Make your own beeswax food wraps


beeswax food wrap

This environmentally friendly alternative to plastic cling film is easy to make at home.

Words: Janet Luke
Photos: John Cowpland

Wax food wraps are made by infusing a mix of beeswax and almond oil into cotton fabric – they are an easy-to-make, environmentally friendly alternative to plastic cling film. A wrap becomes sticky when warmed in the hands, which makes it easy to fold and seal around food or a bowl. Wraps can be washed in cool, soapy water and reused. As they can’t be washed in hot water, don’t use them to cover raw meat.

INGREDIENTS
1/3 cup grated organic beeswax
¼ teaspoon of propolis (optional)
2/3 cup of organic almond oil

WHAT YOU NEED
3 x 30cm x 30cm pieces 100% cotton fabric, washed, dried and cut into squares with pinking shears to prevent fabric fraying
Small paintbrush
Clothes pegs for hanging waxed cloth

METHOD

ingredients for beeswax wraps

Photo: John Cowpland

Step 1
Add almond oil and propolis to a clean glass jar with a lid. Place on a sunny windowsill and allow to infuse for at least a week. Shake the jar daily.

melting beeswax

Photo John Cowpland

Step 2

Remove propolis from the almond-oil infusion. In a double boiler add the infused almond oil and beeswax. Heat slowly to melt the wax.

Photo: John Cowpland

Photo: John Cowpland

Step 3

Lay cloth pieces flat on a clean baking tray and place in an 80°C fanbake oven for 10 minutes. Remove tray from oven and use the paintbrush to paint each piece of cloth with the hot wax and almond oil mixture.

Photo: John Cowpland

Photo: John Cowpland

STEP 4
Once painted with the wax-oil mixture, lay the fabric pieces on top of each other and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes for the fabric to become infused with wax.

STEP 5

bees wax wraps

Photo: John Cowpland

Remove from oven and quickly hang each piece on the clothesline. Act fast to prevent the beeswax from cooling and sticking the pieces together (if this happens, reheat in the oven). After three minutes, the cloth squares can be removed from the line and used.

GO ORGANIC
Beeswax is fat-soluble which means it quickly soaks up and holds onto chemicals. For this reason, we recommend using organic-certified wax or capping wax when making beeswax wraps.

In Your Backyard: Beekeeping

In Your Backyard: Beekeeping

This article first appeared in In Your Backyard: Beekeeping. Order your copy for $19.90 online here 

 

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  • Morgan Trued

    Hi there, these sound amazing and I would love to make some. However I am struggling to find raw propolis, I’ve tried all local health stores and the Internet, all I can find are capsules or tincture. Do you have any suggestions as to where to look?

    • Emma

      Hi Morgan,
      These wraps can be made without the propolis – although adding propolis does give the wraps an antimicrobial quality. Most beekeepers will be able to supply you with a piece of propolis if you ask (it only needs to be about the size of a thumbnail) or try contacting a small-scale honey producer. Online try searching for ‘propolis chunks’ so you don’t get the tinctures. Of course if you have raw propolis you will be able to make your own tincture: Here are a couple of examples https://www.fishpond.co.nz/Beauty/Organic-Propolis-Chunks-10g/9999785977452 ; http://www.draperbee.com/catalog/page6.htm – Emma

  • Lysette

    Hi there,
    Is it bad to use propolis tincture? I just used it in some wraps. Is it safe?
    Thanks.

  • delyria

    What effect does the almond oil have on the wraps and what would be the difference between almond and jojoba oil?

  • Joan Clarke

    Can I use Virgin olive oil instead a I have a ready source?

  • Emma Risk

    Hi I tried this on the weekend as I’m wanting to make these with my Yr5/6 students at school. Are the quantities correct?? I found that it didn’t really stick with too much oil in it??? I have made it previously with just beeswax and that seemed to be a bit tackier?? Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated.

    • Rachel Wyllie

      I am a year 5/6 teacher and I did the exact same thing this weekend. WAY too much oil. Did you figure out what went wrong or another solution?

      • Emma Rawson

        Hi there, this is interesting feedback as we’ve had many people tell us these are very successful. I’ve asked the writer for a comment.

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