There are many ways we can reduce single-use-plastics in our everyday lives with reusable alternatives. We’re talking about getting rid of the cling wrap in your life by making reusable beeswax or vegan food wraps instead!
There are so many beeswax wrap tutorials these days, so we looked into all the different kinds and the pros/cons of each type and came up with what we think is the best way below.
We’ve decided to go for a mix of ingredients to make sure our wraps are easy to mould around food, even in winter!
We found that the best combination was beeswax, coconut oil and pine resin. These ingredients lead to a wrap that is pliable, clingy and long lasting. We opted to use the Little Bumble wax block rather than sourcing the ingredients individually, but you can do that if you prefer!
What you’ll need:
- Square pieces of 100% cotton fabric. Any colour and pattern that you like!
(washed and cut into squares, use pinking shears to finish the edges so they don’t fray)
- Little Bumble wax block
(broken into small pieces to speed up the melting process)
- Double boiler
(a glass or metal bowl over a saucepan)
- Baking paper (or silicone mat)
1. Preheat the oven to 150-160 degrees C
2. Cover a baking tray with baking paper (or use a silicone mat), place your fabric flat on top.
3. Put the wax into the double boiler setup (similar to melting chocolate)
4. Slowly melt the wax, stirring until fully melted
5. Dip your paintbrush into the melted wax, brush onto the fabric
(try to spread it as much as possible. The wax may start to harden, which is fine).
6. Put the tray into the oven for about 2 minutes (until the fabric looks shiny or wet).
7. Take out of the oven. Look for any dry spots or pooling wax and spread wax around or add more mixture to even it out.
There should be enough wax to saturate the fabric on both sides but it shouldn’t be pooling.
8. Place back into the oven once more for a few minutes to even out the wax.
(If you think there’s too much wax on your wrap, take your next piece of fabric and place it onto your current wrap to soak up any excess wax while it’s still melted. Lift off quickly to make sure they don’t stick together).
9. Hang your completed wrap to dry.
10. Repeat with the rest of your fabric until you’re out of coating mixture.
If you have a hairdryer or heat gun you can use that instead of the oven to reheat the wax slightly as this helps to spread the wax, especially in winter as it can harden quickly.
In the Powershop office, we are working to reduce our waste and trying to reduce our reliance on single-use plastic products. This workshop was designed to educate our fantastic team about plastic alternatives and to have fun doing it! See some photos below of our team making their own Beeswax wraps!
We have also introduced initiatives including reusable straws, chopsticks and reusable containers to reduce waste at lunchtime. We’ve added ‘borrow bags’ at the lifts to remind staff to take a tote to the supermarket and started asking for sushi in BYO containers.
Why would I make one rather than buy?
Beeswax wraps vary in price but can be quite expensive (from $8-17 each). We bought a big block of wax from Little Bumble and bought bulk fabric so our wraps cost roughly $4 each to make (but it will depend on how large your fabric squares are).
Also, it’s a fun workshop you can run at home, you can pick whatever fabric you want and, once you have the wax, you can top up the wraps whenever you need to keep them going strong.
How do you wash it?
Rinse in cold water and air dry. You can use a little bit of detergent without stripping the wax but it’s best to avoid hot water because this melts the wax and can reduce the life of your wraps.
How long do they last?
The wax coating can last up to a year. If the wrap is losing wax or stickiness, you can always add more wax and put them back in the oven for a few minutes to bring them back to life!
What can I use it on?
Anything! Well, not anything (don’t wrap your baby in one), but most bowls and containers, fruits, vegetables and cheese. The wax protects the fabric from absorbing liquid and smells and can be used in both the fridge and freezer.
With any DIY recipe, there are factors which can change the result (temperature, ingredients, humidity etc). You may need to experiment with the amount of ingredients and method to suit you, we can’t guarantee that your result will be the same as ours.
Please take care using these ingredients as some may cause allergic reactions. Be careful handling hot and heated baking trays and wax. This activity is not suitable for children under 12 years of age and should only be attempted with adult supervision.
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