10 unusual ways to use zip-top bags

If you think that zipper storage bags are just for storing food, these tips will open up a whole new world of hacks.

Alina Bradford
1 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Zip-Loc bags are one of those items that are infinitely useful. Here are 10 of our favorite uses, other than storing leftovers.

2 of 15 Photo by Josh Miller/CBS Interactive.

Protect your device while cooking

If you use your phone or tablet to look up recipes in the kitchen, then you've probably had a few close calls with spills and drips.

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Cooking coverage

Next time, put your device in a zipper bag to keep it clean. It will still respond to your touch through the plastic and you can get as messy as you like.

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Keep dry after the pool

When you're done at the pool or the beach, pack your wet swimsuits in a zipper bag to keep your tote -- and your car -- dry.

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Prevent trip spills

No matter how well you put the cap on your travel-sized bottles, one always seems to leak during trips. To protect your luggage, keep your lotions, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and more in a zip-top bag.

6 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

Safe sous vide cooking

If you're crazy about sous vide cooking, but aren't crazy about buying expensive bags for the process, try zipper bags. Food-safe zipper bags won't leach chemicals into your food and work really well.

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Sous vide tip

Bonus tip: To get the air out of a zip-top bag for sous vide cooking, use Taylor Martin's awesome vacuum seal technique.

8 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Fast camera cover

I like to take photos when it rains. If you like to brave the elements, too, protect your camera by putting it inside a gallon zipper bag. As long as you keep the plastic tight over the lens, you'll still be able to take great photos without ruining your camera.

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Cut a hole

If keeping the bag stretched over the lens seems tedious, cut a small hole that will uncover the lens, but still keep the body dry.

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Keep your fridge cool in an outage

Stow a couple of gallon freezer bags full of water in your freezer. Transfer them to your fridge to keep your perishables cool during a blackout. Plus, you can drink the water when the ice melts if there's a water outage.

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Save your documents

Get all of your important documents, like birth certificates, marriage certificates, passports, bonds and other items and put them in a zippered gallon freezer bag. This will protect them in case of a flood, leaky roof or plumbing problem.

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Hack a funnel

You can make a funnel out of a zippered bag in a pinch. Cut it in half diagonally, then snip the corner off.

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Make an outdoor shower

This tip is my favorite because it's so useful. Poke holes in a zipper bag with a pencil, then seal the end of a water hose inside the bag and secure it with a rubber band or hair tie.

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Completed zipper bag shower

Now you have a handy outdoor shower. Toss the hose over a tree branch to shower off muddy kids or pets hands-free.

15 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Fix a wet phone

Believe it or not, you can also fix a soaked phone with zip-top bags. Sharon Profis has the steps to drying out your phone.

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