All About Beeswax Wraps
What is a beeswax wrap?
Beeswax wraps are 100% cotton fabric pieces coated with a special beeswax, jojoba oil, pine rosin formula. The wax coating gives the wrap the right amount of stickiness so that will stick to bowls, dishes, etc and itself while maintaining the right amount of breath-ability that helps keep your foods fresher longer. The wax formula turns a piece of cotton fabric into a versatile, and one of your go-to tools in your kitchen.
Why Beeswax Wraps?
So many reasons to love beeswax wraps! The top 3 reasons are to keep your foods fresher longer, reducing food waste and to move away from using harmful single use products such as foils and plastic wraps. Beeswax wraps are an excellent replacement for those harmful products and they do things plastic wraps and foils can never do. I was not a heavy user of plastic wraps and foils, however I hardly ever use them since I started using beeswax wraps. Even as a semi-light user I notice the difference in money NOT spent at the store on those products. My bigger issue was paper towels, but that's another page and another story!
While my store is still new, there are a few customers that have tried my beeswax wraps and have posted reviews. They didn't really know much about them, however once they had them and started using them, they quickly recognized the value and versatility these wraps bring to your homes kitchen, lunches to go and beyond! They truly do keep your foods fresher longer, in and out of the fridge. I sadly must admit that I didn't even know what a beeswax wrap was a year ago. I wish I had known about these wraps for my entire life, they are that awesome! I can go on and on about it, but until you try them in your home, you can't understand what you're missing out on!
In that spirit, I am so committed to getting everyone to try beeswax wraps that if you place any order on my store, all you have to do is request a free 8"x8" beeswax wrap and I'll include it with your order, free. You can request in the notes section during checkout, or you can send me an email after you've placed your order and I'll be sure to include it in your shipment!
So now you have some beeswax wraps, now what? This page is dedicated to everything beeswax wraps. I'll post the ways that I use them, and if customers want to send in their pictures and stories I'd be very happy to share those here as well. I'm also going to show you how to make or refresh your wraps, it's really quite easy and the bigger fact remains that we have to stop looking for the easy/disposable way of doing things, it's what has gotten our planet on the brink of being unsustainable for life. Let us all make a conscientious choice to live a more sustainable life. It may not always be the easiest or fastest, but it is always the best way, and the only way if you care about future generations having a planet that can sustain life. I do care, very much, and I want you all to care too. So I will show you how easy it is to use these products, and then you can discover for yourselves how they save your foods from waste, save you money, improve the look of your home and lunches on the go! They are all natural, sustainable, reusable, compostable, and can even be used to help you get your fires started. Let me know of the reasons you love your beeswax wraps!
How to use beeswax wraps
You can use them very much like you would plastic wraps and foils with the important exception of you should not use these on meats and fishes as the juices may seep through any crack in the wax coating and taint the cotton fabric, which is why we should always inspect our wraps for spoilage, or if it has many cracks, you should refresh them to bring them back to optimal condition to keep your foods fresh.
Here's how I used a beeswax wrap and a repurposed yogurt cup on an asparagus bunch that lasted 2 weeks in my fridge until I was ready to use them.
Stand asparagus bunch upright in the yogurt cup and add spring water to the cup. Refresh the cup with spring water every couple days to keep your asparagus fresh in your fridge!
Here's how I wrapped up my produce from a recent shopping trip. You can see my new lettuce in the larger wrap, and in the smallest wrap is the leftover lettuce that we had been using for over 2 weeks. Beeswax wraps can really help you save food from the trash bin! If the lettuce gets a bit wilted, I take it out, place in a dutch oven, cover with cold spring water, refrigerate and soak for a minimum of 4 hours, overnight is even better. Drain and place back into the beeswax wrap. The third one is 3 large crowns of broccoli wrapped up in an XL beeswax wrap.
Here they are all buttoned up for the fridge
And here they are in my fridge. The great thing about beeswax wraps is they don't have to be in the crisper drawers, they can live anywhere in your fridge and maintain the proper freshness! Notice the XS beeswax wrap on the end of the cucumber, they keep your cukes fresher longer, you may have to shave off a small slice of the end, but the cuke stays fresh in a way plastic wrap could NEVER achieve. The black fabric next to the plastic containers, that's another cuke that I had got on the shopping trip and wrapped completely in a wrap. 1 week later when I needed it, I unwrapped it and it was fresh like I just got it from the store. Must see to believe. Once you get these beeswax wraps into your home, you'll be asking - "Where have these been all my life?" I find they are saving trips to the store as I can buy more and store longer.
Refreshing your beeswax wraps
Turn your oven on to 300 degrees.
Line your baking sheet with aluminum foil (it will protect your baking sheet from the sticky pine rosin in the wax formula - you'll thank me later) Preferably, you could dedicate a baking sheet to the maintenance of your beeswax wraps. I highly recommend it, it makes life easier if you can just store your whole pan setup instead of having to unwrap the pan after every use, trying to not put holes in the foil with all the handling and folding. This pan setup can be used several time as long as you do not burn the wax in the pan. I also have a dedicated wood stick, knife and stainless steel grater.
Place parchment paper on top of the foil in the pan and then place your beeswax wraps in the pan. Fabric colors may bleed if you overlap the fabrics, so if that matters to you, overlap similar colors. To me it does not matter. The color has nothing to do with the function and I'd never toss a perfectly good wrap because of a color bleed!
These pictures are of clean fabric being made into beeswax wraps. The fabric is dry. In the next picture you will see pieces of BeeRefresh™ Block on the fabric. Because this was a new pan setup, there is no wax already in the pan to work with, so I've had to add a good amount of wax formula. As it turned out, it was a bit too much, and I had to remind myself of the rule of thumb while working with beeswax wraps... a little goes a lot further than you'd think! Start out light as you can always add more in the dry spot. It's easier to add a little than it is to redistribute excess wax.
Put your pan in the preheated oven, and turn your oven light on so that you can keep an eye on things in there! This is a pretty quick process so don't get distracted!
As soon as the wax is melted, about 3 mins or so, open the oven and use the wooden stick (or a brand new clean dedicated paint brush) to push the wax over any areas of the fabric that are still dry. If you did like I did and put too much wax, you can put clean dry fabric on top to soak up some of the excess wax, be quick before they get stuck together! If you do not have any clean dry cotton fabric pieces to soak up the excess wax, you can take a wax wrap that was in need of refreshing and put it on top of the excess wax, place pan back in oven until all is melted evenly, about 2-3 minutes. Remove pan from oven and work quickly to pickup each wrap, with tongs, by the corners and waft over a covered work area (wax may drip off before it hardens - protect your counters and/or tables). It helps to have a fan blowing as it helps the beeswax wraps to harden more quickly, and we need to work a little quick! If the pan cools down too much and the wax has hardened, just throw it back in the oven for minute or two, pull it out and start wafting! After the wrap has hardened enough, you can lay it down on your protected counter or table and work on the next wrap. The picture below shows the wraps coated evenly with the wax formula, they are ready to be wafted!
Now that there is a little bit of wax in the pan, you will need much less wax to make or refresh your wraps. If you are refreshing your wraps, it's easier to use the stainless steel grater to shave off smaller pieces and place them directly on larger cracks - remember - a little goes a long way and the wrap already has wax, we just want to touch it up in the problem areas. Go light, easier to add more if needed. After you've added the wax, put the pan in the oven and wait until everything is melted evenly and then remove from oven, waft wraps and repeat!
Enjoy your wraps and start using them!
Save your pan set up for future refreshing needs. There is wax in the pan that can be used to keep your wraps fresh. Cover with a clean sheet of parchment and store in cool dark space. If you take it out of the pan, carefully fold it and store in cool dark space.