Beeswax Wraps | All your questions answered

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Entering left field is plastic wrap… versatile, indestructible, mindless, and easy… a destroyer of the environment and filler of landfills.  Entering right field is beeswax wrap… the new kid on the block, ready to go head to head with our old time standard and armed with a gold ribbon in eco-consciousness.  Who wins?

Imaging this.  You’ve been gifted an infant-sized zucchini.  You’ve made 4 loafs of chocolate chip zucchini bread, but that sucker is still not used up.  So, you reach into the cupboard for your trusty box of plastic wrap to cover the oozing cut end before you bury it in the back of the fridge.

Sure you could probably store it in a plastic container. Assuming you have a Tupperware large enough for your newborn baby, do you have room in your fridge for it, and still have space for an alphabet of condiments, questionable meatloaf, and 4 school lunches?  Probably not.

Hence the plastic wrap.  But, what if you had an alternative?

What if you could reach for a square of trendy reusable beeswax wrap instead?

a small glass bowl covered with a bee patterned beeswax wrap

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What are beeswax wraps?

Very simply, beeswax wraps are pieces of cotton which have been coated with a combination of beeswax, oils, and sometimes resins.  Once coated, the fabric becomes water-resistant and airtight.

You can use beeswax wraps as an alternative for regular plastic wrap.  From on-line reviews, it sounds like beeswax wraps can be reused for about a year before they loose their magic powers.  But, at that point you can cut them up and add them to your garden compost.

These beeswax wraps are a must if you’re on a mission for a more eco-friendly, reusable, and sustainable kitchen and way of life.

 




 

How do you use beeswax food wraps?

You can fold this coated fabric around foods or cover bowls and cups.  It holds its shape relatively well and does a good job of keeping foods fresh.

Beeswax wraps are perfect for wrapping onto the cut ends of odd shaped fruit and vegetables, for packing up your peanut butter sandwich, and covering last night’s tuna casserole.

They’re reusable.  They’re compostable.  They’re pretty and smell nice too.

You can also use these beeswax wraps as gifts!  They’re the perfect gift for everyone… because everyone eats and everyone needs to keep their food fresh and (I’d like to think) that everyone cares about their plastic consumption and waste.  Think teacher gifts, hostess gifts, college care packages, new baby, new job, new home, and all the regular gift-giving holidays.

Yes.  You can easily wash your beeswax wraps with a little of your mild dish soap and cold water.  Don’t use hot water.  That will melt the wax.
I’ve read to avoid using your beeswax wraps with raw meat since you can’t use hot water to fully sanitize the cloths.
To keep your cloths looking new, you’d probably also want to avoid foods that stain, like beets.

So, where do you buy these handy-dandy beeswax wraps? 

As these wraps gain in popularity, their availability is increasing.  Kitchen shops, gift stores, Amazon, craft fairs, and Etsy are all places to start looking.
These beautiful wraps below are from Suzy’s Bees Wraps (on Etsy).  Aren’t these just ready for gift-giving?  This set had 4 different sizes and came with care and use instructions.  I love the smell of Suzy’s wraps.  I also love that they’re Canadian made!
suzy's bees wraps all packaged in a nice gift-giving set


 

A quick beeswax, bee wrap review

While these wraps do a good job of sealing, I’ve had a hard time getting a complete seal around a bowl.  Popping on an elastic helps keep that seal firm if you’re concerned.

For sandwiches and snacks, you could use a pretty string or ribbon to secure your wrap.  You can even purchase wraps made specifically for sandwiches with clasps or already shaped into bags.  Like these:

image 0
Lunch box beeswax wrap set from The Travelling Bee Shop on Etsy

Overall, I’m finding the bigger sized squares do a better job of sealing since there’s more fabric for folding and holding, and less need of an added string or elastic.

Pros:  

  • No plastic waste!
  • Smell lovely
  • Endless colors to choose from
  • Easy enough to make at home
  • Compostable after they’re reached their usage limit
  • Can be used to preserve freshness of almost all foods

Cons:

  • Might need to use a string or elastic band to make a tighter seal
  • Can’t be disinfected with hot water, so you shouldn’t use your beeswax wraps with raw meats
  • Foods must be completely cool before covering with beeswax wrap
  • The cost (before considering the overall cost savings of a reusable product) can seem high to some.

Want a longer bee wrap review?  Kitchn shares more pros and cons of using beeswax wraps in your own kitchen.




 

How to make beeswax wraps?

I haven’t tried to make my own wraps, but I’ve done a quick search and it seems the process is pretty straightforward:

  1. Spread melted beeswax directly onto good quality cotton
  2. Add some Jojoba oil and let it dry

Of course, there’s a little more to it than that.  If you want to give it a try, this is a well-written detailed article by mommypottamus on making your own beeswax wraps


 

 

Overall, these beeswax wraps are a great addition to any kitchen.  I’d declare them a winner over plastic wrap any day!

 

What should you do now?

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4 comments

  1. We LOVE beeswax and use it at home! This article is spot on! Here’s another con – keep it away from your doggie! Ours snatched ours off the counter and ate it!!!! He must have thought it smelled delicious! 🙂 Thanks for the great article!

    1. Oh wow! That’s a big helpful tip! I don’t have dogs, so I would never have known… but they do have a strong beeswax scent, so I see how a puppy could be interested in them:) Thanks for sharing!

    2. Do you by chance have any issues with wax residue on your bowls? We made some wax wraps and unfortunately they aren’t working as well as we had hoped.

      1. Hi Bre, Sorry to hear you’re having trouble with your wraps. The wraps I am using are from Suzy’s Bees Wraps from Etsy (here’s the affiliate link: http://tidd.ly/ea7f342). I don’t experience any wax residue on my dishes.

        I have discovered that if the wraps are warmer, they form a better seal around the jar or bowl. When it’s cold in the house, I’ve done this by warming my hands with hot water, drying them, then holding the wrap for a few moments to soften it.

        In reading about the wraps it seems there’s a few different ways to make them. I’m sure if you looked up a tutorial and then contacted that person they might have some troubleshooting tips for you and your own home made wraps.

        Good luck and thanks for your question. It was a good one! Sorry I couldn’t be of more help:)

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