What Is Food Storage Mylar | Build a Stash

If you are looking to improve or reinvent the way you use food storage, the best place to get started is with Mylar because of the many benefits it provides.

Food storage Mylar is a long-term storage method to package foods for maximum shelf-life. Mylar bags are the most popular method to store foods for anywhere between 5-30 years, and sometimes longer. Mylar is a durable material that can be sealed to store food while removing all oxygen to remain fresh.

Food storage Mylar is the best way to secure food items and keep them fresh for a long time in your home. Mylar can be sealed easily and it holds a variety of different foods by removing the oxygen flow from inside to eliminate the growth of mold or bacteria. If you are looking for a new method to store items at home, Mylar is one of the best options to consider.

Food storage requires persistence, consistency, and proper materials to ensure all items are kept correctly. Mylar is one way to make sure you get the most from all of your food items. Our experts explain exactly what food storage Mylar is in this guide.  

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What Is Food Storage Mylar?

Mylar is a thick, plastic-like film that is made up of several layers of thin, flexible foil. As the name implies, it can be used for food storage purposes as well as insulation. It is intended for long-term storage usage and seals your food items for up to 30 years without spoiling.

When you decide to use Mylar, you will need a few different tools to get started. These tools include a heat sealer and oxygen absorbers to properly seal your bag shut and eliminate the flow of oxygen inside the bag. When oxygen gets into a bag, it will cause spoilage due to the growth of bacteria or mold on your food.

Mylar is an extremely strong heat-resistant film. It is made up of polyethylene terephthalate, which is what makes it so strong. It's thin enough to allow food to breathe but thick enough to hold its shape even when wrapped around large objects.

Mylar is excellent at protecting against gases, odors, oils, and solvents too. The design and versatility make it one of the easiest ways to keep food items safe and easy for storage. You can also label directly onto the bags without any issues because of the clean aesthetic look on the exterior.

The tight, heat-sealed seams prevent air from leaking and contaminating the food inside. This makes Mylar one of the most durable options available. Mylar bags can act as your primary option or as a supplemental option in your home for food storage too.  

What Is A Mylar Bag?

A Mylar bag is used to store food and other items that need to be kept fresh over time. They are a very strong and durable material for an affordable cost.

Mylar bags have a layer of material on the inside called Mylar that is resistant to heat, cold, moisture, or oxygen. The material is also highly reflective which makes it a good choice for storage purposes.

Mylar bags use both a heat sealer and oxygen absorber to vacuum seal the bag and eliminate the flow of oxygen inside the bag. When this occurs, the food is able to stay fresh without the risk of spoilage indefinitely.

Mylar also comes available in a variety of sizes so you can mix and match the amount of food you decide to store in your home. They provide plenty of options with excellent durability to help store food efficiently.

They are specially designed for packaging foods, food ingredients, and other products. There are two main benefits of using mylar bags for food storage: they provide an effective barrier to oxygen and moisture while also being lightweight and easy to use.

There are also many different types available for you to choose from when determining how much storage you would like to start with. Bags come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors along with other materials like buckets and labels to make the process even easier.  

Types Of Mylar For Food Storage

These air-tight bags work to extend the shelf life of the food stored inside. The oxygen and moisture that are not eliminated due to the vacuum seal will contribute to spoilage.

By eliminating these two factors, Mylar bags allow for more efficient, long-lasting food storage. We have listed the three most popular types of Mylar bags to consider when purchasing some for your home.

One Gallon Bag

A one-gallon Mylar bag is smaller in size and best to store dry staples like rice, beans, pasta, and oats. It is the most popular option because many one-gallon bags allow you to store plenty of variety in your home since you cannot mix foods into a single bag.

They are compact in size too so you can stack multiple one-gallon bags in a single bucket rather than buying an individual bucket for each bag.

These bags are estimated to hold enough food for three to four people in a family too, but that would be the maximum amount and it may be best to use at least two gallons for a family of four.

Two Gallon Bag

Two-gallon bags are bigger and better options if you plan to store larger amounts of food for a bigger family. They serve a family of four to six people better because they can hold enough servings of each item for each person.

They are not as commonly used as the other two options mentioned here, but the two-gallon Mylar bag can be an excellent option to consider in your food storage system because they are just as easy to store in buckets.

Five Gallon Bag

Five-gallon buckets are the most efficient option for long-term storage for must-have staple items to last for thirty years. They can store the maximum amount of food you need for you and your entire family.

These bags fit securely inside the right sized plastic buckets too so you can keep them safe away from rodents and pests that could infest your food. This option is the best way to ensure you get the most out of your Mylar food storage.

How To Store Food With Mylar

Mylar bags are a great option if you want to store larger portions of food that you don’t want to open often because after the seal is broken, repeating the process takes time.

Because of this, it is best to follow this process for foods with the longest shelf lives so you know they will serve as your emergency options in case of emergencies in the future.

1. Gather All Necessary Tools

The most important step to get started is to gather all of the required tools to make this process possible. You will need your Mylar bags, preferred heat source for sealing (ex. Flat iron), permanent marker, oxygen absorbers, food, and food scooper.

For your oxygen absorbers, the general rule of thumb is that you need a 400cc oxygen absorber for a one-gallon bag. If you plan to use larger five-gallon bags, plan to use a 2,000cc oxygen absorber instead.

It is to have all of your items around before you get started because once you open the oxygen absorbers, you have a limited amount of time to get them sealed inside the Mylar bag.  

2. Start Heating The Sealant

Plug in your heat source to allow time for it to reach the desired temperature while you continue with the next steps. If your sealant is not hot enough, it will be impossible to seal your bags correctly leaving your food susceptible to leaks and spoilage.

The best heat source options include a flat iron, clothing iron, or hair straightening iron. All three work well and get hot quickly for easier usage.  

3. Fill The Bag With Food

We recommend lining up all of your bags before getting started and treating this process like an assembly line. You cannot mix different foods in the same bag so it is best to start with one food type and continue to move down the line with the different foods so you don’t make the mistake of mixing any bags.

Use a food scooper to neatly put food into each bag. Never overfill the bags because then it will be difficult to close them and there will not be enough space to seal them or place an oxygen absorber inside.

By leaving a few inches at the top, you can ensure you will have enough room to seal the bag later.  

4. Label The Bag

Before closing any bag, use a permanent marker or a premade label to identify each bag. These labels are critical for the future so you know exactly what you have stored inside your home.

Each label should include the type of food, the amount of food in the bag (in gallons), and the date you packaged the food. This will help you keep a better inventory of all your food so you never allow food to go to waste or spoil.

5. Add The Oxygen Absorber Inside The Bag

Depending on the size of the bag, you will need to choose the right-sized oxygen absorber. Aim to include about 400cc per gallon of food in your bags with a maximum of 2,000cc in a five-gallon Mylar bag.

When you open your oxygen absorber, you only have up to 30 minutes to seal them so it is best to wait as long as possible before opening each one. Seal each bag right after they are added and continue moving down your assembly line.

7. Use Sealant To Seal The Bag

After you add the oxygen absorber, you can close the bag and get your heat source ready to seal the bag. The sealant should be used slowly to slide across the top opening of the bag to allow for it to create a proper seal without missing a spot.

Always check each bag for any leaks because even the slightest crease can ruin your food and cause oxygen to flow resulting in mold or bacteria growth. Do not worry if it seems like there is air inside, the oxygen absorbers will kick in shortly after sealing to eliminate this air.  

8. Place Bag Inside A Rodent-Proof Bucket

Using plastic buckets is the best option for both storage and added protection from pests and rodents. The buckets make it easier to stack your food and store them neatly on shelves to maximize storage inside your home.

However, because Mylar is not rodent-proof the buckets will help you keep rodents away. With a plastic bucket, Mylar becomes nearly indestructible and stores your food for as long as possible depending on the actual contents inside.  

How To Seal Mylar Bags

When you prepare to seal your Mylar bag, it is important to remember that you cannot get all of the air out of the bag beforehand. While it may seem like air is still inside, this will not impact your food because of the presence of the oxygen absorbers.

You will need a heat source to properly seal the bag. The best options include flat iron, clothing iron, or a hair straightening iron. These work best because they all have a flat surface that can perfectly cover the bag.

The process is simple and after the heat source is hot enough, you need to run it across the top edge of the bag slowly to allow it time to seal as you do so. As long as the bag closes, the job is complete. Be sure there are no leaks or creases and after some time passes the oxygen absorbers will eliminate any remaining air inside.

Why Should You Use Mylar Bags For Food Storage

Food storage is a crucial part of prepping. By storing food in Mylar bags, you are protecting your food from the elements and keeping it fresh over long periods. Mylar bags can store some foods for up to thirty years when packaged correctly.

Mylar bags are air-tight and waterproof. They will also keep your food free from pests that may be drawn to the smell of food. It is best to store your Mylar bags outside in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and moisture.

Another reason why mylar bags are commonly used is that they do not allow any harmful chemicals to seep into your food when stored in them. This is because mylar is capable of holding airtight pressures without letting any leaks through.

Mylar bags are non-porous, impermeable to gas, and extremely flexible. All of your food is kept safe and storing them in convenient locations inside your home is not a problem. They can even be placed into buckets for an extra seal to protect against rodents too.

Compared to traditional food storage bags, Mylar bags are much different because they are made of a thicker and more durable material. That is why Mylar Bags can be used for long-term food storage at home with foods lasting for over thirty years.

What Foods Can You Store In Mylar Bags?

Mylar bags are one of the most effective ways to store food and maximize their shelf life because they provide an airtight seal with no oxygen flow to cause spoilage or the growth of bacteria and mold.

The general rule for storing food in Mylar bags is a low amount of moisture and fat content. When foods contain higher levels, they cannot be stored as long because they tend to attract mold and bacteria growth. It is best to dehydrate any foods with high levels of either before sealing them in Mylar.

Another vital tip for storing food in Mylar bags is the temperature they are kept in. Food lasts longer and remains fresh when stored in cooler temperatures with minimal sunlight exposure. Mylar bags with food should be put in dark areas of your home like a basement or closet that does not experience major spikes in temperature throughout the year.

Because Mylar is a process to both seal and open, we recommend storing any food with a shelf life under three years using different methods. Mylar works best as a long-term solution and is most effective for those items that can be kept for over five years.

Non-perishable food items always will be the best options to store in Mylar bags. We always recommend using these as a long-term storage option for foods to last over five years because of the packaging process. Once the seal is broken, you will need to seal the food again or throw it away.    

Food Type Shelf Life
Brown Rice 6-12 months
Nuts 6-12 months
Chocolate 6-12 months
Dehydrated/Dried Meats 1-3 years
Dry Crackers & Chips 1-3 years
Baby Formula 3-5 years
Cornmeal 3-5 years
Herbs & Spices 3-10 years
Powdered Dairy 5-10 years
Quinoa 5-10 years
Granola 5-10 years
Flour 10-20 years
Chickpeas 10-20 years
Butter Powder 10-20 years
Cocoa Powder 10-20 years
Instant Coffee 20-30 years
Dried Beans & Legumes 20-30 years
Rolled Oats 20-30 years
Dry Pasta & Noodles 20-30 years
Tea 20-30 years
White Rice 20-30 years
Baking Soda Forever
Salt Forever
Sugar Forever

Does Mylar Protect Against Rodents?

The truth is that Mylar does not provide any protection against rodents. The bags are durable, but rodents have the ability to penetrate the bags if given the opportunity.

Mylar is a material that is typically used to store foods and other items, but it is also used in some pest-proofing measures. Mylar is often touted as being an effective way of protecting against rodents.

However, there are many reasons why this might not be the case. Mylar can easily be chewed through by rodents. It also traps heat, which can cause its own problems with the insulation properties of the material over time.

Mylar does not provide much protection against rodents, so there are many other options that should be put into use when you want to protect your home from these pests such as storing them in plastic buckets with lids or on higher shelves.

The plastic bucket method is the most popular and provides you with the most flexibility for storage too because the buckets are easily stackable and can be stored on the floor or at lower shelving levels without any concern.

Can You Microwave Mylar?

In theory, yes you can microwave Mylar bags without them melting but there are potentially some risks involved.

Mylar is a thin plastic film that is used for packaging, insulation, and decoration. It is also known as polyester or polyethylene terephthalate (PET). In general, Mylar can be microwaved because it's not food and it doesn't have water in it.

But the problem of toxins leaking into your foods from the heat does exist. It entirely depends on the specific bag you buy though. Mylar bags are being made from more eco-friendly materials now that are completely non-toxic.

Be sure to check the packaging of the Mylar bags you purchased to see if they contain any potentially harmful toxins that could leach into your food while microwaving them.

Many Mylar films have been certified by the CFIA and FDA because they are deemed eco-friendly and healthy products. They are extremely versatile with a self-vent system inside the bag for occurrences like microwaving to remain safe for use.

Is Mylar Flammable?

Mylar is chemical resistant and extremely tough with tear-resistant properties and there are even more reliable Mylar bags that are fire resistant too. These bags are able to reflect 95% of the infrared heat from a potential fire.

However, there are some less durable Mylar bags that do not share this shame property and may be subject to flammability.

Mylar is not combustible in its original state but when it is exposed to high heat, it can emit toxic fumes too. The best way to avoid accidents from Mylar is by using fire safety methods and keeping your Mylar bags away from high heat and flames in your kitchen and home.

About THE AUTHOR

Mark Walker

Mark Walker

I have over a decade of experience in food and beverage management, including a ServSafe food safety qualification. As part of this qualification, I have been professionally trained in safe food storage.

Read More About Mark Walker