Plastic wrap, cling film, gladwrap – whatever you want to call it, it is everywhere. We use it to wrap sandwiches, fruit, snacks, leftovers, take-a-plates, cheese, baking, you name it, we can wrap it.
Unfortunately, once plastic wrap is created, we are stuck it forever. Sea life thinks it is food, other animals choke on it and it probably isn’t good for us to wrap our food in either, let’s be honest.
BUT there is an alternative! Beeswax wraps!
These are a beeswax infused cloth, that self-adheres, is reusable and can come in any pattern or size you like. In fact, the beeswax-infused cloth is better for storing food in because it also breathes so your food won’t sweat. No more slimy soggy cheese edges or squishy avocado.
I have made several versions of the beeswax wraps before I found a combo that worked well. Initially, I used straight beeswax on calico cotton.
The wax wasn’t pliable enough on its own and didn’t stick to itself either, it just cracked and the calico cotton was just too thick.
You need a cotton that is thin and flexible, like bed sheets. Light 100% cotton quilting fabric works well and comes in the most fantastic patterns. T
hese beeswax wraps include damar resin (you can substitute it for pine resin if you prefer) which add to the durability of the wax, and adds the sticky factor to it.
The beeswax wraps also include jojoba oil which is a natural anti-microbial oil and it also adds to the flexibility of the wrap. You can substitute it for any food-safe oil if you prefer, but it won’t have the same anti-microbial effect.
100g Beeswax (3.5oz)
20g Damar resin (.7oz) or Pine rosin
3 teaspoons (15ml/.5 fluid ounce) Jojoba oil
6 squares of light, woven cotton, pre washed and dried 30x30cm (12x12in).
An old pot, old clean paintbrush (or new cheap one), tinfoil, mortar and pestle or some way of crushing the resin.
Chop up your beeswax into chunks and place in an old pot.
Crush the resin in a mortar and pestle and add to the wax.
Melt over a medium heat and stir intermittently until all melted together.
Add the jojoba oil and stir well.
Cut your fabric to size. I prefer to use pinking shears to help stop the fraying, but I don’t own any so today it was straight cuts.
Line your bench with tinfoil and lay your fabric on top of it.
Place the tinfoil and fabric onto a tray and pop in the oven for 5 minutes.
Take it out of the oven and check the wax is now evenly soaked through to the back. If it has not, return it to the oven for 3 more minutes, adding more wax if required.
Once the back is evenly coated carefully remove the beeswax wrap from the foil and hang it somewhere for about 3 minutes to set. I use tongs to pick it up with, though it cools very quickly, sometimes I use my fingers and just wave it in the air a bit to set it.
CLEAN UP TIP – wipe your pot out with paper towels/rags before attempting to wash it.
Now it is ready to use.
Wash in cool water with a mild soap. Do not put in the washing machine. This coating should last 6-12 months of regular use. If you notice it is starting to loose it’s stick, place in a medium oven on a foil lined tray for 5-8 minutes to re-distribute the wax. It will eventually need a proper re-coat of the wax mixture.
ADVANCED LEVEL: Sew little pockets/envelopes and then coat them in the wax mixture to make little snack bags for nuts and raisins etc.
Got any questions? What do you use instead of plastic wrap? Let me know in the comments below!
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