When was the last time you washed your reusable grocery shopping bags? If you are like most people, probably never! And if you think they would be pretty clean since they only carry groceries, you would be wrong. They can be a breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria.
Why are grocery bags dirty? First there is the obvious, that you might have meat or poultry leak. But excess water from vegetables, dirt from a box of food that a stocker dropped in the back warehouse, even when you set the grocery bags on the parking lot or garage floor – and then store those bags inside each other – are all things that get your bags far dirtier than you think. Ideally, you should have separate bags that are used for meat and poultry only, although sometimes that is easier said than done, especially if you aren’t paying attention to how they pack your groceries.
But how to wash those reusable grocery bags? The cloth or nylon style bags can be tossed in your washing machine on warm, and then hung to dry. It is best to hang them upside down (such as with clothespins) so water doesn’t get trapped inside and so they thoroughly dry.
For plastic reusable bags, you can scrub them with soap and hot water, or allow them to soak in a laundry tub or kitchen sink with hot soapy water, then give them a quick scrub and rinse. Hang to dry upside down.
Always ensure the bags are completely dry before folding and/or storing them.
It is recommended you wash your reusable shopping bags once a month.