Bees are fantastic little creatures. They make honey, wax and pollinate without payment or reward. In recent years beeswax wraps have become popular means to store food as an alternative to single use plastic wrap.
Last Saturday Harvest patrons made their own beeswax wraps as part of Plastic Free July.
To make beeswax wraps all you need are:
- Squares of washed cotton fabric cut to size
- Food-grade beeswax available from Harvest’s honey stalls
- Tree resin
- Oil, e.g. jojoba or coconut.
There are loads of recipes with different ratios of ingredients. The resin makes the wraps ‘sticky’. Hence, the amount of resin will make your beeswax wraps more or less sticky. It is best to experiment to find the right ratio of ingredients that works for you. Once you have everything you need, just melt the ingredients, coat your fabric and hang to dry.
You can use your wrap to cover and store all manner of foods you keep in the fridge (e.g. cheese), on the counter top (e.g. bread), in the crisper (e.g. veggies), or use to wrap food on the go (e.g. sandwiches). The beeswax coating makes the fabric waterproof and breathable. Due to the breathability wraps are also great for fermented foods (e.g. kefir and kombucha). To wrap or cover, just use the warmth of your hands to mould and shape wraps to your needs.
To clean your beeswax wraps, wash with mild soap or detergent in cold water (hot water will melt your beeswax off), then hang the wrap to dry. You can store your wrap in a drawer or on the counter. Avoid environments such as microwaves, dishwashers and ovens (unless refreshing).
Every few months you can refresh your wraps to make them last longer. To refresh your wraps you can heat them on a baking tray in the sun, or pop them on a baking tray in the oven, or hold them in front of a hairdryer to gently heat them then brush with a light coat of the melted resin, wax, and oil mixture evenly over the fabric. Allow to cool and dry.
With good care a wrap should last about year. When your wrap finally wears out you can simply pop it into the compost.
The next Plastic Free July Activity is making compost this Saturday (20 July).