Take the sting out of cling…
You can use – and reuse – beeswax wraps instead of clingfilm to cover food and instead of sandwich bags to transport it. Beeswax is naturally anti-bacterial, and the wraps are breathable, washable, reusable – and compostable – unlike clingfilm which takes around 500 years to degrade. And, beeswax wraps can be used a few times a week for around a year before they need retiring.
Click on the bee to download the instructions via PDF:
You will need
- BEESWAX – beeswax comes in a variety of shades; any are fine but the yellower ones may discolour lighted fabrics. You can definitely source local beeswax if you didn’t want to buy online. You will need:
- FABRIC – cotton is lightweight and breathable, which makes it perfect for making these wraps.
- OPTIONAL JOJOBA OIL – this one is a little harder to find; the jojoba oil can make the beeswax wraps more supple. It isn’t essential, but if you’re considering mass manufacturing for Christmas gifts, worth a look.
- AN IRON – I’m guessing most people have these anyway, but you’ll need to borrow one if not.
- GREASEPROOF PAPER AND A TOWEL – you do NOT want to get that beeswax on your ironing board. I mean, it will wash out, but it’s an inconvenience you could do without, I’m sure (speaking, the voice of experience)
And that’s it. Once have the above items and are all ready to go, warm up the iron, and follow these steps:
- Cut the fabric to the size you want it for your wraps. As a guide, 20 x 20cm (small) will do for snacks and covering tins/jars, 25x25cm will generally work for sandwiches and 30x30cm and above can be useful for your larger food- based items. Some people like to use pinking shears to create a crimped edge (helps the fabric not to fray).
- Prepare your work surface/ironing board – lay an old/expendable towel down first, then a sheet of greaseproof paper, then your fabric.
- Sprinkle the beeswax over the fabric – if you have pellets, that’s super easy. If you have a bar, you’ll need to grate it first! I found about 8 – 10g of pellets works well for covering a sandwich sized wrap.
- If you’re adding Jojoba Oil, add it now – a few drops, sprinkled evenly around the fabric – Jojoba oil enables the wax to be more supple, so it can help when moulding the wrap around items, and can help for longevity. It isn’t essential.
- Put another sheet of greaseproof paper over the fabric/wax etc. It’s probably obvious but I will say it just in case – make sure the greaseproof (top and bottom sheet) is bigger than your fabric by a couple of inches, to make sure the wax doesn’t get onto your iron.
- Iron gently over the paper to melt the wax. Once melted (you’ll be able to see this through the paper usually) use the iron to distribute the wax properly – it helps to work in strokes going from the centre to the edges. You want the wax to cover the edges for maximum effectiveness, and to help seal edges to prevent fraying.
- Peel the top paper away, and carefully lift the wrap (warning: likely to be hot) by one corner. Hang the wrap somewhere to dry – a clothes line or similar works perfectly. It won’t take long to dry, five or ten minutes, and you can start using it right away.
Other things to know – you can hand wash your wraps in warm soapy water – easy peasy. Also, if every couple of months you either re-iron them (in greaseproof) or pop them in an oven (on around 100o Celsius) for a couple of minutes, it sort of re-sets the wax for you to use them good as new.