I have a love/hate relationship with plastic wrap. Sometimes it seems like it’s the only thing that will get the job done, but then it is so obnoxious to handle! Living in Europe, they don’t sell the stuff with the handy box with the serrated metal edge to cut it off, so it’s even harder to manage! There’s also the fact that you use it once, sometimes only for a few hours before it goes in the trash.
One thing that I’ve been meaning to try out for a while is replacing plastic wrap with beeswax wraps. I’m the type of person who would rather make my own than buy them, so I bought an old curtain from my local thrift store and I found some beeswax at a local fair.
I did a bit of research before and many of the sites said to use beeswax mixed with pine resin and jojoba oil, but it was challenging enough to find beeswax and I wasn’t prepared to scour Vilnius for two other obscure ingredients. Plus, a few sites mentioned that the extra materials didn’t add anything to the quality of the finished product.
I watched a few Youtube videos about different strategies for making them and chose the one that I had all of the equipment for. Here’s what I did.
- Cotton fabric
- Drying rack
- Parchment paper
- Oven tray
- Preheat the oven to 200°F or the lowest setting.
- Use your scissors to cut the fabric to the size you want. To make a custom size, you can take your bowls or dishes out of the cupboard and use them to measure. Make the cut about an inch outside of the diameter of your dish.
- Cover the oven tray with parchment paper and place your cloth on the paper.
- Break the beeswax into small pieces and spread evenly over the cloth. Make sure to go all the way to the edges.
- Place the tray into the preheated oven for a several (around 5) minutes until the wax is melted. If there are spots that dont have enough wax, apply a bit more and pop it back in the oven again. You can also use a brush to spread out the wax, but I didn’t have one I was willing to sacrifice.
- Then when you’re satisfied with it, use the tongs to pick up the hot fabric and lay over the drying rack.
- Once they’re dry, you can wrap up your cheese, fruit, vegetables, or cover your dishes!
Another option is to fold over the fabric and sew up the sides to make little pouches for snacks or sandwiches.
There were two surprising things about the process. One is the discoloration of the cloth. Obviously if the wax is yellow, the fabric will turn yellow as well, but I didn’t consider it when buying the fabric. The second is that the beeswax also has a slight waxy smell that can transfer to your vegetables if they are wrapped for long periods of time. It’s not terrible, but something to consider.
To use: simply crumple it up in your hands to heat the wax. Then wrap the item and press the edges together to seal it.
Have you tried beeswax wraps?