How do you get started with The Swag?
Firstly, you must wash your Swags before you start using them (turn inside out and cool/warm machine wash). Once washed they will become more absorbant. Dry inside-out in sun. You should use your Swags like you do your tea towels, whist some tea towels are in the wash there are clean ones ready to use. There's nothing worse than bringing home fresh produce and not having clean dry Swags. You need to be washing your Swags every two weeks or so and we recommend washing before use, please follow instructions on the care label. The care instructions are: turn inside out, out in a regular wash at around 30 degrees C, dry with bag inside out, in full sun. Make sure your Swags are 100% dry before putting away.
How does The Swag work?
The Swag is made of three different layers (Australian Patent No. 2015221423. International Patents Pending) of 100% natural, unbleached, unseeded cotton materials. Each layer plays a significant role in keeping your fresh produce fresher for much longer! The outer layer stops the water in the middle layer from drying up. However, it's the two other layers that make the significant difference. The thicker middle layer absorbs and holds the water, almost like the inner layer of a baby nappy, it draws moisture away from the baby’s bottom, or in this case, away from the fresh produce in your Swag. If too much moisture is up against your fruit and veggies, they'll rot quicker! The very Inner layer, provides a dryer barrier which allows fruit and veggies to breathe and hydrate. draw on the air and water to stay Fresher for Longer. The Swag has International Patents Pending Australian Patent No. 2015221423.
How often should I wash my Swags?
Firstly, you need to wash your Swags before you start using them and wash as needed or a least once every two weeks. When washing, turn The Swag Simply turn them inside-out and wash in cold-warm water up to 30 degrees centigrade. For best results, whilst still wet, pour some white vinegar (no frills) over your Swags and run on a rinse cycle. This removes soap residue and is a natural sanitiser. Whilst inside-out dry in full sun. The sun is a natural bleach and a sanitizer. As your Swags are 100% natural some shrinkage may occur once washed. They will shrink signficantly if a hot wash is used or if they're put in the dryer. We increased the size of The Swag in order to compensate for some shrinkage.
How do I care for my Swags?
As above, I recommend an express wash when you first receive your Swags.
Wash as needed or a least once every two weeks. When washing, turn The Swag inside-out and shake out any veggie crumbs and wash in cold-warm water at a temperate of up to 30 degrees. For the very best results, after washing and while still wet, add a splash of white vinegar (no frills) over your Swags and put them on a quick rinse cycle. This removes toxic soap residue and is also a natural sanitiser. Whilst inside-out dry in full beaming sun. The sun is a natural bleach and sanitizer. If you use an incredibly hot wash or dryer then some shrinkage may occur.
Why unbleached, unseeded cotton?
The Swag is made of three unique layers of 100% natural unseeded, unbleached cotton materials (International patents pending). The Swag is going to be housing your food, so it's important that you can trust that it's non-toxic and non-allergenic. The Swag is both non-toxic and non-allergenic.
Cotton is both a food and fibre crop. The cotton plant produces fruit, known as bolls. The cotton seeds are about 15% of the value of the crop and are pressed to make oil. The cottonseed oil form is a common ingredient in many foods and animal feed. Cottonseed oil ranks as one of the top cooking oils in the United States. The Swag is going to be housing your food, so it's important that you can trust that it's non-toxic and hypoallergenic.
I've spent 3 years investigating the best non-toxic, environmentally friendly fabric on the market, this research lead me to unbleached, unseeded (greige) cotton. To put things into perspective, I’ve had the idea of The Swag for over 10 years.
Based on my research choosing unbleached, unseeded cotton was the safest and most natural path and a far better option than using toxic plastic bags and containers. Why? Plastics are made via a process called polymerization. There are always chemicals that aren’t 100% set into the polymeric structure and can easily bleed from the original plastic source. 90% of the chemicals of greatest concern to our health are used to make plastic.
How can I get the very best results out of my Swag?
As a rule, only put UNRIPENED fruit in The Swag. As needed, move the UNRIPENED fruit from The Swag into your fruit bowl for a day or two. The fruit will be perfectly ripened and ready to eat. For more detailed information on this go to question “What doesn’t work well in the Swag?”
For best results dampen your Swag with filtered water from a jug or filtration system.
For additional insights into best results please read the section below about caring for your Swags.
How should I use my Swag?
Everyone has a different way of using their Swag and you’ll find yours in no time at all, it's incredibly easy to use.
There's a short instructional video on our website. Click here to view.
Personally, I tend to put all of my freshly purchased fresh produce into my large Swag and I move the older produce into a small Swag, therefore I know which Swag I need to use the produce out of first. The colour coding trims really helps here.
Some people like a separate Swag for fruit, veggies or leafy greens. Others throw everything into one Swag. Personally, I like to divide my produce up as follows;
- Leafy greens and salad stuff e.g. lettuce, herbs, capsicum, tomatoes, avocado and cucumber in one colour coded Swag;
- Another colour coded Swag for all Veggies;
- Another for fruits;
- I have a small Swag with a combination of all the older fresh produce that I want to use first.
The colour coding trim makes it easy to identify what’s in each Swag.
What I LOVE about this system, is that when I’m cooking a stir fry I pull out The Swag with the colour trim that has the older produce and the other with the veggies in it and everything I need to prepare my meal is all in one Swag. There are less trips to the fridge, no need to rummage around to find things! If I’m making a salad I pull out the Swag containing the salad produce, if I'm making lunches I pull out two Swags, one with the salad the other with the fruit. I pop the relevant Swag on the bench, use what I need and put the half-cut produce straight back into The Swag, no wrapping needed. They'll stay fresher for much longer when nude. Unless it's a very ripe or messy tomato or avocado, you may want to wrap these.
Remember, The Swag doesn't need to be in the crisper of your fridge. The Swag saves money, it saves time with less rummaging through your fridge and less trips to the shops!
Most stone fruits, such as avocados, tomatoes, mangoes, melons, apples, and pears will continue to ripen if left on a counter in a fruit bowl. Once they're very ripe, try to avoid putting them in The Swag, just eat them! When fruits approach maturity, they release ethylene, which promotes ripening. Ethylene can also cause premature ripening in other fruits and veggies. It's best to put these fruits into The Swag WELL BEFORE they’re ripe, as needed fill your fruit bowl with the unripen fruit and within a day or so, your fruit will be ripe and ready to eat. If you can see the fruit has ripened then remove it and either eat it ASAP, put it on a shelf in your fridge, away from other fruits and veggies. Ripe strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, bananas, pears and many other fruits will freeze well and can be used later in delicious smoothies.
For best results;
- For fresh corn, take it out of the husk completely before storing in The Swag, corn will stay fresher longer this way;
- Chopping dry ends off fresh fruit and veggies will allow then to breathe and hydrate more efficiently;
- Leave bananas in the fruit bowl. If you want to ripen bananas or avocados put them in a dry Swag and place in a warm position in your kitchen. Peel bananas before freezing;
- Cut watermelon, pineapple and rock melon is best cut up and put into a container however if it's a whole watermelon, pineapple, rock melon that is not ripe then they'll most likely love being in The Swag;
- Mushrooms go in a dry swag in the fridge;
- Potatoes and onions also go in a dry Swag and put in your pantry.
How much should I dampen my Swag?
Dampen your clean dry Swags before you put in your fresh produce. Make sure you dampen your Swags from the outside layer only and really wring out excess water. The inside of the Swag should be dry in parts and not noticeably wet. Too much dampness is not good for your fruit and veggies so, if you’re not seeing the results you're expecting, then you’re probably applying too much water or not enough water to your Swags.
Whenever you start to feel the outer layer dry out then it’s time to reapply water. You don’t have to take all the contents out, just sprinkle it with water from the outside. You don’t have to take The Swag out of the crisper just sprinkle water over the top of The Swag. As you’re not wetting the whole Swag, you can afford to sprinkle a bit more water on The Swag so that the top flap and surrounding edges can be a little more moist than usual.
How often should I dampen my Swag?
Whenever you start to feel the outer layer dry out then it’s time to reapply water. You don’t have to take all the contents out, sprinkle water from the outside. As you’re not wetting the whole Swag, you can afford to sprinkle quite a bit more water so that the top flap and surrounding edges can be a little more moist than usual.
Can I put different fruits, veggies and leafy greens in one Swag?
Yes! Go for it. Each individual fruit, veggie or leafy green will breathe and take in water at its own pace, that’s the beauty of The Swag and the layers offer a unique feature that keeps your fresh produce fresher for longer! There are people who say you shouldn't put everything together in a container or bag however the vast majority of our customers are doing this and still report significant results. If you want to build upon these results, then go for it, you can separate your fresh produce and the colour coding will help with this. However, most of my customers have found they have consumed their fresh produce well before they have even started to see any sign of their fresh produce perishing.
Just be mindful to put the harder produce at the bottom, I always start with carrots and then cucumbers, capsicum, broccoli, apples, pears, oranges and then stack some zucchini, tomatoes, squash, avocado, then lettuce and herbs on top, it works a treat.
What fruits & veggies should not be put together for best results?
As a rule, only put UNRIPENED fruit in the Swag as needed, move UNRIPENED fruit from the Swag into a fruit bowl for a day or two. The fruit will then be perfectly ripened and ready to eat. Most fruits such as avocados, tomatoes, mangoes, melons, apples, and pears will continue to ripen if left sitting out on a counter top in a fruit bowl. Once they’re ripe, try not to put them into The Swag, just eat them!
Why? When fruits approach maturity, they release Ethylene. This Ethylene promotes the ripening of fruit however Ethylene, can also cause premature ripening in other fruits and veggies.
However, don't get too hung up on this, if there are ripe fruits in your Swag, they will still stay fresher for much longer even when ripe... so if you can't eat them in time, then Swag them and you'll still get several extra days to use them.
Below are a list of Ethylene producing fruits:
- Asian Pear
- Cantaloupe (Rock melon)
- Crenshaw melon
- Custard Apple
- Honeydew melon
- Kiwi fruit
- Mamey sapote
- Passion fruit
- Persian Melon
When should I not use my Swag anymore?
The Swag is built to last with proper care. I recommend replacing your Swags once every year or two. However, as an extreme example; if you’ve gone on a holiday and left rotting fresh produce in your Swag, then I would turn it inside-out and wash. Then whilst still wet, pour a cup of white wine vinegar over your Swag and put it through an extra rinse cycle. The vinegar is a natural anti-bacterial and will also remove the soap detergent/chemicals from your Swags. Whilst still inside-out dry in full sun. The sun is a natural bleach and sanitizes The Swag. However, if you’ve left your Swag to the point of mould I highly recommend throwing them away as mould spores are difficult to kill, can be toxic and will spread to your other Swags if not removed quickly. If this happens, I recommend cleaning out your fridge crisper with while vinegar. I had once customer post on Facebook that she went to Japan for two weeks and came home to find a Swag full of lettuce that was as perfect as the day she bought it and she ate it!
Do I have to cling wrap stuff that I have cut up?
No, there’s no need to wrap them. They stay fresher for much longer that way! Unless it’s an onion and you don’t want your Swag to get a bit smelly, however I know heaps of people who still put their cut up onion in The Swag with everything else. Also, any ripe fruits as discussed below in "What doesn't work well in The Swag". With avocados, I use one half and then put the skin from the used half over the top, secure with a rubber band and pop straight back into the Swag. the most natural cling wrap you can get and at no charge. See full post in blog.
What doesn’t work well in the Swag?
Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are probably best left in their punnets for protection from squishing and instead nestle the pun-nets in around the dampened Swags in your crisper of your fridge. The environment The Swags will create within your crisper will help them stay fresher for longer. However, if you can ensure no squishing occurs use The Swag however, only apply a smidgen of water to The Swag when they contain strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.
Bananas can be left out at room temperature in a fruit bowl. If they start to go brown take them out of their skin and freeze them, they’re so good in smoothies! Berries are very easily frozen too.
What about mushrooms?
The Swag works incredibly well for mushrooms however DO NOT WET The Swag. Put your mushrooms into a dry Swag and into the crisper or general section of the fridge. If you've bought mushrooms in a container sealed with cling wrap they can often feel/look slimy. That's because mushrooms don't like suffocating and therefore they start sweating. If your mushrooms are slimy, I recommend washing them thoroughly in a little bit of cold water and white vinegar. Then let them dry naturally or pat dry with a tea towel. Once dry and if you've managed to remove the slime, then pop them into a dry Swag and into your crisper. Wherever possible buy your mushrooms loose in brown paper bags and avoid plastic, mushrooms hate plastic! They'll stay much fresher for longer in a The Swag or even a brown paper bag.
What about onions and potatoes?
The Swag works incredibly well for root vegetables such as; potatoes; onions and ginger. DO NOT WET The Swag and Do NOT put it in the fridge. Put your root vegetables in a DRY Swag in your pantry, they'll stay much fresher for longer.
How to store your Loose Lettuce, Bunches and Spinach Leaves in your Swag?
Rinse thoroughly and put into a dry small Swag. Then go outside and swing the Swag around (like you would swing a billy of tea) to get rid of all the excess water! Make sure you're holding it closed so all of the lettuce doesn't fall out. Then place this Swag on top of all of your other Swags so it doesn't get squashed!
Remember to use the colour coding trims, they will help you know what's in each of your Swags.
What about pumpkins?
Pumpkins love The Swag! If it's a cut pumpkin, we suggest removing all plastic ASAP, remove the pulp & seeds and have a slightly dryer Swag for your pumpkin... you can even chop your pumpkin into large roasting pieces and store in The Swag that way.
The interesting thing about whole pumpkin is it actually thrives to be nestled in around The Swags, So, you can pop the pumpkin at the bottom of the crisper and place your Swags on top and around your pumpkin.
Pumpkin is also great for freezing once it's steamed or roasted - you'll waste even less this way :-)
How to store your corn in your Swag?
Remove the corn from the husk and place into a slightly damp Swag. Keep in the crisper of your fridge with all of your other fruit and veggies. Corn thrives in The Swag! If you like to BBQ your corn with the husk on, then sipmly lossen the husk from around the corn so it can breath and hydrate in The Swag until your ready to BBQ the bejezus out of it :-) happy BBQ'ing!
How to store all berries?
Berries are mostly sold in punnet's with air holes in them. Our tip for your Berries is to nestle your punnet's close to and AROUND your Swags that are in the crisper of your fridge. They will last much longer due to the environment that The Swags create around them - yay!
Australian Patent No. 2015221423 International Patent(s) Pending