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The Benefits of Using Mylar Bags & How to Use Them

Mylar bags are ideal for long-term food storage and work well with vacuum sealing. But why is that? Mylar bags are constructed of multiple layers of laminated food-grade plastic and aluminum. Because a food-grade plastic lining separates it, food will not react with aluminum. Mylar bags protect the food as a light, moisture, and oxygen barrier. Ensure that the pouches you buy are high quality and designed to store food products.

We use mylar bags for uses as follows:

  • For long-term food storage in case of emergency
  • Camping and hiking
  • Long-term storage of clothing and shoes
  • Medium-term storage of herbs and spices
  • Sale of beverages such as tea and coffee
  • Medical and pharmaceutical items

The following are some examples of commonly stored foods and how long they will last if stored in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers.

Food Storage in Mylar Bags Times

One year or less

Foods containing moisture or oil content, for example, nuts, chips, confection, rice, and granola bars, are unsuitable for long-term storage in mylar bags.

Between the ages of one and two years
  • We can preserve coffee, pet food, cocoa powder, spices, or beverages.
  • Dry nuts, dry meat, and dry fruit that have been dehydrated for 2-3 years are ideal for long-term storage.
Age range: 3-5 years

These years depend on keeping your food cool (40-60 degrees F) in a cool storage area.

Keeping Mylar Bags Safe in Storage

  • Store your bags in a cool, dry, and dark place that is free of rodents. 
  • The pockets must not come into contact with concrete floors or walls.
Mylar bags do not keep rodents out!

One of the glaring disadvantages of using Mylar bags is their susceptibility to rodents. Mice can quickly chew through a Mylar bag. Place the bags inside a sturdy tote, plastic bucket, or metal barrel to keep them safe.

Mylar Bag Sealing

Why it's important to seal

Sealing the pouches is critical so the oxygen absorbers can function correctly. An oxygen absorber takes about 2-4 hours to do its job. However, it will help if you seal your bags as soon as possible. We recommend leaving oxygen absorbers for no more than 30 minutes; ideally, 10-20 minutes.

Otherwise, the oxygen absorbers may absorb too much outside air and fail to absorb all the oxygen in your mylar bag. (Tip: Before opening your oxygen absorbers, mark each mylar bag with the number of oxygen absorbers required. This will result in much faster sealing.)

  • Seal them with clamshell or impact heat sealer.
  • Mylar bags are to be sealed with a clamshell or impact heat sealer.
  • A flat iron or hair straightener will suffice if you don't have one of these.

How to use a Flat Iron?

Tack the mylar bag in the top center with the flat iron. Next, tack it a few more times. Then, using the flat iron, seal the top completely. 

Squeeze the bag gently to see if any air is escaping. If this is the case, use the flat iron again until the seam is completely sealed.

How to use Vacuum Sealers

Unfortunately, many household clamp-style vacuum sealers cannot seal standard mylar bags. However, most commercial vacuum sealers can. 

It is important to note that many mylar bags are not embossed/textured, so a vacuum sealer will not pull the air out. (There are workarounds for vacuum-sealing mylar bags that can be found online.)

  • Inspect the seals on your mylar bags.
  • Reseal if you can get any air through them. 
  • The bag may appear vacuum-sealed when the oxygen absorbers have finished their work. 
  • Ensure a proper seal of the bag that does not suck the bag down.