How to clean a lunchbox on a daily basis and how to give it a deep clean when required.
Kids are messy beings, and lunch boxes become sticky grimy and messy quickly.
Yes, sometimes you can easily wipe the grime out of the lunch box with a simple cloth and soap solution, but when the zipper gets stuck from sticky juice spills and stuck on fruit snacks, the whole cleaning thing becomes more tricky.
You can really clean a lunch bag with a simple soak and a few other tricks, so you don’t have to go to the store for a new lunch box every few months. Save money, and the environment by cleaning out the lunch box on the regular and provide your kids with a clean bag to keep their food in at school.
It is preferable if the children unpack their school bags as soon as they arrive home from school. However, this does not always occur; it may be left overnight, over the weekend, or even until the last day of school vacations (eew). If you find yourself with a stinky, sticky, filthy lunchbag, check out my recommendations below on how to clean insulated lunch bags and eliminate odours.
When To Clean Your Lunchbox
You should wash your lunchbox every few weeks, even if it doesn’t seem that dirty. You really should wipe it down with soap and water on a daily basis as well.
When summer break comes around, the lunch box should be washed properly then and stored away until the new school year begins.
A clean lunch bag guarantees long-term usage and reduces the possibility of it absorbing unpleasant odours. There are 3 simple techniques that will both work depending on the sort of lunch bag you have.
Cleaning The Lunchbox Daily
How to Clean A LunchBox
Machine Wash And Hang To Dry
Some lunch boxes will have tags that say that the item is machine washable. This is great news for you and you can wash the bag in cold water on a gentle cycle using a gentle detergent. If the bag has any gems or jewels attached to it, you may consider handwashing it, even if the tag says machine washable.
If there are straps on the lunch bag, remove those before washing and hand wash straps separately. Another thing you can do is place the whole thing in a pillowcase or a laundry bag and wash everything all together to avoid tangling up with other laundry items.
When the bag is washed, hang it to dry or place it in the dish rack until it dries out.
Hand Wash And Hang To Dry
If you cannot machine wash the lunchkit, you can hand wash it with dish soap and warm water. You can also use a laundry detergent if you wish.
If there is a stain on the plastic liner, create a paste with baking soda and water to remove it and then rinse it off and wipe it clean.
Use a scrub brush and gently clean the material to get out any stains and sticky stuff. You can do this easily in the kitchen sink. If the materials are delicate, then you can use a sponge instead of a brush.
When the bag is washed, hang it to dry or place into the drying dish rack.
Avoid placing the lunch bag into the dryer as this can damage the bag and you’ll have to purchase a new one after all that hard work of getting it clean.
If you can hang the lunch bag in the sun, do that. Sunlight disinfects and deodorizes naturally.
DIY Lunchkit Deodorizer
Kids and adults can all have lunch bags that can begin to stink after a while. Here are a few things you can do to naturally deodorize your lunch bag.
First, flip the bag inside out and leave it in the sun to dry. The sun will take away any nasty smells magically.
Another thing you can do is place newspaper into the bottom of the lunch bag to catch all smells. It’s hard to believe, but newspaper absorbs odors well. If you don’t want the newspaper in your lunch bag while taking the bag to school or work, then you can place the newspaper in the lunch bag when the bag is stored and not in use.
Spot Cleaning Lunch Bags
A daily spot clean is a good idea, on all lunch boxes and bags that the kids bring home from school. This is as simple as using an antibacterial wipe or a natural cleaner and a rag to wipe down the inside of the bag.
You can use a homemade solution with equal parts water and vinegar OR a hydrogen peroxide and water solution in a spray bottle. These solutions both deodorize and disinfect the interior of the bag. Don’t worry about the vinegar smell, it goes away once the liner is dry.
A part of our after-school routine includes the kids putting their lunch bags on the kitchen counter so I can properly clean them out every single day!
Other School Items To Clean Regularly
If you are spending the time to soak and wash the lunch box, have you thought about washing their backpacks and pencil cases too?
Use the above methods to wash those items as well. Wash everything a few times a year if you can because school items get dirty quickly and those germs and dirt gets transported to and from school on a daily basis.
Many people will purchase new backpacks and pencil cases on a yearly basis, and if the bags are in rough shape then yes they should be replaced. If they can be cleaned, they may not quite garbage ready just yet. Instead of donating, or trashing your older bags, give them a wash and use them again. Having old backpacks and lunch kits around the house just creates clutter, and you don’t really need that many bags around the home do you?
Cleaning your bags prevents this kind of clutter and saves you a little bit of cash as well.
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