How to Make Easy Reusable Beeswax Food Wraps

5 Materials
10 Minutes

This year our family plans to dramatically reduce our use of single-use plastics. One simple way to do so is by replacing our plastic wrap and food bags with home-made reusable beeswax food wraps.

We all know the impact that single-use plastic is having on our planet. 40% of plastic produced across the world is packaging, used just once and then discarded. (National Geographic, 2018).

Not only is plastic production and waste terrible for the environment, but the chemicals in plastic can also find their way into our food and drinks. The World Health Organization has shown that exposure to these toxins can pose potential health risks with some plastic food packaging being cited as of particular concern.

So what can we do to reduce the impact of single-use plastics on our environment and our health? There is no doubt that plastic materials can be incredibly useful, but there are also areas in which their use can be reduced. With the added concern of the health risks of plastic contamination in our food, our use of it during food preparation, storage and transportation seems an obvious place to start.

This is my fridge after a typical weekend. Lots of leftovers stored ready to be used up just as my mother did before me. All protected (or so I’ve always thought) with a clean layer of plastic wrap to keep my food fresh.

Our lunch boxes are a similar story. Sandwiches carefully wrapped so not to let their contents contaminate the kid’s fruit and other snacks. Lots of single-use plastic – one of the most significant problems facing our environment today, and a simple place to make changes.

What we Used to Make our Easy Reusable Beeswax Food Wraps

Men’s Cotton Handkerchiefs (Amazon)

Beeswax Beads (Amazon)

• Old Baking tray and parchment

• Old, clean paintbrush

Reusable beeswax food wraps are both cheap and straightforward to make at home. You can use any tightly woven thin cotton fabric to make the waxed covers such as old cotton sheets and make them any size and shape you want. We used a pack of 11 inch square men's handkerchiefs for ours which were an unwanted present received at Christmas. They are the perfect size for wrapping a sandwich.

I used unrefined beeswax beads to make our food wraps. It is possible to use beeswax blocks and grate them yourself, but this is quite a task so if you do buy the wax specifically for this project using the pellets makes this project much more straightforward.

How to Make Easy Reusable Beeswax Food Wraps

Before I started making our Beeswax food wraps, I popped our handkerchiefs through a hot wash to remove any coating they might have on them.

Line an old baking tray with baking parchment and lay the cotton piece you are using on top.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of Beeswax beads evenly across the fabric’s surface, before popping into a low oven (about 140 C) to melt. I checked the progress every few minutes for the first one I made and found that mine needed about 8 minutes for the wax to melt completely.

Once the wax has melted remove the baking sheet from the oven. You can use the paintbrush to ensure you have an even covering of wax across the cotton square before it starts to set if you need to. I found the heat from the baking sheet kept the wax melted long enough to do this if I worked quickly.

Hang your beeswax wraps up to set. I hung mine over a piece of string suspended between two chairs. They only take a few minutes for the wax to harden.

And here are our home-made beeswax food wraps.

You can find out more about how to use and care for the beeswax food wraps in our original post, the link for which can be found below.

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  • Vicki Vicki on Jan 02, 2019

    We really need containers all crystal clear so we can see through to the food, as I myself waste food because I can't see it.

    We need a separate small cold storage fridge for just family daily drinks, where each person has their own drink bottle and they don't have to go and open the big fridge doors .

  • Phyllis Harris Phyllis Harris on Jan 09, 2019

    EXACTLY why I have pyrex...and they slip in the microway easily for reheating! They have lids too and last a LONG time! Like youI bought a used mini fridge and put it up on a table with a microwave next to it. Microwave pizza rolls in fridge portion drink below down neat the fam room did the trick. They are lazy so something quick there was easiest and kept them out of my kitchen.

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    • Helen Spaulding Helen Spaulding on Feb 18, 2019

      Did you know that Pyrex isn't supposed to break ? Sometimes if you call the company that makes it they will replace the item for free. I believe the company headquarters is in Corning My.