Unpacking the Truth: Do Vacuum Bags Harm Your Clothes?

Are vacuum bags a lifesaver or a clothing destroyer?

Many of us have turned to these space-saving marvels to maximize storage and keep our clothing organized, especially during traveling. However, a common concern lingers: Do vacuum bags ruin clothes?

In this post, I’ll delve into the topic to shed light on whether the convenience of vacuum bags comes at the expense of our beloved garments.

What Are Vacuum Storage Bags?

Vacuum storage bags are specially designed storage solutions that utilize a vacuum seal to compress items and maximize space.

These bags are typically made from durable, airtight materials such as plastic, think of it as a big plastic bag. The primary purpose of vacuum bags is to reduce the volume of clothing by removing excess air, enabling efficient storage and organization. By utilizing a vacuum cleaner or a handheld pump, the air is sucked out of the bag, creating a tightly sealed and compact package.

Vacuum bags are often favored for their ability to free up space in closets, wardrobes, or luggage, making them popular choices for long-term storage, travel, or seasonal clothing transitions. Their convenience and space-saving benefits have made them a go-to solution for individuals seeking to optimize storage capacity while keeping their clothing protected.

Do They Ruin Clothes?

Vacuum storage bags, when used correctly, do not inherently ruin clothes. However, improper usage or certain factors can potentially cause damage to some garments.

It is important to be aware of the following considerations:

  1. Compression: The compression process in vacuum bags can lead to wrinkles or creases in clothing. Delicate fabrics, such as silk or satin, may be more susceptible to wrinkling. To minimize this risk, fold clothes neatly and avoid overstuffing the bags.
  2. Fabric Sensitivity: Some fabrics, such as leather, silk, fur, or cashmere, may be more prone to damage when subjected to prolonged compression or lack of airflow. It is best to avoid using vacuum bags for these types of garments, or consult care labels and manufacturer instructions for specific guidance.
  3. Moisture and Mold: If clothing items are damp or not completely dry before being stored in vacuum bags, the lack of airflow can trap moisture and create a favorable environment for mold or mildew growth. Ensure clothes are thoroughly dry before sealing them in bags.
  4. Long-Term Storage: While vacuum bags are often suitable for short-term storage or travel, extended periods of compression may cause fabric fibers to weaken or lose their shape. It is advisable to periodically release and allow the clothing to breathe if using vacuum bags for extended storage durations. At least take the clothing out the bag every year, if not sooner.

When in doubt, don’t put the clothing in the vacuum sealed bag.

Best Options

There are many types of vacuum storage bags on the market, each one doing something unique or different from the next.

Below is my top pick of the best vacuum storage bags and ones I use myself.

  1. Space Saver Bags (Amazon Link Ad).
  2. Hefty Shrink-Pak (Amazon Link Ad).
  3. SUOCO Vacuum Storage Bags (Amazon Link Ad).
  4. The DIY option, listed below.

You can buy vacuum bags in different sizes, you’ll need large ones for pillows or pants, but smaller ones are ideal for shirts and kids clothing.


You can make your own DIY vacuum storage bags, it’s not hard to do once you know how. The DIY option is my go to small items and for kid clothing, as it’s always nice to have an extra change of clothes for the little ones stored easily and dry.

Below are the steps to take to make your own DIY vacuum storage bags.

1. Gather Items

To make DIY vacuum storage bags, you can use regular Ziploc bags of any size that you need.

Then gather the items you want to seal up and a suction device, a vacuum cleaner will work, but I like using an inflator/deflator tool (Amazon Link Ad). The inflator is nice to have for inflatable kids toys, dusting and anything dealing with air.

2. Put Items In Bag

Put the items in the bag, zip it closed while leaving a little bit to seal around the delfator’s hose.

3. Remove Air & Close It

Turn on the vacuum cleaner or delfator and remove the air that’s in the bag. Once all the air is out, quickly remove the hose and close the bag.

You have created a vacuum bag that is perfect to keep items dry or to take up less space in your bag.

The only downside with the DIY option is that they don’t last as long and tend to refill with air after a few days. But for a vacation or a short amount of time, they’re perfect!

Reasons To Use Storage Bags

Vacuum storage bags offer many options, some not so obvious, so let’s go over why you would want to use them.

  1. The vacuum storage bags keep items dry and sand away, making them perfect for a beach trip or hiking.
  2. They give you extra space, they don’t make things lighter, but they can let you fit more items in your luggage or clear up room in your closets.
  3. These bags make you more organized as you can label them or group similar items.
  4. The vacuum storage bags offer a way to put seasonal clothing away while not taking up much space.
  5. Perfect for emergencies, maybe a few supplies to keep in your car and keep them dry and in one place.
  6. It keeps bugs away, which some clothing or food need.

Wash Before

Ideally, you should wash and clean items before putting them in the vacuum storage bag, but even more important is that you only put dry items in the bag.

Unless it’s temporary, a day or two, dirty clothes can go in the vacuum storage bags. It’s nice to vacuum seal the dirty clothes up to make room on a vacation, as we all know we tend to come back with more items.

Time In Bag

You should only keep items, like clothing, sealed up in vacuum bags for no more than a year. Ideally, you should remove them every 6 months, but the max is 1 year.

Clothing needs to breathe, and you need to check on the items to make sure they’re okay and not damaged due to something as simple as trapped moisture or a bug that was trapped inside.

Don’t Have A Pump, Do This

If your vacuum sealed bags did not come with a pump, you can use your vacuum cleaner.

Many vacuum sealed bags have a port made to fit most household vacuum cleaner hoses.


Using vacuum sealed bags will lock in the smell and odors of whatever you’re putting in the bag.

This can be a good thing and a bad thing, so make sure whatever you put in the bag is clean and smells nice.

I like this for Christmas items as it locks the smell in the bag when putting the items up for the holiday. Then next year, I open the bag, and you can smell Christmas, which makes it so fun.



Hello, I'm Lee from "ThemVacuums.com"! Launched in 2016, my site addresses the online information gap about "robot vacuums" and "vacuum cleaners," areas where I have hands-on experience. Got questions about a post or topic? Feel free to comment or contact me (contact)!

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