Make your own beeswax food wraps
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.
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
Clothes pegs for hanging waxed cloth
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.
Remove propolis from the almond-oil infusion. In a double boiler add the infused almond oil and beeswax. Heat slowly to melt the wax.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This article first appeared in In Your Backyard: Beekeeping.