In The Kitchen,  Life

Homemade Beeswax Food Wraps

Saying goodbye to plastic wrap is easier than you'd think!

In our quest to live a more eco-friendly sustainable lifestyle, we’ve been looking for ways to minimize how much plastic we use on a daily basis. One thing we used a lot of is plastic wrap.

I’m not going to deny the awesome convenience of using plastic wrap for food leftovers, but there are way better alternatives out there, and it was time for us to make the switch!

Since we are still halfway through a warehouse sized roll of wrap, our options are to simply throw it out, or make use of it before tossing it and not buy it again. I’m choosing to use it for non-food purposes (crafting, wrapping paint cups to save for tomorrow, etc) so that we minimize the amount of plastic our food touches.

If you’d like to read more about why plastics aren’t great – terrible really, then head on over to my post on microplastics here.

Alternatively, there are some really easy ways to switch from plastic wrap. Glass containers are a great option, and even just placing a larger plate on top of a bowl in the fridge works just fine. But sometimes, I just want to use a wrap!

So, I could go and spend upwards of $10-15 each for store-bought beeswax food wraps, or I could just as easily make my own. And since I happened to have beeswax, jojoba, and cotton fabric scraps around the house, that’s what I did!

It’s a really easy project that takes less than half an hour.

How to make homemade beeswax food wraps:

You’ll need: beeswax, jojoba oil, and cotton scraps. The jojoba oil helps the melted beeswax spread into the cloth better. The amount of beeswax you’ll need depends on how big your fabric is and how many you’re making, but a rough example is I used about half a cup of beeswax to make 1 extra large, 1 large, 2 medium, and 2 small wraps.

  • First, preheat your oven to 200* F.
  • Second, cut your cotton fabric scraps to the desired sizes. I didn’t even measure mine, just go for the size of plates and bowls that you know you’ll be wrapping. Old cotton sheets and pillow cases work great for this! I used scraps from my quilting cottons.
  • Place the fabric on an old baking tray (you won’t want to use your nice ones for this, see note below).
  • Melt the beeswax and a few drops of jojoba in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water.
  • Using a silicone pastry brush or clean new paintbrush, brush the melted wax onto the fabric. Less is more here! Work quickly, as the wax will begin to harden again fairly quickly. Don’t worry about it being perfectly even at this stage. Mine hardened up too fast and I was left with balled up wax on sections of it.
  • Place the tray in the oven for no more than 4 minutes, just enough to get the wax melted into the fabric and any uneven bits leveled out.
  • Using some old clothespins, remove from the baking tray immediately, and hang to dry. If you don’t remove it from the tray quickly enough, the wax will harden up and your wrap will be difficult to remove. If this happens, just pop it back into the oven to soften back up again. 

That's it! It really is super easy.

A note on cleanup: beeswax is REALLY difficult to remove. I can get it off glass bowls and silicone pastry brushes by pouring boiling water over it, and using some dish soap and a good scrub. However, my old baking pans weren’t so lucky and are now destined to be crafting pans.

Care: I wouldn't recommend the dishwasher for this homemade variety. A gentle hand wash is best.

So far, they're great! The heat from my hands warms them enough to press them into shape around my dishes, and they fold great around loose items in the fridge. 

So, could you make the switch away from plastic wrap too? If you try these out, let me know what you think!

2 Comments

  • Alexandra Furey

    I’ve wanted beeswax wraps since buying my sister the expensive ones last Christmas, but I wasn’t sure they’d stick and actually maintain their shape… I’ll have to try now!

    • Brittany

      They can get super pricey! There’s lots of lower cost ones as well, if you don’t have the wax or jojoba readily available. Store bought or DIY, it’s all better than plastic wrap! Thanks for reading!

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