A 2010 study showed that 97% of shoppers have never washed their reusable bags. There are a few simple steps shoppers can follow to keep reusable bags clean and to keep themselves and their families safe from germs:
- Wash reusable shopping bags at least once per month:
- Cloth reusable bags should be washed in a washing machine using laundry detergent and dried in the dryer or air-dried.
- Plastic-lined reusable bags should be wiped using hot water and soap and air-dried.
- Check that both cloth and plastic-lined reusable bags are completely dry before storing them.
- Always put raw meats into a disposable plastic bag before putting them in a reusable bag.
- When using reusable bags, keep meats, fresh produce, and ready-to-eat foods separated from other food products.
- Additionally, consumers should clean any reusable bags used for carrying food before using for other purposes such as carrying books or gym clothes.