There were a few projects that I have been wanting to tackle for a while now and this was top of the list.
We send our kiddies to school with sandwiches everyday and in an attempt to drive down the single use plastic for my family, I needed a good alternative to ziplock bags.
I have come across beeswax wraps to buy in health food stores, but with the abundance of scrap materials at my fingertips, I thought the best thing to do was to make them myself and then maybe when I have the hang of it, make them as gifts for family/friends.
So, I researched – recipes, types of beeswax etc.. and this was the recipe that seemed to be most popular.
2 Cups of beeswax – cosmetic grade beeswax is readily available from Amazon/Ebay. Each 30g bar equates to approx. half a cup of beeswax when it has been grated.
Half cup rosin – also called pine resin, this is also widely available online from Amazon/Ebay
30 ml Jojoba oil – also available online, it can be substituted for other oils such as coconut oil, I opted for jojoba because it has a long shelf life and has antibacterial properties.
Fabric – approx. 25cm x 25cm 100% cotton and pre-washed
There are a variety of ways you can achieve the outcome of effectively getting the mixture onto the fabric – but the most effective method for me has been to combine all of the ingredients together in an electric pan on low and then dip the fabric square into the warm mixture.
By combining and melting all the ingredients together, you will avoid the issues which people have seemed to come up against with patches of rosin not melting properly or the appearance of the wrap to be patchy.
Start by grating the beeswax so that it will melt easily and crush the rosin to a powder and place in either a double boiler or an electric pan on low to melt – add the oil and stir.
When the mixture is combined, there are a few ways of getting the melted mixture onto your fabric.
One method is to use a brush and paint it on – this is usually done on a baking tray and left to dry. The great thing about using a baking tray is that if you spot an uneven patch, you can pop the tray in a low oven and redistribute the wax with a brush.
I opted for a far more hands-on approach!
When my mixture was all melted, I simply dipped my fabric into the wax to coat it and then let the excess drip off before hanging it outside on an airer to dry.
This seemed to be a quick method of coating the fabric – but it also left me with a few patches on the fabric where I think the beeswax mixture was too thick. To rectify this, you can simply pop the wrap on a baking sheet into a low oven for a few minutes and then use a paintbrush to brush off the excess in the thick areas.
Another method which many people had success with but seemed a little trickier to me, was to grate all of the ingredients onto the fabric and with the fabric sandwiched between parchment paper, iron the mixture until it melts and spreads across the fabric.
Although this method avoids the use of an oven/pan to melt the mixture, it would seem that it is harder to get a wrap that has all of the mixture evenly distributed.
CARE FOR BEESWAX WRAPS
Caring for these wrap is simple – avoid heat and hot water!
Spot clean with cool, soapy water.
When your wraps look like they are in need of some love, pop them in an oven (around 200 degrees) for a couple of minutes and they will come out like new!
If you are finding that they are not sticking, grate a little more beeswax onto the wrap and pop in the oven as above.
Because you are unable to clean the wraps in a high heat, avoid wrapping meats with them, it is not worth the risk.