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What to Do With Plastic Bags, 10 Practical Things

We all have a stash of leftover grocery bags somewhere in our home.  Sometimes we seem to collect them faster than we can store them or use them again. Therefore, it’s important to find other uses of plastic bags other than just carting food home from the grocery stores.

Wondering what I can I do with all of those plastic bags?  Here are 10 things you can do with plastic grocery bags around your house.

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usesof plastic bags

Upcycled Plastic Bags, Easy DIY Tips

Here are super easy DIY tips to upcycle your plastic bags.  I say we are Upcycling since we are giving your plastic bags a whole new life!

Preserving paint brushes and paint rollers mid-job

Sometimes when people start painting a room they don’t anticipate how much time it will actually take to finish the job. If you reach this point in your own painting job, take your wet paint brushes and rollers and wrap them in individual grocery bags and tie them tightly around the wet part.

You may also use tape to seal them. After they are sealed tight, place them in the fridge for the night and get back to the job in the morning. This way, you don’t have to spend an hour rinsing the same brushes and rollers you are just going to use again the next time you go to paint.

However, you obviously don’t want to wait a week to use the brush or roller again with this trick.

cat cleanup

Upcycle plastic bags for animal poop and puke pickup!

OK we know this is gross, but it is one of those things that must be talked about when it comes to what to do with plastic bags. There’s nothing worse than waking up in the morning to a pile of dog poop or cat puke on the floor!

Or really any time of the day as a matter of fact. One tried and true way to pick up the nasty stuff without having to actually touch it is with a grocery bag. Grab a bag and place your hand inside of it.

With your hand still in the bag pick up the yucky stuff and pull it through the bag so as your hand exits the open end the item you picked up remains in the bag itself. This also works great with mouse traps or sticky bug traps too!

While you may still need to do some cleanup with paper towels or bleach wipes, at least you aren’t stuck with picking up the nasty part with your bare hands.

Sealing dirty diapers smells with plastic bags

There seems to be an evolution parents seem to go through with diaper disposal. From the diaper genie to those good smelling individual scented bags to just tossing the diaper itself in the garbage can.

While I’ve done all of these things as a parent of two young children, I’ve found sealing dirty diapers, in particular, poopy ones, in a grocery bag is a good way to contain the yucky smell without having to spend the extra dough on the scented bags. Heck, you can even fit a few diapers in one grocery bags if you really want to be practical about it.

plastic bag in garbage can

Grocery bags as small garbage can liners 

Most bathrooms have tiny trash cans and also tend to have pretty gross stuff tossed into them. One easy way to empty the household trash cans is to line them all with grocery bags.

To recycle a grocery bag for this purpose, simply place the bags in the empty can and hang it over the side, and you’ve turned in into one of those smaller, but more expensive garbage bagss.  When the can is full tie the handles of the bag together and toss it into the trash bin.

Litter box liner

Plastic grocery bags can easily be recycled by cutting them to size to line the inside of just about any litter pan. With smaller pans, the bags may not even need to be cut at all. Simply place the bag into the bag and tuck it around the edge of the pan as you would as if you were placing a trash bag into a trash can.

If it doesn’t quite fit, cut a slit on the top of the bag opposite of where the handles are. This is an easy and economical way to make changing your cat’s little quick and efficient.

Under plunger guard

Nobody wants to use the plunger, but it’s something we all have to do from time to time (especially if we have kids). Most of the time the wet plunger is placed back on the bathroom floor after use.  The thought of this is pretty gross when you think about it.

One idea would be to keep a few grocery bags in the bathroom cabinet so that after you use the plunger you can place the wet end into the grocery bag and set it back on the floor. This way any water that is leftover on the plunger will fall into the bag and not onto your kitchen floor.

Once the plunger is dry, go ahead and recycle that grocery bag.

DIY Package/Packing padding

Anytime you need to either pack away items into the attic or pack something to ship, it may require you to surround the item to have some extra padding around it.  Grocery bags are an inexpensive way to pad breakable items without breaking the band!

Simply place the fragile item into the box you plan to use and stuff as many grocery bags around the item as you can manage. They will keep your item safe for the journey ahead or packed away nice and safely for the next time you may need to use it.

Then these wraps can be recycled at their destination, or upcycled once more!

Winter boot liners with plastic bags

When I was a child and used to spend long winter days at my grandparents’ house when we’d go to visit, my grandmother always gave us kids either empty bread or grocery bags to put on over our socks before putting our boots on.

After we had the bag on our feet we’d tie rubber bands around our ankles (not too tight as to cut off circulation) and then pull your boot over the bags. This would help with keeping the snow out of our boots while we were outside playing in the snow for hours.

Save plastic bags for yard sales

Some people have several yard sales throughout the warmer weather months. It’s a great way to make some extra cash and get rid of unwanted items. One use for all of your leftover grocery bags, is to save them for items your yard sale customers purchase.

This way you are getting rid of the bag and the purchaser doesn’t have to carry everything by hand. Upcycling at it’s finest!

Really simple lunch bags

This one may not work quite as well for little kids who adore their favorite lunch box, but for your teens or other adults in your household, this might be a good option to make their lunch portable.

Once they are done eating it, they can simply recycle the plastic bag or reuse it again the next day.

If you were wondering what to do with plastic bags from the grocery store, I hope you have some ideas!  That pile of Target and ShopRite bags can be given new life, and is incredibly useful!

10 Alternative Uses of Plastic Bags

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