This is the second in our series of monthly tips on how to get the most out of your ThriftyVac® products.
You can make your ThriftyVac® outer bag last longer (over 50 cycles) by applying a 3 x 2 inch strip of clear packaging tape on the outside as shown in this YouTube video: http://youtu.be/tbIHhMdgfNk. All ThriftyVac® systems are now shipped with tape-reinforced outer bags.
We chose to make ThriftyVac®’s outer bag (the bag that serves as a flexible vacuum chamber) out of thin polyethylene (PE) so that it would:
- closely conform to the contours of your food bag when vacuumed, thereby minimizing air inside your food bag
- puncture cleanly when we made the hole to reinsert the Check Valve. (Bags made of stiff plastic materials do not puncture cleanly, but rather splinter).
However, the outer bag gets highly stressed during the vacuum-packing process as it is drawn down tightly against your food bag and the ThriftyVac® Housing. Highly stressed areas may tear with repeated use, requiring you to replace the outer bag.
You can greatly extend the life of your outer bag by reinforcing the most highly stressed area with high-strength packaging tape. More specifically, you can apply a 3-inch piece of clear packaging tape over the area of the outer bag that covers the word “ThriftyVac®” on the Housing. We recommend using Scotch’s “Heavy Duty Shipping Packaging Tape,” because it is 20 times stronger than acrylic tape. If you don’t already have such tape, then you can buy a 22-yard roll on Amazon for $3. (We have no promotional agreement with either Scotch or Amazon.)
This tape is 1.88 inches wide and easily covers the most highly stressed area of the outer bag.
How to Apply the Reinforcing Tape
You can apply the reinforcing tape most easily when the outer bag is empty and lays flat. (You can remove the Housing from the outer bag by simply pulling up on the Check Valve, using a twisting motion.) You should apply the 3-inch length of the packaging tape 4.5 inches from the right edge of the outer bag, and 0.8 inches away from the top, as illustrated in the figure below.
The YouTube video below demonstrates a simple and effective way of cutting and placing the strip of reinforcing tape on the outer bag.
After placement, run your thumb over the reinforcing tape, pressing it hard against the outer bag, because that ensures good adhesion. Use your thumb and fingernails to press out any bubbles between the tape and outer bag.
All ThriftyVac® systems are now shipped with tape-reinforced outer bags.
Next month’s tip will illustrate the best way of vacuum packing moist foods, and retaining their fluids inside the vacuum bag.
Regards, Tom Cannon