Hey guys! This is a project I was really looking forward to making this year. In my endeavor to produce less waste (especially in the kitchen) I came across these reusable wraps made with beeswax! The biggest question I had was “Can they completely replace Saran Wrap in my home??” So let’s get into it!
Beeswax wraps are easily found online or in a natural food store…. but man are they expensive. I had to try to make them myself! The internet is full of different instructions to make your own, but the ingredients are generally the same: cotton fabric, beeswax granules, jojoba oil, and pine rosin. I had exactly two of those things on hand. Some improvisation was needed. Story of my life.
I read somewhere that you can use any food grade oil in place of jojoba (except coconut oil) so I decided to sub with olive oil. I have lots of that. I still have beeswax I bought from a local bee keeper awhile ago, so I was all good there. I found some scraps of fabric I had bought for a project last year- remnants of a pack of fat quarters in pretty white and gold patterns. The last ingredient was the pine rosin. I couldn’t find any locally, but it is easily found online. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?) I’m way too impatient to wait for things to come in the mail when I have a project in mind. So I set about making my own. Check out the post here
Now that I had all my materials gathered it was time to get to work. I cut my fabric scraps by measuring some of my baking pans I would like to cover. Just make sure there is enough to hang over the edges so it can be pressed on to stay in place. Preheat the oven to 180F.
Next, I set up a double boiler and measured out 3 oz of beeswax granules, 1/2 oz of pine rosin, and 1/2 of olive oil. On medium heat I let everything melt together. It’s so important that anything you use when working with pine rosin is only used for that purpose. It is extremely hard to get off everything! I recommend lining your countertop with newspaper in case of any spills.
You’ll want to line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. As I said before, the pine rosin is super sticky and hard to get off. Lay out your fabric on the lined pan. Using an old flat paintbrush ( I used one from an old art set) dip into the melted wax/oil and spread on the fabric. It won’t go on super smoothly, but that’s okay. Pop the pan in the oven for a few minutes. When the pan is pretty warmed you can take it out and using the same brush, spread the wax and oil around to the edges of the fabric. You can add more if you need to. It’s important for the oils to soak through to the other side of the fabric.
When the fabric is completely covered carefully lift it off the parchment paper to let it set and stiffen up. I laid mine out on newspaper so I could work on the next. They dry very quickly and are ready to use right away!
Here’s the part I really looked forward to! Finally using these wraps! I tried them first as covers for my glass pans that did not come with lids. They worked great! I laid the wraps over the top of my pans and pressed the edges over, using the warmth of my hands to stick it down. The wraps held up well in the fridge, retaining their shape. I fold them to store when not in use.
Now the sad part of my story. I decided to try wrapping some of a leftover block of cheese. After not even a full day wrapped the cheese had absorbed so much of the pine smell and taste. It was awful! There was no smell with anything I used the wraps over as a cover, but directly touching food, while food safe, was very gross. So that’s to be noted.
These wraps will not replace Saran Wrap completely. At least for me. I’m still on the search for a reusable, sustainable product I can use for things like freezing pie crusts. For now I use my wraps over dishes and store extra cheese (or anything the wraps would come in complete contact with) in a glass container with a lid.
I’d love to hear any recommendations for products that would replace plastic wrap more effectively! If you know of any, leave a comment or send me an email.