Uses For Ziploc Bags


Ziploc bags have a zillion practical uses, not only for food storage (leftovers, etc..) but also for organizing, keeping things dry, and so on.. The following list of random practical uses for Ziploc bags will hopefully inspire ideas. Let’s hear from you too with your own uses for a Ziploc bag…


A Ziploc bag can be used for:

Storing leftover food (the intended purpose of a Ziploc bag)

Holding a map while hiking, to keep dry. Map folded in such a way to see the current terrain through the Ziploc bag.

Keeping tinder dry in your kit or in a pack while on the move, so as to facilitate an easier process of building a fire.

Holding a fire-starter, matches, lighter, etc.. to keep dry in kit or a pack.

Scooping and holding water (as a sealed cup), and/or using the SODIS process to purify.

Making a block of ice.

Keeping small portable electronic devices dry (e.g. cell phone).

Storing a roll of toilet paper for your emergency kit, or moist towelettes.

Storing a bunch of food bars for your kit.

Keeping extra cash dry.

Use as a funnel. Fill the bag with whatever you need funneled, and simply pour.

Keep fresh pair of socks, etc.. dry while on the go (in your pack).

Marinating your favorite meat.

Keeping medications dry.

There are so many ‘keep dry’ and ‘organize’ uses for Ziploc bags, but can you think of any additional unique uses with regards to preparedness, or your emergency kit, etc.. ?

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  1. I have used Ziploc bags for many of these things, but have never thought to use it to make a block of ice, or as a funnel. I will definitely have to give this a try.

    I like to pack my clothes in Ziploc bags when I’m camping to keep my clothes clean, and then I can use the bags once I wear the clothing. It’s always easy to find a use for a Ziploc bag.

  2. Ok Ken

    You made me think of the “old days” back in Southern California during the late 60s and early 70s buying organic “oregano” in a “four finger bag”. HAHAHA, best use ever of a zip lock bag. HAHAHA
    These days the uses are a lot different, one you might add is keeping your spent rounds/shells separated after a day at the range.


  3. Has anyone ever thought about putting a sandwich in the bag. It’s just the right size and the zip lock keeps it fresh until lunch. When I’m ready to eat my sandwich I “un zip” the bag and begin to eat my sandwich, which is a very good thing because I am usually very hungry by lunch time.

  4. Fill them with frosting, clip a small corner off and use to decorate cupcakes or other tasty things.

  5. Use them when I take reloaded rounds out to shoot , they make great ammo bags too . Be prepared and ready . Keep your powder dry .

  6. speaking of putting cell phones in there, I had a screen break on me when I was visiting people. darn touch screen makes it near impossible to use if the break is bad enough without risking injury (oh, how I miss actual buttons!).

    So I put it in a ziplock (& used a stylus). The ziplock kept the loose pieces of “glass” from roaming around & getting loose in my bag only to be found by my newly cut hand later on, but still allowed me to use it until I could afford to get it fixed!

  7. —Marinate food in – easy to keep flipping to coat evenly, great clean up, just chuck

    —Use Ziploc Bags with Your Vacuum Bagger
    (check on youtube, saw a video, and it worked well. The zip part was cut off and stuck down each
    Side, then inserted in vacuum sealer)

    —Make an Omelet in a Ziplock Bag (put eggs/spices in bag, drop bag in boiling water, remove after cooked)

    —Put one part instant rice in bag, two parts boiling water, makes rice in bag

    —if you get your cell phone wet, put rice in bag, put cell phone in, put more rice in, seal. the rice absorbs the moisture, saves the phone

  8. Way back when I would drive 2000 miles in 2 1/2 days with Wife and kids in the Summer to visit the folks I would put a wet wash cloth in ziplock and stash it in the cooler. Then in the heat of the day or the sleepy night I could pull it out, unpolluted, and wash my face and neck. My air conditioner back then was 2-55. Thats 2 windows down at 55 mph.

  9. The “freezer” size or larger zip lock bags can be filled with air, zipped up and used as a temporary pillow. Of course you should cover it with a towel or piece of clothing. Ultra-lite backpackers use this on the trail and it actually works pretty well.

  10. The wife has numerous electronic Christmas ornaments, toys and decorations that are battery powered. Each year I take the batteries out and use the multi-meter on them. 1.3 to 1.4 volts go into the useable baggie. 1.4 to 1.49 volts go into the bag marked good. 1.5 volts of higher go into toe like new bag. Useable would be for things like the TV remotes. Good ones for anything else. New ones for critical applications. Below 1.3 volts go to the recycle box at Home Depot.

    Pointy edges can be placed in an old sock and will keep the item from wearing through the baggie. for a more permanent seal try putting it through the food sealer without the vacuum.

    There are on line suppliers that sell heavy duty bags that are worth looking into.
    Ken, maybe you could do an article on food sealers and their numerous uses?

  11. I used clear water in a new Ziploc bag to make a fire by using a bright sun and a full bag of water in a concave shape. It acts as a magnifying glass using water to make fire. It can be done with freezing a Ziploc bag of ice without bubbles, and taking out the ice to shape it into a concave piece of ice as a lens, making fire with ice.

    I think I posted it before….

  12. I can’t believe you guys left out zip lock omelets!

    Two eggs in a zip lock FREEZER quart bag. Gotta be the freezer or it won’t be heavy enough. Do this at home before you go camping, that way you don’t have a mess. Make as many bags as your group will individually need. Take fixin’s in separate bags.

    Boil water in a medium size pan or kettle large enough to hold a full quart bag. Add fixens to taste — easy to customize each person’s omelet this way– cheese, mushrooms, peppers, bacon, whatever. mix ’em up and drop one bag at a time into the boiling water for about 3 minutes each (google it and double check me on the time).

    You can pull the zip lock omelets out, let them cool for a few minutes and pass ’em out with plastic forks. Eat ’em right outtta the bag! When it’s empty — dishes are done! Gotta love it.


  13. You bet. It’s just something different to do while camping. Kind of like “hobo potatoes” in foil on the campfire. Good times!

  14. Walmart (and others) sell silicone ice cube trays, 6 two inch cubes per tray. Each tray will hold two large eggs, beaten (as in scrambled). A quart Ziplock freezer bag will hold 6 frozen “egg cubes”.

    Hefty makes 2 1/2 gallon ziplock bags. These are great for field dissasembly of guns or other small equipment. Use paper clamps to hold the center of the top shut, leaving just enough room for your hands. You can see what you’re doing and (probably) won’t lose any springs or small parts.

  15. I fill up hundreds of them with helium and then put them in a large trash bag that is hooked up to a harness that I put on and when the wind is right I can make it to the beach a lot faster than driving.

    Humor is a must in times like this. But I don’t mean my attempt at it to belittle this article or forum, both of which are very, very good and helpful. So here is my serious contribution, although it is more about vacuum seal bags, it might work with zip-loc. Do you make sauerkraut? If so you know you have to keep the cabbage submerged in the brine as any exposure to air will cause mold to form and give it a yucky taste. Try this: chop up your cabbage very fine (I use a food processor) and pack it in the vac bag with the salt tossed in the bottom of the bag (I use 1 TBSP sea salt per lb of cabbage) and quickly vac seal it (in a one gallon bag for 2 lbs of cabbage). Allow enough room to seal it a second time after drying off any liquid that might’ve passed the seal. The bag will be as tight as a drum skin but after several minutes the water extraction process will begin, gas will be given off and everything will loosen up. Then you can roll a wine bottle over it to flatten the contents out which will also circulate the salt brine. If I tried this in a zip-loc bag I’d use the heavier duty double lock type.

  16. internet search phrase “fermenting in a vacuum sealed bag” yielded results of somebody already doing this at ‘ben the urban farmer (no spaces, dot com)’
    Again, thanks for expressing your concern as it resulted in me researching it.

  17. Depending on the size and ammount of air you can lace the line through the top handle part of the bag.

  18. We always used the freezer bags to cook omelets in boiling water. The new thiner ones melt in the water. Really bad and ruined a party. Bring back the old ones.

    1. I am very disappointed with the quality of today’s Ziploc bags. They have noticeably changed for the worse – like just about everything else… Cheaper, cheaper, cheaper.

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