Five Alternative Uses for a Vacuum Sealer

You’ve probably seen those vacuum sealers around at various stores, on infomercials early in the morning, or at someone’s home. While they can certainly save your food from freezer burn or early spoiling, there are other ways you can put one of these systems to good use. Here are five of them:

Perserve Valuable Documents
Do you have an old book or important document that has been passed down from generation to generation? These books and documents break down over time due to oxygen, moisture, and other hazards. By sealing it, you’re also giving it added protection in the event of a flood, fire (smoke), or accidental damage.

Make sure you’re not sealing moisture in. Store the book in a dry environment or a container of uncooked rice for a day or two prior to sealing.

Note: According to several sources, the use of vacuum sealers to preserve important documents is not only possible, but recommended. The advice dispensed in this article is based on information directly sourced from major vacuum sealer manufacturers’ sites, including: FoodSaver, Sorbent Systems, Weston Pro, and others.

According to comments from our community, this information may or may not be entirely accurate. I would always recommend doing your own research into your particular use of bags and/or sealer systems prior to trusting any technology to your valuables and possessions.

Camping Equipment
Are you going camping? Using a vacuum sealer to store your food, gear, and electronics will keep them save from the harsh environment of the outdoors. If you’re camping in an area where bears are common, vacuum sealing your food will reduce the likelihood that a hungry bear will sniff out your supplies.

Emergency Phone
Storing a prepaid phone in a vacuum-sealed bag is a great way to stay connected while fishing or during unforeseen circumstances. At one point, I had an old mobile phone sealed for two years. When I opened the pack, the phone booted up with a full battery charge. If you grab a candy-bar style phone, you might be able to use it without having to open the pack, albeit with slightly muffled audio.

Storing Stuffed Animals
All right, we’ve all had one or two cherished stuffed animals that we eventually outgrew. Imagine being able to preserve that loyal friend for your children, or their children. Vacuum sealing protects your fluffy friends from moisture and other harmful elements in the air. It also shrinks the stuffed animal down to a point where it can be stored in a fraction of the space. Once you break the seal on the bag, the stuffed animal should return to normal after some fluffing.

Keep Documents Secure
Before you put your important documents in storage, consider taking a moment to vacuum seal them. This is a great way to keep an old diary, photo album, birth certificate, or other important document safe from the elements. Even safes can fail, and the air trapped inside them can continue to do damage over time.

Do you have any old documents or media that you want to keep, but don’t want your roommates to have access to? By sealing them in a vacuum pack, you’ll have a sure way to know when someone has accessed them. You can take this a step further by autographing or doodling on the pack.

These are some of my tips; what are yours? Comments welcome.

Article Written by

Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.

  • Gkmarsh

    And far cheaper, simply suck the air out of a press and seal baggie with a straw.

  • Richard

    Don’t EVER, EVER seal a valuable book or photograph or other document in plastic, especially plastic that is not labeled “archival quality.” Paper must breathe. By sealing it in an airtight container of any sort, you greatly hasten the destruction of the paper. Add in the fact that many non-archival plastics will damage paper, you can can reduce your valuable paper to something illegible within a very few years.

  • Sheri

    Are those bags used with the vacuum sealer acid free? If not, you don’t want to use them to store documents or anything else you want to save for years.

  • Jeanne Short

    Please do not seal any books or documents in plastic. This is not a good suggestion. Family Bibles or other genealogical documents should NEVER be sealed in plastic. There are other ways to keep these items safe.

  • Sammy

    YOU wrote “Even safes can fail, and the air trapped inside them can continue to do damage over time.”

    That should tell you loud and clear – do NOT vacuum seal documents, photos, etc. These documents DO change over the time, give off chemical gases with no way to disspate, destroying the documents instead.