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How To Disinfect Reusable Bags During COVID-19

Patch logo Patch 5/29/2020 Alessia Grunberger
a close up of a flag: Here's how to disinfect and clean reusable bags, according to Montgomery County officials. © Fiona Goodall/Getty Images Here's how to disinfect and clean reusable bags, according to Montgomery County officials.

ROCKVILLE, MD — If you use reusable shopping bags for grocery runs, make sure you're disinfecting them on a regular basis, Montgomery County officials say.

Not all supermarkets let customers bring in their own reusable bags. And the ones that do usually ask shoppers to bag their own groceries.

In a bid to minimize the spread of COVID-19, Councilmember Will Jawando and the county's Department of Environmental Protection have issued guidance on cleaning nylon, cloth, and plastic bags.

"All of us are looking to maintain social distancing, but front-line workers need even greater protections from the possibility of virus transmission during incidental contact, like when at grocery check-out," said Jawando. "The county's guidance is one way we can work together to protect people working in essential retail while preserving our preferred environmental practice of using reusable bags."

3 Steps to Clean and Disinfect Plastic and Nylon Bags

1. Clean: Inspect bag for any spills or stains, then wash with hot water and soap as needed.

2. Disinfect: Use disinfectant spray/wipes on all surfaces of the bag, inside and out. Make sure to use a disinfectant approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, and follow the instructions on the wipes label. Alternatively, you can use a solution containing at least 70% alcohol, or you can make a disinfecting solution using 4 teaspoons of unscented bleach and 4 cups of water.

3. Allow bag to air dry completely before storing.

2 Steps to Clean Cloth Bags

1. Wash follow manufacturer's instructions. Use normal laundry detergent and warm water.

2. Dry on the warmest setting possible.

Click here to learn more.

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