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How to use, clean and refresh beeswax wraps
Reusable beeswax wraps are used for storing food and keeping it fresh. It is a great plastic-free alternative to clingfilm and disposable bags and can also sometimes be used instead of tinfoil. What make reusable wax wraps perfect for storing food is not only that you can use them again and again and that they help cut down on single use plastics, but also that the food keeps much better. Beeswax wraps are breathable and unlike clingfilm and plastic bags, they won’t make your sandwiches soggy or your cheese sweat!
Beeswax wraps have many uses
Beeswax wraps have lots of uses and can be used to
To use your beeswax wrap, cover or wrap your item of choice, heat the folds with your hands and press down gently to seal. You can use it to store foods in room temperature or on the go, or to store items in the fridge or freezer.
Using beeswax wraps in the freezer
If placing in the freezer, then place them first in a container with a lid as the wraps are breathable and you do not want your food to dry out in the freezer. (I use them to keep portions of pancakes for my son’s school lunches in a box in the freezer. It is very handy as I can just take out what I need the night before without having to resort to parchment paper or plastic and I don’t have to defrost the whole lot to get what I need.)
You can fold your beeswax wrap into bags or pouches using simple origami techniques. Check out my step-by-step tutorial here: How to fold beeswax wraps into bags or pouches
Do not use your beeswax wrap with hot food, raw meat or raw fish or in the oven or microwave. If you want to learn how to fold your wrap into a nice little bag or a pouch, follow this link:
Ingredients of beeswax wraps and why we use them
Pure beeswax and jojoba oil are ideal materials to use with food to help keep it fresh for longer. This is because they both have anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. The resin adds stickiness to the wrap.
If you want to learn more about how to make your own beeswax wraps, check out this guide: DIY beeswax wraps – How to make beeswax wraps
How to clean Beeswax wraps
The beeswax wraps can be rinsed in cold or lukewarm water. With or without mild soap. They can also be wiped clean using a damp cloth. After that, leave to dry and reuse for up to a year or longer.
Because beeswax wraps have a wax coating on top, they do not absorb moisture. Hence, all that you’re doing when you’re cleaning the wrap is rinsing off residue from the surface of it. Do not be tempted to scrub the wraps or to use hot water. Heat will melt and destroy the wax coating.
How to refresh and pasteurize Beeswax wraps
To prolong the life and performance of your beeswax wrap, I would recommend that it should be refreshed, or pasteurized, every few months. This only takes a few minutes. You will need parchment paper or greaseproof paper and an oven tray to fit your wrap.
Refresh and pasteurize your reusable wrap by placing your wrap on greaseproof paper on an oven tray. Turn on your oven at 70-80 degrees Celsius and place the tray with the wrap in the oven for a few minutes. This will melt the wax and allow it to be reabsorbed into the cotton, resulting in your wrap looking and feeling fresh and sticky again. Remove tray from the oven and swiftly but gently lift the wrap from the greaseproof paper. The wax will be hot or warm so be careful when doing this. (You can use thin nitrile gloves when doing this to protect you from the heat and melted wax. Keep gloves after use and reuse next time.) Gently shake or wave the wrap in the air to allow it to cool and dry. This will only take a few seconds. Let cool completely before use.
Another method you can use to refresh your reusable wrap is to place the wrap between two layers of greaseproof or parchment paper and use a hot iron to melt the wax. Place the hot iron on top of the paper and move the iron over the whole wrap. You may need to repeat a few times in order to melt all the wax. Remove from the paper and let cool before use.
Keep the greaseproof paper for use the next time you need to refresh or pasteurize your wraps.
How to rewax a beeswax wrap
To rewax, you will need parchment paper or greaseproof paper, an oven tray to fit your wrap and a rewax bar or beeswax and oil mixture. You may also want to use a small brush to distribute the wax once it has melted.
Rewax bar or DIY wax mixture?
You can either use a readymade mix of beeswax, oils and resin, or you can make your own.
If making your own mixture, use about five parts pure beeswax to one part oil and one part resin. (Use an oil with long shelf life, such as jojoba oil or coconut oil. If using oil with short shelf life, your wrap could become rancid after some time.) It is unlikely you will have resin available to you so you can leave this out if you like. The resulting wrap will be less sticky but still perfectly good to use. Find recipe and instructions here
The easiest way, however, is to use our ready-made rewax bar. It contains our signature blend of pure Irish beeswax, resin and oil that makes our wraps so sticky, soft and water repellent. It is ideal for making your own wraps at home or re-waxing your wraps after a period of use.
How to rewax
Rewax your reusable wrap by placing your wrap on greaseproof paper on an oven tray. Sprinkle over some slivers of grated wax. Freezing the rewax bar beforehand hardens the wax and makes it easier to grate. It can be hard to gauge how much wax to use. Start with a light sprinkling. If more is needed, you can add it later on.
Turn on your oven at 70-80 degrees Celsius and place the tray with the wrap in the oven for a few minutes. This will melt the wax and allow it to be reabsorbed into the cotton, resulting in your wrap looking and feeling fresh and sticky again. If there are little blobs or puddles of wax, you can brush the wrap with a small brush to distribute the wax evenly. Add more wax if needed. Remove tray from the oven and swiftly but gently lift the wrap from the greaseproof paper. The wax will be hot or warm so be careful when doing this. Gently shake or wave the wrap in the air to allow it to cool and dry. This will only take a few seconds. Let cool completely before use.
What can go wrong?
Podcast Green Bites – Honey Tasting
Journalist Ellie O’Byrne from the Podcast Green Bites visited for a honey tasting of raw Irish honeys with Beekeeper Hanna from Hanna’s Bees.
Benefits of Beeswax Candles
One of the many benefits of burning beeswax candles is its ability to calm us and soothe our mood. The light that a burning beeswax candle emits is very similar to natural sunlight. This has an uplifting and calming effect on our mood. Many also find it helps with concentration, energy and spiritualism.