With all the spring cleaning that’s been going on and this time that we’ve had to ‘pause’, one of the best things I’ve been inspired to do is to make beeswax wraps, all thanks to my lovely friend Suzie who keeps bees and makes the most delicious honey.
We’re trying to bin the cling film and single use plastic, and these easy-to-make reusable beeswax food wraps are fun to create, and a great way of using up any scrap fabrics lying around. These wraps are ideal for covering food, keeping it fresh for longer. They make great little presents too.
You will need:
- 100% pre-washed kikoy or cotton fabric (organic if possible) and ironed
- Pure beeswax (100g)
- Coconut or almond oil ((10g, to make the fabric more pliable))
- Pine resin, powdered (70g), used for its antibacterial properties
- Jojoba oil (10g), also used for its antibacterial qualities
- Clean brush with thin bristles
- Baking parchment
- Baking tray
- Drying rack
Cut your pre-washed fabric to the size you want, using if possible pinking shears to prevent fraying of fabric. Thin and fine weave cottons work best making it easier to fold and wrap when infused with wax. The beeswax will turn the fabric slightly ‘yellow’, so good to choose colours that won’t clash!
Put the pine resin (if chunky, crush with rolling pin to make into powder) into bowl and place over pan of simmering water. When resin starts to melt, add the beeswax, almond or coconut oil and jojoba. When all the ingredients have melted together, mix gently to combine, keeping the pan of simmering water on a low heat.
Heat oven to 140°C. Lay the fabric on a baking sheet covered with baking paper. Make sure that the baking paper is bigger than your fabric piece. If you’re making a large wrap (for example to wrap around bread), it’s fine to fold the fabric so it fits on your baking sheet. Place in the oven for two minutes to heat the fabric.
Take the tray out of the oven and, working quickly, use your brush to paint the fabric with the beeswax mixture. Return the covered fabric to the oven for a minute, then remove it again and brush once more to ensure the wax is spread evenly all over the cotton. Using pegs either hang or drape the fabric on a rack to dry. This will only take a few minutes.
Your wrap is then ready for use. Using the warmth of your hands, shape it around a bowl, jar or sandwich. Don’t use your waxed wraps to cover raw fish, eggs or meat. Make sure what you're wrapping is at room temperature, as beeswax has a low melting point and may get on your food or containers if they're too warm. This also means that beeswax wraps are not suitable for microwave use.
To clean your wraps, use a cloth and warm water and a little detergent. Rinse and hang to dry. Water that is too hot will melt the wax.
If your wraps need a refresh or start to lose their stickiness after a few months, place them on a lined tray in a 140°C oven for three minutes. Let them cool and harden before using again.