Small Plastic Bags: 20 Super-Handy Uses
Not just for toting lunch, these handy items are helpful to have around the kitchen and home.
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 in the drawer.
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.
Create single-use detergent packs.
If you’re planning a trip and think you’ll be doing a
few loads of laundry while you’re there, pre-measure some detergent
into a bag. It beats lugging a big box of detergent down to the shore or on
an airplane, or buying expensive travel-size bottles.
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 funneled. Snip off the end and transfer into the needed container. Then just toss the bag when the funneling is done.
Color cookie dough without stained hands.
Experienced bakers know what a mess your hands can be after coloring
cookie dough. Here’s a clean idea: Place your prepared dough in a bag,
add the drops of food coloring, and squish around until the color is
uniform. You can use the dough now or stick it in the freezer ready to
roll out when you need it.
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.
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.
Melt chocolate without a mess.
Melting chocolate in a microwave or double boiler leaves you with a messy bowl or pot to wash. Here’s a better method: Warm some water in a pan (do not boil). Place the chocolate you want to melt in a sealable freezer bag. Seal and place the bag in the pan. In a few moments, you have melted chocolate, ready to bake or decorate with. You can even leave the bag sealed and snip off a bottom corner of the bag to pipe the chocolate onto a cake. When you are done, just toss the bag.