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Why I invented Bag-E-Wash

Back in 1995, I was a busy mom with three small children and (of course) daily food storage needs. I was doing what I could to save money and help the planet by washing and reusing food storage bags—a task that’s neither quick nor easy.

The dishwasher was useless. No matter what I tried, the bags came out filled with rinse water or with food particles stuck in the corners. Or worse, they’d fall down into the heating coil and melt (and stink!).

Washing by hand was not only time-consuming, it took up space as well: after scrubbing out the tiny corners of each bag, I’d hang them all over my kitchen to dry—on wooden spoons, on the kitchen window plants, even over the bottle of dish soap.

What was an earth-conscious mom to do? I didn’t want to add more plastic to the landfill. One day I asked my handyman husband to invent something to solve my plastic bag problem. Like a good husband, he said, “Sure, honey,” and a short seven years later, designed Bag-E-Wash™. Today, I use it with every dishwasher cycle—no more tedious hand-washing or wet, limp plastic bags decorating my kitchen!

I guess good things are worth the wait!

Jeannie L. Piekos


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Bag-E-Wash made of?
A: Nylon with some recycled nylon included. The amount of recycled nylon grows as production grows. We are also investigating a totally recycled nylon for future productions.

Q: How many times can a freezer style bag be washed?
A: We have washed our test bags more than 50 times each. They are still in usage but we have quit counting.

Q: Can’t plastic bags be recycled?
A: Most metropolitan recycling programs do not at this time recycle plastic bags. A July 2002 EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) report stated that Americans discarded more than 3.3 million tons of low and high density polyethylene bags in 2000. Of those 3.3 million tons only 5.4% were recovered and recycled.

Q: Why are plastic food storage bags such an environmental issue?
A: While plastic food storage bags are a great convenience, the “use and toss” mentality is very bad for the environment. America produces 10 pounds of plastic bags per year for every person on earth! That’s a lot of plastic bags. However, Bag-E-Wash can make a huge dent in the number of bags that wind up in the landfills. One box (30) of gallon size bags washed and dried with Bag-E- Wash™ and reused 50 times each keeps 1,500 bags out of the landfill!

Q: Are there any other environmental factors to consider besides the garbage issue?
A: Yes! Plastic bags are among the “dirty dozen” – the top 12 items most often found in coastal cleanups. Marine mammals, seabirds and sea turtles become entangled in bags or mistake them for food which then causes an obstruction and they starve to death. Email Us

Q: What about biodegradable bags – aren’t they an environmental option?
A: Certainly biodegradable bags are better than using regular polyethylene bags and just tossing them out, however, there are serious problems with those bags as well. Pieces of the bags often end up in oceans as well and aquatic animals mistake them for food, too. Again this will cause an obstruction and result in starvation.

Q: The environmental factors are important but I am also concerned with the cost. How much money can Bag-E-Wash™ save me?
A: Remember our calculation of one box (30) of gallon size bags washed and dried with Bag-E-Wash™ and reused 50 times each keeps 1,500 bags out of the landfill? Well it also saves the consumer $150.00. Since a Bag-E-Wash™ only costs about $10.00 that is quite a savings.

Q: I am concerned about toxins leaching into my food from plastics. Do you know if this happens with food storage bags?
Seventh Generation prints a newsletter called Non-Toxic Times. In their May 2003 issue they wrote about this very problem. You can see the actual article at www.seventhgeneration.com (click on sign up for free Non-Toxic Times, then click on newsletter archives and look it up by date). They reported a whole list of brand name containers and bags that have been found not to leach toxins into food. These included Glad and Hefty Food Storage bags.
For more information on plastics and leaching click here

Q: I forgot to reduce the size of the blue loops and put a pot over them and they went through the dishwasher and now they are misshapen. What can I do?
A: Simply run them through the dishwasher again with the bands reduced to their shortest length. If they go through a whole cycle (use the heated dry cycle as well) without anything on them they should be as good as new.

Q: I didn’t assemble my Bag-E-Wash™ correctly and now I have thrown the directions away.
A: Please see Assembly and Use Instructions on this website.

Q: The corners of the large bags sometimes fold over in the dishwasher and hold water.
A: With one looped band going up into each corner, make an indent in the middle of the bag so that the corners point straight up. See pictures in Assembly and Use Instructions.


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Contact Information. Minneaoplis, MN - phone 612-532-1407

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