How to Seal Your Own Food with Mylar Bags

Written by The Ready Store

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.

Updated April 20, 2012


  1. Bill wrote:

    Good information on how to do it.

    April 20th, 2012 at 9:28 pm
  2. Qwazywabbit wrote:

    Great idea!

    April 21st, 2012 at 11:18 pm
  3. Susan wrote:

    What shelf life will it give? For example macaroni, rice, beans. Once opened what does the shelf life change to.

    April 24th, 2012 at 6:57 am
  4. Phyllis wrote:

    Never considered using a hair straightener. Looks a lot easier than using an iron. Thanks for the tip.

    April 24th, 2012 at 7:48 am
  5. The Ready Store wrote:

    Hey Susan, It depends on what your bagging. For the quick oats, in a Mylar bag, they will last about 20 years if they are stored well. Other products like legumes, whole grains, unprocessed oats, etc, would last for 30 years. The best thing about Mylar bags is that they can extend your food by keeping out light, moisture and oxygen. However, the shelf-life will vary depending on what product you are using.

    April 24th, 2012 at 8:13 am
  6. Janice wrote:

    What is the shelf life once the Mylar bag has been opened for use?

    April 24th, 2012 at 10:57 am
  7. The Ready Store wrote:

    Hey Janice, the shelf-life can vary by the food type that you’re using. With cans of freeze-dried food, it’s recommended that you eat the food within 6 months. However, the great thing about Mylar bags is that if you want to seal the bag up again, and have space, you can! Just throw a new oxygen absorber in there, seal it again, and continue the shelf-life count!

    April 24th, 2012 at 2:25 pm
  8. Tammy wrote:

    I just bought a food dehydrator to make my own dried fruits and jerky. How long will these keep if I seal them in mylar bags and inside buckets? Do mylar bags extend the life of nuts and seeds, too?

    April 24th, 2012 at 4:40 pm
  9. The Ready Store wrote:

    Hey Tammy,
    Mylar bags are very good at making an ideal storage location for food. They just make sure to keep out moisture, air, light and other elements so that your food doesn’t go bad before you plan. Every food has a unique shelf life because of the type of food that it is – they break down at different speeds. However, with a Mylar bag, you can slow that process down by reducing air, light and oxygen. Sometimes this means that foods like nuts and seeds will last for decades.

    I hope that helps answer your question a little. Let me know if it doesn’t.

    May 2nd, 2012 at 9:39 am
  10. Mildred wrote:

    Can you tell me if your freeze dried veggies are organic. Is any of your food GMO?

    May 3rd, 2012 at 9:56 am
  11. The Ready Store wrote:

    Hey Mildred, we are currently considering on an organic line of food but our veggies are not certified as organic at the moment. While they are not certified as GMO or organic, many of them could qualify. Since we only use the highest quality food items to create our freeze-dried vegetables, it’s like buying them from the grocery store. The term “organic” can be thrown around pretty loosely by a lot of companies and grocery stores. While you might have to wait for us to work on an organic line, you might be interested in our non-GMO seeds. We offer garden seed to help you grow your own non-GMO vegetables!

    May 3rd, 2012 at 1:56 pm
  12. PapaBravo wrote:

    This is a great little “how-to”, but you should amend it to let people know that the Mylar/O2Absorber option really won’t increase the shelf life of many foods.

    October 20th, 2012 at 10:09 am
  13. SurvivalTechs wrote:

    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.

    October 20th, 2012 at 8:26 pm
  14. The Ready Store wrote:

    @SurvivalTechs You could always go old school and use an old fashioned iron that heats with boiled water or on live coals.

    October 20th, 2012 at 11:57 pm
  15. Barbara Inklebarger wrote:

    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!

    October 22nd, 2012 at 4:46 pm
  16. woody wrote:

    Folks, DON’T fill your bags all the way to the top, and then attempt to adjust. Better to fill the bag half-way: it’ll settle the bottom just as well. Watch Your Fingernails! They CAN put a little tear in the bag that you won’t find until you go to check on your seal. I’ve found it better to seal the bag thus – Place O2 absorber in bag. Seal the top edge of the bag, leaving just enough room for a small vacuum hose. Insert and vacuum. Pinch the unsealed portion of the bag while removing vacuum hose. Finish the seal. Now you’ve removed as much air as possible; you’re O2 absorber will finish the job well. When you open the bag, there’ll be enough bag left over to refill and reseal.

    October 23rd, 2012 at 6:51 am
  17. Sally wrote:

    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’

    December 5th, 2012 at 12:17 am
  18. JoHn wrote:

    Can you seal one mylar bag in sections?

    August 8th, 2013 at 11:18 pm
  19. Pat wrote:

    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?

    March 6th, 2014 at 9:13 am
  20. Frances wrote:

    Pat, we put a 1″ board at the top of our mylar bags and iron them. No, the bag has never melted and stuck to the iron. It works very well.

    October 16th, 2014 at 4:38 pm

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