How to Clean Lunch Bags

How do you keep your lunch bags clean?

how to clean lunch bagsWe send our kids to school each day with a deliciously packed lunch. All nice and neat, packed up in their containers. Inevitably, things spill and leak, or some items don’t get finished and the lid doesn’t quite make it back on all the way, so the lunch bag takes the abuse.

One of my biggest pet peeves is a sticky lunch bag. Yuck! So we’ve put together these tips for cleaning your lunch bags both daily and weekly in an effort to keep the germs away and your sanity intact.

I know your kid’s lunch boxes are coming home dirty—and hopefully empty! If you need more ideas to fill your kid’s lunch boxes, MOMables can certainly help you out! We offer an amazing weekly meal plan that gives you everything you need to know to pack a healthy and fun lunch!

Most, not all, insulated lunch bags can be machine-washed. This is something I do on a weekly basis. Usually Friday evening, I toss them right in on a gentle cycle, with cold water and a mild detergent, and they come out nice and clean. For drying, some are best to let air dry. Others hold up perfectly on a delicate cycle through the dryer. I love starting the week with a clean and fresh lunch bag.

First and foremost, make sure to read the tags/labels thoroughly on each bag for their recommended care.

Tip: I wash mine separately or with our “old rags” load of laundry. I don’t recommend washing them with delicate fabrics or knits. The heavy zippers on the lunch bags could cause damage.

Another way to wash your lunch bags is by hand. Start by filling your sink with warm water and a small amount of dish detergent mixed in. Wipe both the interior and exterior with a sponge or cloth. The best way to rinse it is by using a cloth that is dampened with clean water. Then pat it dry with a towel, and allow it to dry completely by air. I will sometimes lay it out, open and upside down in my dish strainer to allow it to dry overnight. 

So what about the quick and easy, daily spot cleanings?

The quickest and simplest solution are antibacterial wipes. This is a handy way to kill germs on the spot and tidy up their lunch bag.

Another great idea is to keep a natural cleaner on hand in a spray bottle. Vinegar works wonders! My go-to solution around my house is to mix equal parts vinegar and water in a bottle. It both disinfects and deodorizes. If you’re worried about the vinegar smell, don’t worry! It disappears when it dries. 

Chief Mom, Laura, keeps a handy bottle of equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water at her home. Hydrogen peroxide is considered the safest all-natural effective sanitizer.

Whichever you prefer, or a store-bought all-natural cleaning spray, just spray the lunch bag and wipe clean with a cloth or sponge.

Keep their bellies full and their lunch bags tidy with these helpful cleaning tips!

Recipes You May Also Like

About Keeley McGuire

Keeley is our resident allergy friendly contributor. She is a full-time working mom to one little girl who loves her homemade lunches. In her personal blog, KeeleyMcGuireBlog, she shares her gluten free and peanut free recipes, her love for her crockpot, and the occasional craft.