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Make Your Own Beeswax Food Wraps
If you want to reduce the use of plastic in your kitchen, making beeswax food wraps is one easy way to do so. There are many different recipes for making beeswax wraps. This one is very simple and does not involve a lot of different materials.
Beeswax wraps are a perfect replacement for plastic food wrap in many instances. Of course, they don’t work for every situation such as wet greasy food.
However, because this wax comes from bees, it is a natural and renewable resource. And by taking advantage of its adhesive properties we can use beeswax to make useful items for our homes.
There are so many recipes to make homemade wraps that it can become a bit overwhelming. Ultimately you will need to experiment a bit because each one has various levels of “cling” depending on the exact ingredient used.
Can You Make Wraps with Just Beeswax?
One method of making beeswax wraps is to simply use the wax alone with no other ingredients. This idea will work to a degree-but it is not ideal.
Getting the cotton cloth to absorb the wax is not problem. However, you may have cracking when actually using them on anything. Also, it will be rather stiff when cool and not as pliable. Generally, this is not the best option for most people.
Making DIY Beeswax Wraps With Oils Instead of Resin
Some common instructions call for the use of oils such as jojoba or coconut instead of using resins. This too can be a workable solution.
However, if too much oil is used in the recipe (and here again you have to experiment) problems can arise.
Sometimes the wrap fails to cling to the bowl and sometimes it leaves behind bits of coconut oil residue.
Best Beeswax Food Wrap Recipes
The process of making beeswax food wraps sounds so simple. In fact, there are numerous options for creating your reusable food wraps.
When I made my first wraps, I thought why not just brush the wax on my cloth. Well, that didn’t work well. After the wax cools, it did crack when I shaped the material.
This recipe includes pine resin (though you can use other types of resin) and olive oil . You can use another oil such as jojoba or coconut if you desire. In my experience, reusable wrap recipes with resin have the highest rate of success.
Finding the best beeswax wrap recipe for your climate may require just a bit of experimentation. Humidity and temperatures can affect how well the end product works.
But, the creation process is fun and easy. Just be prepared for a bit of recipe tweaking. More on that in a bit.
Best Way to Make Reusable Beeswax Food Wraps
The first step is to choose the type of material that you want to use. Thin cotton usually gives the best results. Sheeting material or cotton quilting squares are the easiest to work with.
Choose colorful cotton cloth squares that match the theme of your kitchen. Now, your wraps have become a part of your home décor.
What Size Should Beeswax Food Wraps be?
Your cloth squares should be washed and dried prior to beginning. Food wraps can be cut to any size but 10” – 12” is most common. You may wish to make different sizes to accommodate various bowl sizes.
If you have special scissors called pinking shears, these will give your cloth a sassy edging and reduce raveling. But, regular scissor cuts are okay.
Supplies Needed to Make Wax Food Wraps
- 4 cloth squares- cotton – cut to desired size – 10″-12″ most common
- beeswax – 50 gm
- pine resin -10 gm
- olive oil – 1 1/2 teaspoons
- aluminum foil
In addition, choose a melting pot (anything you want to melt wax in) .
Time needed: 2 hours.
Directions for making homemade beeswax food wraps
- Melting Beeswax
Measure the proper amount of beeswax and place in a melting pot.
I always use weight (by grams) to measure materials when using my beeswax recipes. You may purchase beeswax pastilles. They are easy to work with and measure.
However, if you buy a block of raw wax from an area beekeeper, it is easy to break into chunks as well.
- Measure and Grind Pine Resin Crystals
Resin helps make the cloths slightly sticky. If they end up being “stickier” than you prefer, use less resin next time.
The chunks of resin will melt in the beeswax but very slowly. For faster melting, wrap the pine resin chunks in a cloth and beat them with a hammer.
This will reduce the resin to powder form for faster melting. Pour resin into the melting beeswax and stir well.
- Adding Oils to Melting Mixture
Now we are ready to add a bit of oil. I use Olive Oil because that is what I have on hand.
Other crafters enjoy using Jojoba oil or even coconut oil. Measure and pour the oil into the melting pot.
Keep the heat at a medium to low level and continue to slowly heat the mixture until everything is liquid.
Stir well as the pine resin will tend to clump at the bottom. When all is melted and mixed well, it is time for the next step.
- Preheat and Line Pan
Preheat your oven to 175 degree F. Line a flat pan or cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Place a cloth square on the pan and place in the oven for 2 minutes.
Warming the cloth helps it absorb the melted beeswax mixture. The heat of the pan prevents the wax from cooling too quickly. After 2 minutes, remove from oven – using an oven mitten.
- Brush Beeswax Mixture on Cloth
Place the warm pan on a heat safe surface that you have covered with aluminum foil. (for easy clean up).
Use your brush or paint a light coat of your recipe on the cloth. Do not put too much, we only want just enough to coat the surface. Only paint one side.
- Bake Cloth 4 minutes
Place your pan (and cloth) back in the oven for 4 minutes. Then, remove and carefully lift up the edge of the cloth.
Does it look wet or dark on the back? If not, lightly brush more of your mixture on the spots that look dry and place back in the oven for a minute or two.
If the back of the cloth looks damp and saturated, it has enough wax. Using tongs or your fingers if not too hot, lift the cloth straight up by 2 corners.
Gently fan it in the air for a minute or two. The beeswax will set quickly. Then you can lay the beeswax wrap down flat on a piece of aluminum foil to allow it to cool.
Tips to Consider for Wax Melting
Consider having a dedicated pot for melting beeswax, and use of a double boiler is recommended. The double boiler has water in the bottom pot with your recipe materials in the top pot.
Caution: Oils, resins and even beeswax is flammable. Use caution when melting your ingredients to avoid burns of danger of fire.
Ways to Use Beeswax Wraps
Once your food wrap has cooled, it is ready to use. Place the wrap on top of a bowl, and gently form a seal by pressing down around the edge.
Work slowly as the heat of your hand helps soften the wax. Naturally, not every food storage task is suitable for these reusable wraps.
Do not use them for meats, raw or cooked, or things that are gooey. The wraps can be gently cleaned with a damp cloth. But, if you wash them regularly, you will have to reapply your beeswax mixture sooner.
My favorite way to use them in the kitchen is for simple bowl covers. The wraps stay very clean, and yet keep dust and (nosy cat noses) out of things I have left on the counter.
How Long Does a Beeswax Wrap Last?
While these natural wraps are a wonderful addition to the kitchen, they are not without some challenges. After a while, (how long depends on many factors), the wraps will need to be replenished.
This can be as simple as reapplying the beeswax, resin mixture but it is a maintenance task to consider.
Natural Food Wraps Make Special Gifts
Make some wraps for gifts using material related to the recipient’s interests. For teachers, choose cloth with school designs.
If you have a favorite music instructor, wraps with notes would be cool. Use fabric with bees and make a very, special bee gift for a new beekeeper.
Final Tips on Making DIY Beeswax Food Wraps
Here is a tip to keep in mind when you are making your first beeswax wraps. Don’t make a lot of them on your first attempt.
Make 3 or 4 and test them out. It is much better to tweak the recipe until you come up with them just the way you like them.
If you live where it is hot and humid, you may need a bit more oil or resin. People in cold climates may use less. It is really a matter of personal preference after you obtain a workable product.