(for the latest version of this post, and a link to my 5 minute film showing how to make these, please visit Five Easy Steps to Make Cheap Beeswax Wraps & Reduce Cling Wrap Use. Film #10 with Morag Gamble (5 mins)
Our household is determined to find ways to reduce plastic. You could say we are on a plastic wrapping diet – a diet to reduce the volume of non-biodegradable waste that ends up in our bins each week, and thereby help to reduce the garbage burden on our planetary system.
I wrote recently in plastic-free food wrapping, about testing out some beeswax cloths as a plastic wrap alternative. I love them. They are great at keeping fruit and veg fresh. Some of the ways I have used them are:
- sealing opened pumpkins
- wrapping around a half-used eggplants
- keeping bowls of leftovers fresh
- wrapping the kid’s lunchbox items
|I found this old off-cut of fabric in my sewing box. It is lightweight cotton with a tight weave.|
|Attempt 1: stiff parchment. I think my fabric was too thick and porous and I didn’t use enough beeswax.|
|A better result using the thinner and more dense fabric and my new mix. The fabric seemed to be more supple and pliable and able to better withstand being folded.|
|Once out of the oven, I hung the cloth to dry immediately. It only takes a minute.|
|From cotton fabric to beeswax infused cloth in under 10 minutes|
In terms of cost, it does work out much better to make these yourself. I went out and bought some new pinking shears to do the edges – to help prevent fraying. I decided to buy high quality ones which cost $31. The beeswax cost $7.50 for the tub. I only used a negligible amount of coconut oil and the fabric were off-cuts. This initially is more expensive than the $30 for 3 cloths, but I plan to make many cloths – the beeswax tub will last for at least 25 more and I’m sure I will get lots and lots of use out of the pinking shears.
Another method is using a flatbed toasted sandwich press to melt the beeswax and oil onto the cloth. It only takes a few seconds. You can even fold up quite a large piece of fabric (to wrap bread etc) and press this – just add proportionately more beeswax and oil.