I found out about using a beeswax soaked cloth as an alternative to plastic wrap a few months ago as I was binge watching Sophie Uliano on Youtube. She has a lot of “green” solutions to everything from beauty to household to nutrition.
During my Plastic Free Challenge I had three people tag me to a BuzzFeed video on beeswax wraps as an alternative to plastic wrap. I had already planned on posting how to do it yourself since it’s super easy and cheap but I just could not get around to it the last few weeks. When my own plastic wrap ran out a few months ago I switched to buying more glass containers and have just slowly reduced my need for plastic bags and plastic wrap. But there would be an occasional bowl that I needed to put in the fridge and instead of reaching for the plastic, I’d put an upside down plate over it. This new solution is much more convenient and less bulky then that though. I have been using one for close to a month now and really love it. So I made more to fit all my plastic needs when a container isn’t necessary, or not available. I’ve used it to cover watermelon, bowls, and even completely cover half an avocado!
Beeswax covered cloth is much MUCH better for the environment because it is reusable, it’s naturally anti-bacterial and anti-viral which means that things won’t grow on them. These can easily be washed in cold water and soap and it smells good too!
To make these all you need is:
- Beeswax (buy online or most craft stores, I got mine at Michael’s)
- An oven pan/tray
- An oven
- String & clothes pins
- Lay out the fabric. For an easy guide, you can trace a plate. But what I did is I put down the largest items in my kitchen that I typically had to use plastic wrap for in the past (large bowls, casserole dishes). BE SURE YOU ADD EXTRA SO IT CAN FOLD OVER.
2. Cut it out.
3. Heat the oven to 220 degrees F. It’s just warm enough to melt the beeswax and you do need to use pot holders when handling the tray out of the oven. But you can handle the fabric easily after a few seconds of it coming out of the oven with your fingers.
4. Depending on what kind of beeswax you got (beaded or block) put the fabric on the tray and place beaded of shaved beeswax over the fabric.
5. Place in oven until completely melted. You may have to move tray around to get the fabric completely covered.
6. Once it is all melted take out and QUICKLY hang to dry using string and clothes pins. Place tray underneath to collect any wax that drips off. Fabric will dry fast.
And that’s all! Super easy and simple. I cut up all different sizes for most of all my plastic needs.
Before this post is over though, I want to put something in your mind when thinking about using one-time-use items. Think of the “craddle to grave” so to say lifespan of those items and the energy, natural resources and consequences of these items. Plastic wrap, paper towels, paper plates, shampoo bottles, etc. Is it sustainable? Just think about it.
*You may have to reheat the fabric in the oven if you don’t use the warmth of your hands to fold the fabric over things. It will crack the wax a little if it’s cold but it’s still usable, just looks cracked.
*Don’t use hot water to wash. Beeswax melts easily and since it’s anti-bacterial, you don’t have to use heat to kill germs.
*To get remainder wax off tray, let dry and peel it off. What you can’t get off, use a blow dryer until it’s warm enough to peel off easily.