What could be more wasteful than wrapping your food in a temporary piece of unrecyclable plastic? That’s what cling film is. It is messy, sweaty and half the time not even clingy. Enter beeswax wraps. Beeswax has so many benefits and uses. It is completely safe to use in the home as it is non-toxic and edible (if you wanted to eat it). It is antibacterial, antifungal and waterproof. Beeswax can be heated and reused and it doesn’t go off. All perfect characteristics for a food wrap!
You can buy a pack of beeswax wraps from several sources for about £10-£20 for a few sheets but where is the fun in that when you can easily make your own! I found the original DIY for this from the Moral Fibres website. Overall this DIY cost me no more than £3.50.
To make this DIY as waste-free as I could I used old fabric scraps, it is best to use cotton or a stiff material (also I don’t know how plastic-based synthetic fabrics would hold up in the heat of the oven!). I found 100g natural beeswax pellets on Amazon for about £3.50 which easily made 5 various sized wraps (I still have pellets left). But you could make this even less wasteful by contacting a beekeeper near you and getting some local wax.
You will need:
- Fabric scraps of various sizes
- Beeswax pellets
- Baking tray
- Baking paper
- Washing line and pegs
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 80°C. Lay out a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray (I have now nominated this as my beeswax baking sheet which will be reused for years, you can do it without the paper but it means scrubbing the trays for about an hour in very hot water, maybe a dishwasher would do a good job?). Then lay your piece of fabric on it. Sprinkle the pellets onto the fabric evenly.
Step 2: Place the tray in the oven for about 5 minutes, making sure it doesn’t burn. Your wax should easily melt and coat the fabric, use tongs to move the fabric around and add more wax if necessary.
Step 3: Once you’re happy with the coating quickly take the tray outside and peg up a wrap from one corner. Then wait for it to dry, it usually takes a minute or so to fully dry out.
Step 4: Wrap! You can wrap anything with your beeswax wraps. I have found that they work so much better than cling film, no more sweaty, soggy food in the fridge. Half a courgette I’ve had in the fridge for nearly a week looks as good as new and my cucumber never dries out. You can also mold it around a bowl or an open tin. The wax will melt slightly under the heat of your hands so you can mold it to any shape you need.
- Don’t put your wraps in the oven or microwave! They will melt and ruin whatever you’re eating!
- They will go brittle under extreme cold so I wouldn’t recommend using them in the freezer.
- If they are looking a bit worn out after a while, just reheat and hang out to dry, they will look as good as new!
- Wash in warm water (not too hot!) after use.