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13 Clever Uses for Resealable Bags You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner

They're not just for toting lunch!

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plastic bag uses life hacks reusable recycleGetty Images, Alaina DiGiacomo/rd.com

Create a cedar closet

Cedar closets smell great, and, more important, they repel moths. If you aren’t lucky enough to have a cedar closet, you can easily create the next best thing. Fill a sealable bag with cedar chips—the kind you buy at a pet store for the hamster cage. Zip it closed, then punch several small holes in it. Hang the bag in your closet (a pants hanger is handy for this) and let the cedar smell do its work. You can also create a sachet to freshen up musty drawers. Fill the bag with potpourri—flower petals, a few crushed fragrant leaves, and a couple of drops of aromatic oil. Punch a bunch of small holes in the bag, then place it in the drawer.

Dealing with a smelly pet or can’t stand the smell of fresh paint? Look no further than your kitchen to keep annoying odours at bay.

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shoe form plastic bag usesGetty Images, Alaina DiGiacomo/rd.com

Make a DIY shoe form

Even if you don’t have your own shoe forms, you don’t have to worry about your shoes losing their shape when you aren’t wearing them. Crumple up some plastic bags to stuff the toes of your off-season shoes with and they’ll be just like you left them when you pick them back up.

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plastic bag uses life hacksGetty Images, Alaina DiGiacomo/rd.com

Cool off (and clean up) outside

Going for a long trip on a hot and sticky day? Use a sealable bag to take along a wet washcloth that has been soaked in water and lemon juice—it makes a great refreshing wipe-off. This is a good trick for fast on-the-road face and hand cleanups. Another great option is to freeze a few washcloths in a sealable bag; they provide fast relief for anything from bumps and scrapes to burns and tooth pain.

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funnel plastic bag uses life hacks reusableGetty Images, Alaina DiGiacomo/rd.com

Make a funnel

That handiest of kitchen and garage tools, the funnel, can be replicated easily with a small sandwich bag. Fill the bag with the contents you need to be funneled. Snip off the end and transfer into the needed container. Then just toss the bag when the funneling is done.

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reusable plastic bag frozen padlockGetty Images, Alaina DiGiacomo/rd.com

Protect your padlocks from freezing

When the weather is cold enough to freeze your padlocks on the outdoor shed or garage, remember that a sandwich bag can help. Slip one over the lock and you’ll avoid frozen tumblers.

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marshmallowGetty Images, Alaina DiGiacomo/rd.com

Soften hard marshmallows

You’re about to pull out that bag of marshmallows from your kitchen cabinet when you notice that the once-fluffy puffs have turned hard as rocks. Warm some water in a pan. Place the marshmallows in a sealable plastic bag, seal, and place in the pan. The warmth will soften them up in no time.

Save time prepping food and make cooking easier with these other cooking hacks.

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bird seed plastic bag usesGetty Images, Alaina DiGiacomo/rd.com

Feed the birds

Be kind to the birds in your yard during the lean winter months! First, put some birdseed with peanut butter in a sealable plastic bag. Close, then knead the outside of the bag until well mixed. Then place the glob in a small net bag, or spread on a pinecone. Attach to a tree and await the grateful flock.

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cookies hands kids plastic bag uses life hacks reusableGetty Images, Alaina DiGiacomo/rd.com

Kid’s kitchen gloves

There’s nothing more welcome than helping hands in the kitchen. But when they’re little hands that tend to get dirty and leave prints all over the place, then something must be done. Before they start “helping” you make those chocolate chip cookies, place small sandwich bags over their hands. These instant gloves are disposable for easy clean-up.

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sandy hand plastic bag uses life hacks reusableGetty Images, Alaina DiGiacomo/rd.com

Create a beach hand cleaner

You’re sitting on the beach and it’s time for lunch. But before you reach into your cooler, you want to get the grit off your hands. Baby powder in a sealable plastic bag is the key. Place your hands in the bag, then remove them and rub them together. The sand is gone.

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car sick plastic bag uses life hacks reusableGetty Images, Alaina DiGiacomo/rd.com

Cure car sickness

The last thing you need in your car is a child (or adult) throwing up. Place a few cotton balls in a sealable plastic bag, then squirt in two drops of lavender oil. If motion sickness strikes, open the bag and take a few whiffs to feel better.

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baby wipes plastic bags uses reusableGetty Images, Alaina DiGiacomo/rd.com

Make low-cost baby wipes

Borrow the thrifty parents’ method to make your own baby wipes: Place soft paper towels in a sealable bag with a mixture of 1 tablespoon gentle antibacterial soap, 1 teaspoon baby oil, and 1/3 cup water. Use enough of the mixture just to get the wipes damp, not drenched.

Don’t miss these other genius uses for baby wipes!

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waterbowl dog plastic bag uses reusable life hacksGetty Images, Alaina DiGiacomo/rd.com

Use as a portable water dish

Your furry best friend has happily hiked alongside you during your trek in the great outdoors. Even if you don’t have your own portable water bowl, you can make your own with a plastic bag. Bring along a sealable plastic bag full of water from your pack and hold it open while Buddy laps his fill.

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plastic bag uses heirloom reusable life hacksGetty Images, Alaina DiGiacomo/rd.com

Protect your breakables

There’s a precious small family heirloom or trinket that needs some extra padding when storing. Place it gently in a self-closing bag, close the bag most of the way, blow it up with air, then seal it. The air forms a protective cushion around the memento.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest