How to Fold a Plastic Bag That Will Fit into Your Pocket

How to Fold a Plastic Bag

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
Tired of all those plastic grocery bags stuffed under your sink that threaten to spill out all over the place? This article will teach you how to fold a plastic bag into a compact, secure shape that makes it easy to unfold.


  1. ]] Flatten the bag, trying to get all the air out of it. Make sure you line up both sides of the bag so that the handles aren't creased. This is easiest to do on a hard, flat surface such as a kitchen countertop.
  2. Fold the bag in half lengthwise ("hotdog" style), and flatten again to squeeze out the air. Repeat four or five times until you have a long skinny strip. The flatter it is, the easier it will be to tie it.
  3. Fold the strip in half to make a shorter strip. To get it even narrower, fold this strip in half lengthwise like in the previous step.
  4. Tie a slip knot in the bag. To do this, make a small loop about 1 inch from the folded end of the strip. It should be just big enough for 2 of your fingers to fit through. Make sure that the folded end of the strip is in front, while the longer "tail" crosses behind.
  5. Fold the tail towards you so that it crosses over the loop. Push the middle part of the tail through the loop until it gets stuck. The bag should be roughly ball-shaped. If you are unable to do this step because the strip is too thick, go back and flatten it again.
Undoing The Bag
  1. Press in the middle of the loop (red X in the picture) until the "tail" pops out of the loop, and you get a short strip. Unfold the strip and your bag is ready to use again!
Alternative Folding Technique
  1. Flatten and fold in half lengthwise to create a strip the width of the handles as in steps 1-3 above.
  2. Fold one bottom corner over to meet the other side to form a triangle.
  3. Fold up the bottom of the bag at the line formed by the folded edge; this method is similar to the technique used to fold a flag.
  4. Repeat with the other corner, then fold up the bottom again
  5. Carry on with this two-step folding until you reach the top of the bag. The neater and flatter it is, the smaller the parcel.
  6. Fold the handles them over and tuck one end into the triangle you have formed. Your bag is now a small flat triangle.
  7. Unfold by pulling out the tucked-in end and shaking.


  • It is best to do this on a hard, flat surface. This will allow you to get the most air out of the bag, and a flatter strip is easier to tie.
  • Get as much air out of the bag as you can. While making the strip, flatten it again each time you fold it.
  • It's a lot easier to tie a slip knot or an overhand knot if you don't fold the strip in half, but the bag will be harder to untie and not as compact.
  • You can do this fold will almost any kind of plastic bag, but the thin, standard sized bags from supermarkets work the best. Thicker bags, like ones from bookstores or packaged bread, are more slippery and sometimes pop out of the knot on their own.
  • Reuse old plastic bags. They are good for lining garbage cans around the house. When you pack a suitcase, put your shoes and laundry in plastic bags so they won't soil the other clothes. Use them as dust covers for small objects (like lamps) when you're away or on vacation.
  • You can store a lot of plastic bags and they stay in nice condition using this method.
  • An alternative to folding is to cut little window into a used plastic water or (clean) milk jug. You can just stuff the bags in there and don't worry about folding!
  • Some discount and craft stores sell fabric tubes for stuffing your bags into. Whether you fold them are not it is a great way to keep track of them, keep them from coming untied and store them until you reuse them.
  • Reuse plastic bags for cleaning up after your dogs on long walks. Don't buy more. The knotted bags makes it easy to grab 1 or 2 and stick them in your pocket or bag on the way to take your dog for a walk.


  • You shouldn't save bags that were used to carry raw meat.
  • Don't let babies play with plastic bags.
  • Some cats like to play with folded bags - make sure they don't have holes before you use them!
  • Be sure the bags are completely dry before folding, or you will have a mildew/mold problem later.
  • Plastic bags stored in dark areas, such as under the sink, are breeding grounds for cockroaches.

Related wikiHows

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Fold a Plastic Bag. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.


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