warehouses and Costco.com carry
a wide assortment of reseable bags, including gallon, quart, sandwich and snack sizes.
bags over your sideview mirrors. In the
morning, simply slide off the bags, and
you won’t have to waste time scraping off
Piping frosting. Fill a bag with frosting,
seal it and cut off the tip of a corner to
create a cake-decorating bag. Of course,
you still need a deft touch and patience to
do a good job.
Wax or gum remover. Fill a bag with
ice, seal it and lay it on top of the candle
wax or gum. When the wax or gum hardens,
scrape it off.
Diaper disposal. Babies are awesome—
except for one thing. You know of what I
speak. Keep a couple of bags in your diaper
bag for those nasty-smelling dirty diapers
and seal them before tossing in the trash
when you’re out and about.
Do-it-yourself sachet bag. Fill a small
plastic bag with your favorite potpourri or
dried lavender. Take a sewing needle, poke
tiny holes in the bag and put it in a drawer
or closet for a fresh whiff of paradise.
From Bob Vila
Bob Vila has some great tips on his website (
Paintbrush keeper. You’ve finally gotten
around to painting the living room and, just
as you get deep into it, the doorbell or phone
rings. Instead of leaving the brush to
dry, leading to a messy cleanup, wasted
paint and wasted time and money, put the
brush in a plastic bag, seal it and place it
in the freezer. When you’re ready to get
back to work, take it out and let it sit for 15
minutes to thaw and you’ll never know
Oil-change cleanup. If you’re one of those
handy do-it-yourselfers who likes to do their
own oil change, you probably know that
disposing of the used oil may be the worst
part of the job. You can’t just throw it away;
it has to be recycled. And it’s not just the
liquid that pours out of your oil pan; the filter
tends to retain a bunch of oil, as much as 8
ounces. Place the used oil filter in a plastic
bag and take it to a local garage where they
can remove the oil and recycle it safely.
Clean caulking. Bathroom caulking is a
messy task, especially when it comes to
keeping the lines straight. Using a quart-size bag, place your finger inside, moisten
the outside and run your finger along the
caulk to smooth it out.
Unclogging shower heads. Shower running slowly? You’ve probably got a limescale
problem. Fill a plastic bag with vinegar,
place it over the shower head and secure it
with rubber bands or string. Let it sit overnight. The next day, run the shower to clear
it out and it should work like new.
The versatility of these handy bags is
amazing. So don’t just toss them in the trash
after you eat that sandwich; wash and reuse
them. With these tips and more, they can
have a long life—outside landfills. C