How To Look After Your Beeswax Wraps
Beeswax wraps are the perfect replacement for cling film! They can last years instead of being single use and they biodegrade at the end of their life instead of sticking around on the earth’s surface for the rest of your lifetime.
Cling film or plastic wrap can’t be recycled and has to go to landfill.
While, beeswax wraps are made from natural materials and can be composted at the end of their life.
But how do we keep our beloved beeswax wraps in peak condition and make sure they last as long as possible before having to compost and replace them?
Here’s how to wash your beeswax wraps and how to make them last, as well as how to revive them when they start looking a bit sad.
1. Gentle cleaning
Beeswax wraps can’t be placed in the dishwasher. They have to be handwashed.
But, don’t be tempted to wash them in hot water! It is very important that they are only cleaned in cold water, else the wax will come off and you’ll end up with just a square piece of cotton fabric.
So, wash in cold water only!
Plain dish soap can be used to clean your beeswax wrap. Only use mild soap – nothing too harsh. Do not use bleach, solvents, acids or vinegar to wash them.
You can immerse it in a sink full of soapy cold water or you can wipe it down with a dishcloth like you would a plate. Don’t scrub it too hard. Gently wipe it down.
Rinse and dry.
2. Correct drying and storage
After cleaning, dry your beeswax wrap with a towel if you need to use it straight away or just open it up and leave it to drip dry in your dish rack or hang it out to dry.
Store in a clean, closed, dry place like a drawer, not in direct sunlight, in a hot car or near a heat source like the oven or on top of the microwave.
3. Staying clear of heat
As you’ve probably already realised from the above two points, heat is not beeswax wraps’ friend! You want to keep them clear from heat sources like microwaves, dishwashers and ovens. They can’t be used in any of these appliances as their wax coating will melt.
You also can’t use them to cover hot food or hot bowls for the same reason.
4. Avoiding oil and sauce stains
Beeswax wraps can become stained when coming into contact with certain oils and sauces. We recommend using a sealed glass container with a lid for anything exceptionally oily or saucy that is likely to stain your beeswax wrap.
They are unlikely to keep anything saucy contained anyway!
They should also never be used to cover raw meat for food safety reasons.
5. Reviving your beeswax wrap
You can also refresh beeswax wraps that have been overused and become tired and crinkled by placing the beeswax wrap in the oven to remelt the wax. You can also add more wax to wraps that have lost their wax and need more by sprinkling grated beeswax on the wrap before heating it in the oven.
When remelting a beeswax wrap the oven should be on low heat and they should be placed on a compostable parchment sheet or something similar.
They can be deep cleaned before rewaxing them to remove stains. This involves doing what you normally shouldn’t do – washing the beeswax wrap in hot soapy water. This means some of the wax will come off, but you’re going to rewax it anyway.
Hanging the fabric in the hot sun after a deep clean can help to lift any stains. Then add more wax to the fabric to turn it back into a useable beeswax wrap.
Superbee has a great recipe for restoring your beeswax wraps you can follow, as well as a video showing how it is done, here.
6. Repurposing as a fire starter
And when revival is no longer possible, don’t send it to landfill, you can wrap it around pieces of kindling and use it as a natural fire starter!
Or, simply cut it up into strips and add these strips to a composter to compost it. Both ways it will go back into the earth instead of staying on top of it.