Beeswax wraps are a brilliant eco-friendly, sustainable alternative to plastic or silicone, and completely biodegradable. This review on beeswax wraps includes everything you need to know about using, washing, storing them and more.
I put off getting beeswax wraps for so long despite the fact we gave up glad-wrap some time ago. Early on, I couldn't see this as an essential item for going plastic free, and our budget is tight so I wanted to be certain we needed them before we purchased something.
As time went on I found PLENTY of reasons we just had to have them, and ways they could help us to store food better.
We do use a variety of items to store our food and have silicone food wraps which are super handy.
The main issue I have with silicone products is that they aren't sustainable and can't be recycled at the end of their life. Secondly, I'm still not convinced it's a completely safe product to use. Oh, and thirdly, it can be just as awkward to use as glad-wrap!
Once I realised how handy beeswax wraps were, I began to dabble in making my own. It was a lot of work! I created a big mess in the kitchen, ruined my pastry brush, and they didn't turn out anywhere near as nice as professionally made wraps. Mine unfortunately needed a re-coat after only a few uses.
I do love making my own stuff, but making these is NOT a strength of mine, and I just don't have enough time to experiment with the many different ways of doing them. I just want to use them.
If you've been sitting on the fence regarding wraps, read on to see how to use and care for them, how to use them for freezing and more. Plus my review on a brand I love, along with an exclusive discount code you can use to get 15% off.
These gorgeous wraps pictured above were gifted to me from Eco Patch, a small business run by Laura, nestled in the Barossa Valley in South Australia. She is passionate about the plastic free movement, and all her products are compostable or recyclable, and sourced locally where possible. Laura kindly gave me a set of her beeswax wraps to try out and has created discount code for readers (which you can find towards the end of the post).
What are Beeswax Wraps?
If you are unfamiliar with them, Beeswax wraps are usually cotton fabric which has been infused with a blend of beeswax, oils and pine rosin. This makes them a flexible, airtight and water resistant cover that can be used to keep foods fresher for longer. It is a sustainable alternative to plastic cling wrap or bags and they can be re-coated or composted.
When I mentioned beeswax wraps to my mum, she had never heard of them and I was completely surprised. When you have been attempting to go plastic-free for a while, you start to think some parts of your lifestyle are just so obvious that everyone must be doing it, or thinking about doing it. You forget that it's a long term learning curve.
How to Use Beeswax Wraps
When you first open your wraps, they can feel a little stiff and not as flexible as you might be expecting. This is completely normal, and all you need to do is use the warmth of your hands to heat them slightly which allows you to mould them around food or dishes very easily.
As we shift away from plastics, we are using more glass and ceramic dishes, like the salad bowl below, and many don't have lids. Not that I'm complaining because I hate searching for matching lids!
Here's a salad bowl that I covered by just warming the edges and pressing it to the bowl. You can see how it creates an airtight seal around the bowl and the wrap stays in place.
I tried folding my wraps into cute snack pockets and sandwich wraps, but I had to resort to searching for instructions on YouTube - Origami does not come naturally to me.
This was the best video I found that shows 3 different ways to fold them, ideal for packing school lunchboxes and snacks on the go.
What Can You Use Beeswax Wraps For?
This is such a common question, especially when figuring out if you really need them and how much use you would get out of them. My absolute hands down favourite use of beeswax wraps is to protect half an avocado.
Moulding the wrap around the avocado meant it stayed in great condition for a couple of days, and I didn't have to eat the entire thing at once.
Here are some of the many uses for beeswax wraps:
>Cover the cut end of cucumbers
>Protect watermelon, rock-melon and other large fruits
>Wraps make a great on-the-go food cover when avoiding takeaway trash
>Create an airtight seal on jars, bowls and containers
>Keep a sliced apple together for school lunches to prevent browning
>Wrap around the open end of bread loaves to keep fresh
> Replace glad-wrap on veggies, like 1/2 a Cabbage, cauliflower or pumpkin
>Making your own leak resistant sandwich and snack pouches
> Wrap around the end of a bunch of bananas to prevent them ripening
>Covering blocks of cheese
>Preserve cut lemons, limes and oranges
>Create the perfect cover for carafes and water jugs
>Freeze food plastic free (more details further down)
>Wrap cakes, muffins and slices
>Use for a plastic free wrap on a bouquet of flowers
>Perfect for wrapping soap, shampoo bars and toiletry items when travelling
>And of course, half an avocado!
Due to the fact they can't be hot washed, this rules out wrapping some foods like meat and sushi.
How To Wash and Dry Your Wraps
To wash beeswax wraps you do need to avoid hot water as this will melt the coating. Instead, use cool or tepid water with a mild detergent and gently clean with a sponge. To save water, Laura suggests washing them in soapy water in the bottom on your sink before you add the hot water to do the rest of the dishes.
Drape them on your dish rack or hang to dry. You can also use a tea towel to pat dry.
Keep your wraps somewhere cool and dry, the obvious spot is where you used to store your glad-wrap. Mine came wrapped in thick paper and I'm using this to protect mine in the kitchen drawer when not in use.
Pretty much anywhere in the kitchen is fine, just perhaps not right next to the oven or dishwasher.
How Long Do Beeswax Wraps Last?
Beeswax wraps last around 6-12 months with regular use. They can be re-coated after this time providing the fabric is still in good condition. Alternatively, they can be composted or placed in your green organics bin. As they are cotton, and only have a natural coating, they are compostable and biodegradable.
Are they Hygienic?
Yes, and as mentioned above, they just require a gentle wash.
DON'T use them for foods that would require a hot wash like lunch meats for example.
Does The Beeswax Smell or Taste Impart on Foods?
In my experience, the beeswax coating doesn't stick to the food and stays in the fabric, as designed. The wraps have a mild aroma of beeswax (which I happen to love) and I haven't noticed any items I've wrapped so far, absorbing any flavour or aroma from the wraps.
Should You Wrap Smelly Foods?
Yes you can, but you may want to have dedicated wraps for certain items like cheeses.
I asked Laura about wrapping half an onion, as I imagine that would be the worst smelling food. Her suggestion was to either have single purpose wraps for this OR just use a ceramic or glass dish and cover with the wrap, so it isn't in direct contact.
Freezing Food With Beeswax Wraps
Yes, food can definitely freeze foods in beeswax wraps. Laura uses them to wrap pre-made sandwiches, cut bread and cake, as well as muffins and anything she would grab out of the freezer to take for a school or work lunch. She recommends making sure that you let them warm a bit before unwrapping or you will crack the wax coating on them.
What if The Food In Your Beeswax Wrap Goes Mouldy?
Accidentally forgetting food that's stored in the fridge is easy to do. I am going to do my best to avoid this but I really wanted to know what to do in case something goes mouldy.
Laura said this has only happened to her once and she simply washed the wrap as usual. It was not badly effected by the mould so it was salvageable. If it was something very mouldy that couldn't be cleaned well enough, the best thing to do is compost it.
More about Eco Patch Beeswax Wraps
Laura is based in the Barossa Valley, just a little way out of Adelaide. She had been making beeswax wraps and produce bags for herself, friends and family, for a while and this led to her starting up her own business, Eco Patch, in July 2018
I love that she makes a big effort to ensure these wraps, and her other products are as sustainable as possible. The beeswax used on the wraps is even sourced locally, from hives within the Adelaide Hills, so you really are supporting local business.
They are packaged plastic-free and wrapped in cardboard and paper, and posted in compostable mail satchels.
I love the bee themed cotton fabrics and she has some other great prints to choose from too. In addition to her handmade items, she also stocks some additional zero waste gear that's worth checking out.
Eco Patch posts Australia Wide and Laura has created an exclusive discount code you can use to get 15% off. Click here or just enter the code AMY15 (it should automatically apply during checkout)
You can catch Laura at plenty of upcoming markets this month:
>Sunday 7th April - Saddleworth Country Market (9:30am-2:30pm)
>Sunday 14th April -Angaston Town Hall Market (10am-3pm)
>Friday 19th April -Discovery Market, Tanunda Caravan Park (8am-3pm)
>Sunday 21st April - Auburn Autumn Fete (10am-3pm)
>Monday 22nd & Tuesday 23rd April - Rosie’s Farm (10am-5pm)
>Friday 26th April - Barossa Made Market (10am-6pm)
I'd love to know what other tips you have for using beeswax wraps. The more I use them, the more I fall in love with them. These are a perfect plastic-free swap.