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How to Seal Your Own Food with Mylar Bags

By Ready Expert
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Metalized bags, or Mylar bags, offer a great solution to sealing your own food. Mylar bags help keep moisture, sunlight, and oxygen out of your food – extending your food’s shelf-life! Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to seal your own Mylar bags.

What you’ll need

First, be sure to round up all of your supplies. It’s recommended that you seal more than one Mylar bag in a sitting because the oxygen absorbers that you place in the bags can only stay out in the open for a few hours. So, you can’t really open the O2 absorber bag and then use the absorbers later.

Be sure to gather:

• Your food

• A bucket (doesn't need to be food-grade)

• A lid

• Mylar bags for each bucket

• An oxygen absorber for each bucket

• A heat source like a clothes iron or a hair straightener


Step 1 – Put the Mylar bags in the buckets

Be sure to spread the bag out along the bottom of the bucket as much as possible. This will help you food settle to the bottom as much as possible.

Step 2 – Pour the food into the Mylar bag

Step 3 – Lift the Mylar bag to settle

Take the Mylar bag and lift it up inside the bucket. Don’t take it out. Shake the bag to make sure that all the contents are settled to the bottom. This will help the food fill into the pockets of air in the bag so you can get more food into the bag.

Step 4 – Throw in an oxygen absorber

You don’t have to bury it or anything. You can just throw it on the top. You’ll want to press the sides of the bag so the part you’ll be sealing stands straight. This is a good time to push out the remaining air.

Step 5 – Seal the bag

Use a clothes iron or hair straightener to seal the top of the bag. If you use a clothes iron, make sure that it’s not on a steam setting. The heat source should be at a high setting to seal the bag correctly.

When using a clothes iron, it is sometimes helpful to use a piece of wood to iron against. You can wrap the top of the bag around the wood and push against it to iron. Start heating from the middle of the bag and move your way to the outside. This will help the seal lay more evenly.

We’ve seen a lot of videos where people leave a slot at the top of the seal, quickly vacuum out the remaining air and then seal the rest of the bag. This isn’t necessary. If you have a good oxygen absorber, it will take out the remaining oxygen from the bag.

You might notice there is still some space in the bag due to nitrogen in the air, which doesn’t harm the food. A 2000cc oxygen absorber is potent enough that if you were to inflate the entire Mylar bag with air and seal it with the absorber, it would take all the oxygen out, leaving only nitrogen and traces of other gases (less than 1 percent) that are not going to harm your food.

Step 6 – Place a lid on top

Fold over the Mylar bag and then place a lid on top. You’re done! What other tips do you have? What have you found to be effective for food storage? Comment below and let us know.

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1 year ago
12 years ago at 9:28 PM
Good information on how to do it.
12 years ago at 6:57 AM
What shelf life will it give? For example macaroni, rice, beans. Once opened what does the shelf life change to.
12 years ago at 9:56 AM
Can you tell me if your freeze dried veggies are organic. Is any of your food GMO?
12 years ago at 8:26 PM
How do you plan on re-sealing the bag once opened if there is no power available? I fill ziplock sealable mylar bags (now available). Larger bags are available on the web. I fill them with whatever food, insert an oxygen absorber and moisture dessicant, then seal as many bags as will fit into a bucket. That way you open smaller bags instead of one large bag.
9 years ago at 12:29 PM
I bought a small handheld heat sealer made by Oroblue that works on AA batteries. With a solar battery charger it will work with no power. I found it on the internet so I'm sure a person could do a quick search and come up with a place to buy one. It did have a slight learning curve as to how quickly to move it across the mylar bag so take a used one or sacrifice one to practice. Hope that helps. Edna
Barbara Inklebarger
12 years ago at 4:46 PM
I have some mylar bags but was terrified to start using them. You have made it all seem simple and easy. Thank you. Appreciate all the notifications via email that are so helpful. I just sent a note about Marc Silva but I didn't put my name at top. He has been extremely helpful. Very patient when I ordered my first order and gave me great advice where I was deficient. He's very polite and has my best interest. Thanks Marc!
12 years ago at 11:17 PM
I like the idea of of placing several mylar bags, with small portions, into a 5 gallon bucket. The expense is greater but the convenience is definately a plus and it saves the stress of trying to reseal the large Mylar if indeed you have no power. I think using an old fashioned iron would be waaay too much of a hassle and then you might burn yourself pretty badly with the hot coals...just sayin'
11 years ago at 11:18 PM
Can you seal one mylar bag in sections?
10 years ago at 8:13 AM
So you wrap the top of the bag around the wood and apply the iron to the mylar bag.....Doesn't the bag just melt and stick to the iron and make a mess? Has anyone actually done this?
9 years ago at 9:37 AM
Going to start my long term storage and have been reading a lot of info about it. I have one question that I can not find an answer to. If a 300 cc Oxygen Absorber is good for a 1 gal bag, what happens if you use 2? Dont see a pinhole potential if it only absorbes a finite quantity, but does it "save" itself for any future air infiltration? Also, is the Impulse sealer better than say a 6-8" hot jaw. Also have seen some stuff about using a hair straightening iron but not too sure on that one. Any assistance would be appreciated Thanks
9 years ago at 7:58 AM
I always us a vacuum to pull as much air out as possible. You just have to use a cheese cloth or similar cover over your vacuum attachment so you do not suck in your product (beans or rice or whatever) that you are sealing in your mylar bag. One more thing I freeze the beans for 3 days in our deep freezer before hand so any insects that might still be in the beans or whatever are killed off and do not ruin my product while in storage. Good luck!
Laurie B
9 years ago at 9:16 AM
To Essie, I've used a hair straightener exclusively for sealing all of my Mylar bags and it works perfectly and so easy. I bought an inexpensive one at Walmart just for this use. I fill the bags then seal each side working from the center toward the outer edge leaving 3-4 inches unsealed on one end. Throw in an oxygen absorber, gently (in the case of powdered foods like flour) push out the extra air and seal the opening...simple.
8 years ago at 8:50 AM
Hi, quick question: If I want to put different/multiple items in a bucket, from the above it sounds like I would empty the contents into the Mylar bag, then add the Oxygen absorber, and seal. The questions is: Is the best way to have multiple items in a bucket, to use smaller Mylar bags each with the separate food and put an oxygen absorber into each of the smaller bags then close the bucket with multiple bags? Or do you recommend putting all the smaller bags into one large one and sealing the large one too?
Fay Benton
8 years ago at 4:38 AM
how do you protect oxygen absorbers> can you reuse them? Thanks for allllll helpful information! Fay
Tricia Reed
8 years ago at 12:05 AM
I have 5 dogs and want to have emergency food for them also and was wondering if anyone has used the Mylar bags for dog food storage? If so, how long would it last? Thank you
6 years ago at 5:38 AM
Ihave heard of people putting their rice or dried beans in the oven at 450 degrees for 20 minutes to kill off anything hitching a ride . does anyone do that here? I tried it with some of mine , and didn't with others. Also , I'm interested in the Dog foof thingy... but I know with the fats in it , it goes rancid , But I know some companies do it , so i'll experiment with it.
Lisa Grimm
4 years ago at 1:34 PM
How long can you keep emptying Mylar bags. I have quite a few never used. They have been kept in a cool dry space. I would like to use them but not sure if they are still good.