I just recently phased out all of my plastic food storage containers. Now I store our leftovers in mason jars or in a simple glass bowl with some sort of plastic wrap or tin foil over the top. I feel better about not having our food in plastic, however, I do notice that with this new system, I’m using a lot more disposable “wrap-type” materials like tin foil and plastic wrap.
I started researching if there was a reusable product that could replace the disposable ones. And lo and behold, there is!
Beeswax food wraps are essentially a piece of cotton fabric coated in beeswax to make it somewhat waterproof and stain-proof. The beeswax lends just enough “stickiness” so that it stays somewhat in place when it’s wrapped around itself (think the cut end of a cucumber) or around glass, like the top of a bowl. It’s also chemical-free and safe to place right on top of food.
It’s also reusable in that it can be easily cleaned with soap and cold water. Really, it’s like making a more permanent and durable wax paper.
The beeswax food wraps can be made in all shapes and sizes. Large ones for big fruit bowls, or small ones to cover the end of cut vegetables. They can be neatly folded and stored where you’d normally store your disposable wrap products.
These wraps can be purchased already-made. There are a few companies that sell a range of sizes and styles. But they’re so easy and inexpensive to make, especially if you have beeswax from your hive, that I would encourage you all to give it a try.
- 100% cotton fabric
- pinking shears
- double boiler
- an inexpensive wide paint brush (natural bristles work best)
- pencil (or something to mark the fabric)
- cookie sheet (beeswax can be hard to clean, but not impossible. If you have a designated cookie sheet for crafts etc. you might want to use that, just remember that these will be touching food so don’t use something covered in paint etc.)
For more on how to clean beeswax off of kitchen items visit Nancy Buffington’s post-Clean Beeswax From Kitchen Utensils
- In a double boiler melt your clean 100% beeswax
- While that’s melting, cut the fabric with pinking shears to the desired size. I used a large dinner plate and traced around. You want the fabric to be able to extend a few inches over the side of the bowl that you have in mind. You can cut a square or a circle, whatever strikes your fancy.
- The pinked edge will stop the fabric from fraying.
- Lay the fabric on the cookie sheet and begin painting the melted beeswax across the fabric.
- When you have a thin coat all over the fabric, place in 350-degree oven for 2-5 minutes, just until the wax has saturated the fabric through. Remove from oven and use the brush to touch up any spots missed.
- Let cool, and peel off your tray.
- You can use them immediately.
These beeswax food wraps can be used over and over again. They should be cleaned with dish soap and cold water. Hot water will melt the wax. If the wax begins to wear off or lose its stickiness, you can always recoat the fabric by melting wax and painting again.