Practical Secrets for Plastic Bags | Reader's Digest

Practical Secrets for Plastic Bags

These everyday items are useful all-around -- and cost next to nothing!

from Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things

Store extra baby wipes

Shopping at the warehouse grocer, you picked up a jumbo box of baby wipes at a great price. You’ve got enough wipes to last for several months, as long as they don’t dry out before you can use them. To protect your good investment, keep the opened carton of wipes in a plastic bag sealed with a twist tie.

Collect clothes for thrift shop

If you’re constantly setting aside clothes to give to charity, but then find them back in your closet or drawers, try this solution: Hang a large garbage bag in your closet. That way, the next time you find something you want to give, you just toss it in the bag. Once it’s full, you can take it to the local donation center. Don’t forget to hang a new bag in the closet.

Cover clothes for storage

You’d like to protect that seersucker suit for next season. Grab a large, unused garbage bag. Slit a hole in the top and push the hanger through for an instant dustcover.

Store your skirts

If you find you have an overstuffed closet but plenty of room to spare in your dresser, conduct a clothes transfer. Roll up your skirts and place them each in a plastic bag. That will help them stay wrinkle-free until you’re ready to wear one.

Keep purses in shape

Ever notice that if you’ve changed purses and leave an empty one in your closet, it deflates and loses its shape? Fill your purse with plastic bags to retain its original shape.

Tip: Storing Plastic Bags

All those shopping bags are spilling out of the utility drawer in your kitchen. Here are some better ways to store them:

  • Stuff them inside an empty tissue box for easy retrieval.
  • Poke a bunch down a cardboard tube, such as a paper towel or mailing tube or even a section of a carpet tube.
  • Fill a clean, empty gallon (4-liter) plastic jug. Cut a 4-inch (10-centimeter) hole in the bottom. Stuff with bags and hang by its handle on a hook. Pull the bags out of the spout.
  • Make a bag “sock.” Fold a kitchen towel lengthwise with the wrong side facing out. Stitch the long edges together. Sew 1/2-inch (1.25-centimeter) casings around the top and bottom openings and thread elastic through them, securing the ends. Turn the sock right side out, sew a loop of ribbon or string on the back to hang it up, stuff bags into the top opening, and pull them out from the bottom one.

Protect hand when cleaning toilet

When cleaning your toilets with a long-handled brush or a shorter tool, first wrap your hand in a used plastic bag. You’ll be able to do the appropriate scrubbing without your hand getting dirty in the process.

Prevent steel wool from rusting

A few days ago you got a new steel wool pad to clean a dirty pot. Now that steel pad is sitting useless in its own pool of rust. Next time, when you’re not using the pad, toss it into a plastic bag where it won’t rust and you’ll be able to use it again.

Line the litter box

Nobody likes to change the cat’s litter box. Make the job quick and easy by lining the box with an open plastic bag before pouring in the litter. Use two bags if you think one is flimsy. When it’s time to change the litter, just remove the bags, tie, and throw into the trash.