Food Savers and Mylar Bags

Occasionally someone will ask if they can use a Food Saver to vacuum seal a Mylar bags.  In general, the answer to that is no; Food Savers are designed specifically to handle their particular channel bags.

I received an email last week from Don Sheets saying he had found a way to use a Food Saver to vacuum seal Mylar.  Needless to say, I was intrigued.  He followed up with a full set of pictures and explanation, which I now present to y’all! In essence, it is a method to create Food Saver Channel Bag ‘Straws’, which can then be used to vacuum seal a Mylar Bag. Very cool.

Thanks Don! (My apologies for the poor formatting, working with a group of pictures in WordPress is not yet my strong suit!)

Soldering gun with tip made from #12 or #14 copper wire

Step 1:  Soldering tip made of #12 or #14 copper wire. 

Soldering gun used to score and seal Food Saver bags. Run the tip over the spot several times to insure it seals the edge.

Step 2:  Score and Seal Food Saver Channel Bags. Repeat as many times as you have bags to seal.


Cut the strips apart in between sealed areas.

Step 3:  Cut the strips apart in between sealed areas.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Step 4:  Cut the ends off the strips for air to flow through them.

Cut the ends off the strips for air to flow through them.

Step 5:  Place one strip in bag with about ½ inch or more sticking out.  Put in sealer and vacuum.

Place one strip in bag with about ½ inch or more sticking out. Put in sealer and vacuum.

Finished product is a vacuumed bag of rice with an oxygen absorber inside. Cut the excess strip off.

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04 2011

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The upper is the most recent comment

  1. Kerry #

    Just found this site while searching for an answer to this question. I’m sure how the mylar bag is sealed. Are you using the sealer on the foodsaver or sealing it with a regular heat clamp? If the latter, what keeps the channel from melting when you seal the mylar? Also, on my machine I can seal without vacuuming. I don’t know if that is common, but I could make the channels by sealing the roll every inch or so. Seems a lot easier than than using an iron.
    Looking forward to checking out the rest of you site. Thanks.

  2. 2

    Hey, thanks for the comments. This is one of our reader’s idea, but I think that he is using the vacuum sealer to seal the bag. Yes, the channel will melt, but he makes the ‘straws’ a bunch at a time. Cutting them below the seal will also likely allow them to be used multiple times each.

    Many folks use their vacuum sealers just for the sealing function. Although, using an iron is pretty easy as well for folks without a sealer.

    As a general rule, I don’t recommend vacuuming Mylar as it can sometimes lead to punctures, but again, there are many folks doing so successfully!


  3. Desiree #

    THANK YOU FOR THIS POST! I was just looking for how to seal a mylar bag with a food saver. I’m a big food saver user and want to utilize it for longer term food storage. Can’t wait to give this a try.

  4. Dana #

    Thank for the post. I just tried this out and …. The foodsaver will pull air out, etc very well, however, the sealer, even extended seal will not seal through the Mylar and foodsaver bag. I can pull the channel straw right out of the bag, make sense?

    Has anyone tried?

    Thank you.

  5. 5

    I’ve never done this, but it is my understanding that yes, you can pull the channel straw right out, or better yet, seal right over it.

    Thank you!

  6. Pam Nesbitt #

    Crazy question but I really need an answer, if possible. I have seal pcacked
    hundreds of items. I have recently purchased mylar bags and want to know if I can placce the seal packed bags in the mylar bags and seal the mylar with
    those items in it????”

    If you could please respond to my e-mail I would be eternally greatful.


  7. Dionisio #

    Pam Nesbitt, That should work fine. I would throw an oxygen absorber in the mylar bag before you squeeze the air out and seal. Good luck! I am going to try this out mylar bag sealing technique right now!

  8. Dionisio #

    ok, I have tested this method and it does not work! My Foodsaver cannot seal the mylar bag AND the channel bag straw together. This is a very week seal and will tear right open. The Foodsaver seals the mylar alone great as well as the channel bag, just not the two together. Also, the Foodsaver channel bags are designed to remove air in one direction of flow only. That means that when you make a bag from a roll the air can flow along the length of the bag. If you cut up a bag and seal it into a “sideways” bag it will NOT remove air. This method (as far as I’ve tested) cannot work as stated here! You can do a wastefull chop job on your channel bags and make a straw that works sort of, I just did (gets out about half of the air) but you still have the issue of not being able to seal the bag securly where the straw is located. If anyone has done this with success let us all know. Thanks for the idea though!

  9. 9

    I have not tried this yet, just found the post after posing the question. BUT, I have a thought that seems so simple and obvious: put the Mylar bag inside a foodsaver bag ensuring that the Mylar bag is not sealed and the opening (top) is NOT in the vac n seal area of the foodsaver. The purpose of the Mylar is to block light, so the foodsaver would suck the air out and seal just fine. Yes, you’d be using two bags to get the job done, but for a survival kit, it seems that double bagging would be nice insurance against punctures. If the food I’m sealing fits low enough in my bags, I always add another seal strip for more insurance too.

  10. Rhonda #

    That is a GREAT idea!I have lots of Mylar bags but am looking to get a Food Saver and was wondering about this. We could still throw in an O2 absorber and be good to go!

  11. Tim #

    I had a similar idea, but am wondering if the order of bagging should be reversed. Isn’t the aluminized Mylar used to offer protection from both light AND punctures? By placing the Mylar inside the Food Saver bag, the Food Saver bag is still easily punctured, which would defeat the vacuum seal used and expose the unsealed Mylar bag’s contents to contamination. What about taking your idea and switching the order? Vacuum seal the food and an oxy absorber in the Food Saver bag, then place this bag inside the Mylar and seal it as usual. It’s now vacuum packed, double sealed, oxy absorbed, and protected from both light and bag punctures. Just trying to think out of the box… or in this case, the bag.

  12. Ty #

    OffGridGeeks on youtube found a simple solution also.

  13. Mike C #

    The mylar bag MUST be sealed to prevent oxygen from seeping in. Food Saver bags and any other plastic bags will allow oxygen to seep in over time. The whole reason mylar bags have a layer of metal is because it provides a barrier that oxygen cannot penetrate. Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers to absorb oxygen trapped in the bag is the best way to store foods long term, much better than plastic food saver bags. I use food saver bags for longer term frozen foods, but for longer term room temp storage mylar is best.

  14. Gabe #

    I have foodsaver bags with dry hearbs,grains,etc sealed more than 10 years ago and they still hard as a brick.I keep them in my pantry use one now and again; they’re perfect. The plastic bag does not allow the air in. Is just a myth.

  15. William #

    Once you have obtained a good seal on the bag, pulling a vacuum on the contents is easy. First you’ll need something to make a vacuum with. This can be either a regular vacuum pump, a vacuum sealer such as the Tilia Food Saver or even the suction end of your household vacuum cleaner. The end inserted into the bag will need to be of fairly small diameter in order to keep the hole in the Mylar from being any larger than necessary.

    After sealing all four sides of the bag, cut a hole into the Mylar bag on a corner. Make the opening only just large enough to admit the vacuum probe. Insert the nozzle and using a sponge, or something similar, push down on the material over the probe to make a seal. Now draw down a vacuum on the bag. It will probably only take a second or two. When it’s drawn down as much as possible, run a hot iron diagonally across the cut corner resealing the bag.

  16. Jim Mc #

    I have found a great source of food grade plastic buckets. Since finding I could get buckets I have gotten wheat, corn and beans at avoided cost from a farmer friend. Once receiving the field grade grain / beans would be poured from one bucket to another in front of a fan to remove a bit more field trash (leaves, stems etc…). Once it is as clean as I can tolerate, I put dry-ice on a pad in the bottom of a bucket, pour the grain / beans over it and when full put the lid on in such a way that you can burp it to release air and keep pressure from building. The buckets are stored in a dark part of the basement, on 2X4s to keep it off of the floor. What would I gain by putting it in mylar bags before putting it into the buckets?
    (I believe that flooding the grain with pure CO2 could also help draw down the moisture content one or two more points.)

    If I had a need to bag things. Could I vac-seal them in a plastic food saver bag (with an O2 strip) and then put them in a sealed bucket? What would I miss by not using a mylar bag?

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