MAKE BEESWAX WRAPS
Ditch the cling film and plastic sandwich bags and reduce your kitchen waste with these easy-to-make reusable beeswax food wraps
You will need: • 100% cotton fabric or muslin (organic if possible), washed and ironed • Pinking shears • Pure beeswax (100g) • Jojoba oil (10g, for its antibacterial qualities) • Coconut or almond oil (10g, to make the fabric more pliable) • Pine resin, powdered (70g, you can buy it from baldwins.co.uk) • Clean brush with thin bristles • Baking parchment • Baking tray • Drying rack
1 Cut your pre-washed fabric to the size you want using pinking shears (to prevent fraying). A thin, fine-weave cotton is best, as it is easier to fold and wrap when infused with wax; muslin or sheet-thickness is ideal. The beeswax will turn your fabric slightly yellow, so choose a colour that won’t clash.
2 Put the pine resin (if in chunks, roll it with a rolling pin to turn it to powder) in a metal bowl and place over a pan of simmering water. When the resin starts to melt, add the beeswax, almond or coconut oil and jojoba. When the ingredients have melted, mix together gently, keeping the pan on a low heat.
3 Heat your oven to 140°C. Lay the fabric on a baking sheet covered with baking paper, making sure the paper is bigger than your fabric. If you’re making a large wrap, for storing bread for example, it’s okay to fold the fabric so it fits on your baking sheet. Place in the oven for two minutes to heat the fabric.
4 Take the tray out of the oven and, working quickly, use your brush to paint the fabric with the beeswax mix. Return to the oven for a minute, then remove and brush again to ensure the wax is spread evenly all over the cotton. Use pegs or just drape the fabric on a rack to dry; it will take only minutes.
5 Your wrap is then ready to use. Use the warmth of your hands to shape it around a bowl, jar or sandwich. Don’t use your wrap to cover raw fish, eggs or meat. Clean it with a cloth using cold-to-warm water – hot will melt the wax – and a little detergent; rinse and hang to dry. If it needs a refresh after a few months, place on a lined tray in a 140°C oven for three minutes.