Beeswax is 100% natural, non-toxic, and has multiple clean uses. You can rub it on drawers that stick to make them work more smoothly, it makes a wonderful furniture polish, you can use it in personal hygiene products – the list goes on. And what’s more, it smells like flowers (funny that!). Beeswax is also a water repellant, and when melted over cotton to make food storage wraps, makes cotton ‘unbreathable’ which helps keep moisture at appropriate levels for food storage. These food wraps are easy to make, and can single-handedly replace the convenient plastic wrap in your kitchen (just about – beeswax wraps are not good for storing meat), AND they are reusable – just wipe them down with a damp cloth between uses. After a time, when the wax starts to age and crack, you can just resurface it in the oven for a few minutes and start all over again! It is excellent for wrapping around cheese, or molding to shape over a bowl (yes, it’s pliable), or using to wrap your sandwich. You can also get your Martha Stewart on and sew them into pouches (monogrammed if you please) with a button and string to close and use them for kid’s school lunches. But I just use them in their plain, un-monogrammed version. No buttons. Want to know more?
Here’s what you need:
beeswax, grated (or pellets), you use about 1 oz. of beeswax per wrap
100% cotton fabric, cut to appropriate size (12×12 in. or 8×8 in. are good to start)
old cookie sheet (that will be used for this purpose only, forever after)
paintbrush (that will be used for this purpose only, forever after)
chop stick for stirring the wax as it melts
cheese grater (used exclusively for beeswax and only this purpose, forever after)
a make-shift clothesline and clothes pins
Preheat oven to 185F. (Higher will burn the wax. I know from experience…)
Place pre cut fabric on cookie sheet.
Sprinkle evenly and lightly with grated beeswax. You don’t need a lot!
Place in preheated oven. Watch carefully! This should take 5 minutes or less.
As soon as the beeswax is just melted, remove from oven.
Spread wax evenly with paintbrush to cover over any spots that are not yet coated.
Hang on makeshift clothes line with clothes pegs, to dry. Once cooled, you can use it!
If your wax starts to harden before you have evenly spread it, simply reheat it in the oven and try again.
If you have a lot of wax left on the cookie sheet, place another piece of fabric on empty cookie sheet and it will absorb the extra wax.
All of the supplies except the beeswax can be purchased cheaply at thrift stores and can be used again for other DIY projects involving beeswax. Purchase the beeswax through Mountain Rose Herbs, a trusted company carrying all sorts of ingredients for body products.
Wash in cool water with a mild soap. I use liquid castile soap.
Each wrap will last several months or more depending on usage.