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Yes, Making Reusable Food Wrap Really Is This Easy

reusable food wrap with beeswax

Now that warmer weather is here, I hope you and your family are enjoying barbecues and picnics as much as my family is! And when you’re done eating and putting away the leftovers, I hope the reusable food wrap in today’s post will come in handy.

Plastic wrap and aluminum foil are both useful when it comes to keeping food fresh, but they both also create a lot of waste! Since I’m always on the lookout for new ways to cut down on the amount of trash we produce, when I came across the idea for a beeswax-based reusable food wrap, I knew I had to give it a try!

Related: 5 Food Storage Materials And When You Should Use Them

It’s SO easy to make—about as easy as stopping by the store for a new roll of plastic wrap—and a real money-saver because you can use it over and over again. I even like the rustic, natural look of it—a few sheets wrapped up would make such a nice housewarming gift! Here’s how to make it.

How To Make DIY Reusable Food Wrap With Beeswax

beeswax wrap

You’ll need:

beeswax wrap

Directions:

Start by cutting your fabric into your desired dimensions. It might be a good idea to cut a few different sizes, to use on different sized containers!

beeswax wrap

Preheat your oven to 200°F. Place one of your fabric pieces onto a cookie sheet, then sprinkle the beeswax pellets over the muslin. (If you have a bar of beeswax, grate it with a cheese grater.) Place your cookie sheet in the oven until the wax melts, about 5 minutes or so.

beeswax wrap

Once the wax is melted, use your silicone basting brush to spread the beeswax around the fabric until it’s evenly saturated. (If there are dry spots, sprinkle a few wax pellets on them, melt the wax in the oven, then brush again.) Then hang the fabric up somewhere until the wax has hardened, and it’ll be ready to use!

beeswax wrap

You can use the food wrap to cover bowls and plates, wrap sandwiches or block of cheese, or even fold it into a container for snacks. Each wrap should last several months, and if it gets soiled, simply hand wash it in cold water (warm water will melt the wax) and allow it to air dry.

beeswax wrap

If the wrap starts to lose its grip over time, simply repeat the waxing process outlined above and it’ll be good as new! Not only will you be saving money over time, you’ll also be making a great choice for the environment!

beeswax wrap

Don’t want to DIY? You can buy this multipack of beeswax wraps on Amazon for $15.

What’s your preferred material for keeping food fresh?

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  • I have made beeswax wraps. I found that I get much better results by adding pine resin and jojoba oil. |This makes for a much more durable product. Remember that beeswax is highly flammable, so work carefully and cleanly. Some are worried about contamination and washing the wrap. Honestly I don’t overfill my containers. The wrap never touches the food.

  • I admit to using plastic wrap on items that can splash and make a mess in my microwave, such as gravy that comes in a box. However, that plastic wrap can be washed in hot soapy water and re-used. I have re-used the wrap numerous times.

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  • I love this idea! Also, for a vegan substitute, try candelilla wax, I don’t know the melting point of it, but shouldn’t be hard to research online.

    As to the trolling above… I have to mention that one huge difference between this and items the medical field uses one time without sterilizing, is that this item is not intended to puncture the skin and enter the bloodstream. There are however plenty of medical items that are reused, such as speculums. I think I can wash this and not worry about it, I mean, if I couldn’t, then I better glove up to ever touch raw meat, cause washing my hands wouldn’t be good enough either.

    I once saw a study in which handwashing was tested for bacterial residue. Just plain cold water with no soap running over hands left less bacteria on hands than rubbing antibacterial hand sanitizer on them did. (though that did remove a lot of bacteria) the point being, you need running water to rinse it off, I would say, add some soap to that to decrease the surface tension of water and release the bacteria from the cloth, and rinse in warm water, it should be fine. If you DID want to use it for meat, then you’d need to boil it and retreat it between uses, but I’ve never been in the habit of storing raw meat in plastic wrap, so can’t imagine I’d want to use this for it either.

  • I remember my Grandma doing this when I was a little kid just never thought of it again. God knows I have a ton of muslin as well as other fabrics. Sounds like could be great gifts for those who like to do re-enactments especially.
    Thanks for the post.
    I love your website, I learn so much and your teaching an ole lady new tricks.
    God Bless you.

  • I mostly use an appropriate sized plate to cover the bowl diameter. It doesn’t seal against spills, but works great for leftovers and such. I also reuse zip loc baggies EXCEPT the ones that have had raw or cooked meats (those I rinse/wash out, drip-dry and recycle………..Oh, I use the plates bottom side down.

  • JUST A THOUGHT…SINCE THE MAKE-YOURSELF FOOD WRAPS ARE NOT WASHED IN HOT WATER, CAN THESE TRANSFER DISEASE-CARRIERS SUCH AS SALMONELLA IF THEY SHOULD BE ACCIDENTALLY TOUCHED TO MEAT, ETC.? JUST WONDERING ABOUT THAT SINCE ITS POSSIBILITY IS A SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEM.

  • I would use the old pieces of cloth to put in my flower beds or garden to help with weed control. This is what I use my green grocery (reusable) grocery bags for when they finally wear out. It works!

  • I love this idea! I would not use it for raw meat just like I do not reuse baggies from raw meat. Anything else is fine. Just wash and dry. Thank you!

  • This is what they used back in the old days to bring food places. :-) Up through the depression era. It would be great to use this for the same reasons they did. With prices of things so high – its great to reuse for reasons of money alone. Not to mention the great benefit of recycling on the environment. And as for the sanitizing…I’d be more worried about eating GMO foods than whether or not my soap and water took every small germ off my beeswax cloth. ….just sayin’

  • Jillee –
    Brilliant, as usual! You go Girl! Love the stuff you share! I am headed to get out my bees wax to get this project started!
    Thanks!

  • In folk medicine, beeswax has long been used in the treatment of wounds and other skin irritations. You can think of beeswax as the original Band-Aid, and honey as the original Neosporin. It is known to be bacteria resistant, and there has even been a fairly recent study that shows that it has some antiseptic qualities. National Institute of Health has positive results on testing honey for inhibiting growth of “stuff.” There are no insects that will eat beeswax, so it has been used to seal things for thousands of years.

    • Honey is virtually the only substance that is bacteria free. Bees have their own ingenious ways to create their own healthy environment, which of course includes bees wax. (Here’s my soapbox: SAVE THE BEES, plant flowers they love!)

    • As a beekeeper, I just had to tell you – there are actually insects that will eat bees wax. Quite a few, in fact. That said, thin, comb wax is easier for them to consume than solid wax and I think the chances of you having a wax moth in your kitchen are highly unlikely ;)
      These are a wonderful idea. I’ll be giving them a try.

  • This may be silly but I’m just wondering if the wax adheres to any of the containers used for storage. I know it’s cooled but I wonder about residue.
    Thank you!

  • Another great idea! I agree with some of the comments–I wouldn’t use this to wrap raw meat, but I can’t count how often I throw away plastic wrap/foil that’s never even touched food. My concerns would be where to store it and where to hang it while it’s drying after washing.

  • Please, please, PLEASE people (like Joe above), STOP using OGTJ as a forum for your political, religious and environmental rants! Take your ravings to an appropriate website or start your own blog!! Not only is it inappropriate here, but it’s a real pain in the butt to the rest of us to have to be subjected to your nonsense. Your computer is just like your radio and TV…if you object to the content, turn the flipping thing OFF! (Sheesh!). I apologize for my own “rant”, but I get so tired of people who use this blog as their own personal soapbox.r

  • Well I see the FIREWORKS HAS BEGUN!! I for one am happy to know I can make these and use good judgement on how to use them :-) Sorry Jillee you may have lost some wind in your sails over this but just remember it takes a village!!
    Thanks for your great tips!

    Janie

  • Thank you Jillee, good idea.
    plastic wrap is not 100% safe nothing is, no matter what manufacturers want us to believe. The use of these two products, plastic warp and foil takes a long long time to break down, it impinges in big ways on our fauna -all for the sake of what???? paranoia, marketing, convenience.

  • This sounds very interesting. However, the thing that would scare me is still having some bacteria lurking. I don’t know if cold water would kill it.
    I also had the same question as Ma

    • You could probably try washing it in warm water just to see if the wax melts but I feel like soap would kill most of the bacteria from your food. And you can find beeswax on Amazon :-)

  • Wonderful idea! My only question is how you store them when not in use? Are they ok at room temp or do they get sticky? Should I store them in a container so they don’t attract debris? Thank you so much for this exciting new idea!

  • I had heard of reusable wrap cloths. Thank you for showing us how to make them. These are great because they are reusable and because it is a way to wrap foods without plastic. Thank you for all of the great tips!

  • I use bees wax all the time in my cosmetics. At first I used the block that had to be grated. Then found the pellets and only had to measure. Neither of them melt easily even over direct heat. So washing/rinsing them with warm water is not going to cause melting. I am referring to 100 per cent pure bee’s wax. There may be some wax products that contain other ingredients that may exelerate melting so those may have a problem with warm water …

  • I have bought some of these in the past and love them. The heat from your hands is enough to mold the wax covered fabric and seal it up.
    I use mine for sandwiches and to cover bowls. I am very excited to make my own because they are a bit speedy to buy.
    As for food safety, I think it’s just fine. I rinse and/or wipe mine off and have not used them for meat or anything like that.

  • I go to the beauty supply store and buy processing caps, which are elasticized and fit most bowl sizes. After use I rewash in hot soapy water, and air dry, so they last through several uses. They are very affordable, less than 10 cents each.

    • I have also done this for many years!! Love it especially when watermelon is in season to cover the cut end as it helps keep it fresher longer than cutting the whole melon. Great for placing fresh picked garden veggies,keeps them all separated in the storage bin in the fridge. Packing for a trip? Place your shoes in them.Lots of uses for those processing caps!!

  • Can I ask where we can buy the bees wax? I can see that this might be useful especially for more ‘safe items’. I agree… you do have to use your common sense when wrapping /storing any thing. I do use reusable grocery bags but first put meat/poultry etc. in a plastic bag in case of leaks. My bags are all washable.

    • You can use soap when you wash the wrap just don’t leave it soaking. Over sanitation is really making people sick. As a species we are losing natural immunity. Relax this wrap is to cover a bowl in the fridge or wrap cookies or a sandwich not to prevent botulism in raw foods. If you are home canning worry about sterilization. If you are taking a sandwich to work for lunch and jusr don’t want it to dry out or come apart this will be fine.

  • Sorry to say, but tired of the pop ups every time I come to your site. VERY ANNOYING! There are many good ideas, but with so many DIY sites without pop ups I will have to cancel this subscription. If the problem ever gets fixed let me know I am interested in the helpful ideas.

    • If you use Firefox as your browser you can add a great add-on called Ad Block Plus. It blocks all pop ups on all sites. You can also right click on ads to add them to the block list & you’ll never see them again. I don’t see any ads on this site at all.

      • I use Safari but I’ve never had pop-ups on this site. I have pop-ups blocked in my preferences.

    • I’ve been reading this site for close to 2 years now and have never had a pop-up. I am sure you are allowing them yourself with the setttings in your computer.

    • I’m sorry about that Sally but I don’t actually have any pop-ups running right now so there is a chance they are coming from other sites or you have a virus. I occasionally run them but not very often because I know how annoying they can be.

  • I’m always amazed at the stuff you do here! I know based off of laziness alone I probably wouldn’t make this an all the time thing BUT I can see it being a cute presentation for the holidays or get togethers with people thinking I’m all fancy pants! ;-)

  • Beeswax is antimicrobial, so as long as your fabric is washed first, I believe you are safe to reuse. I think this is a cute idea to use as a top on a gift of jams or such.

  • This is like doctors reusing syringes or reusing dental floss. This is the same argument against reusing shopping bags made of paper that might contain drippings of meat, milk etc. You might be doing the landfill a favor, but it at the risk of your health. If you don’t like to toss plastic wrap, then at least use a container you can wash. Many medical instruments are for single use because the medical profession does not trust the sterilization methods. Most stores have a bin so you can recycle your disposable bags. IL as a state condones the use of single use plastic bags. The real solution is to limit population growth, but the corporations don’t like that idea. However, China has limited population growth for over 2 decades. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but I don’t know how else to express my opinion.

    • …if it becomes soiled, you wash it.

      Would I wrap fresh meat in this….no. Would I wrap a relatively dry sandwich in it…yes.

      Common sense ,.,, Joe.

      And by the way…..are you assuming the plastic wrap you use is sterile? Its relatively “clean”, but not sterile. If you are that concerned you would need to wash it before using it.

      • Sure, plastic wrap is approved for food. A *lot* of things are approved for food that some of us don’t actually WANT near, on, or in our food.

        People used oilcloth for centuries for storing food. It’s washable. (And if you want to get really knitty gritty, this cloth could bed boiled, and retreated.)

        And reusing syringes (medical devices that are actually inject your body) isn’t the same as covering a bowl of leftover potato salad with a reusable piece of cloth.

        Thanks Jillee for another great post!

    • I agree totally, Joe. My first thought was this can’t be sanitized.
      Another option that I use are the Silicone bowl covers which CAN be washed in soap and hot water. Even dishwasher and oven safe.

    • Joe….really? You chose a topic on reusable food wrap to complain about population growth?

      Just someone looking to complain….man there are a lot of ‘crazies’ out there!

    • How we got from reusable food wrap to one-child policies is amazing.

      What do you expect from the Chi-Coms?

      “The Population Bomb, ” by Ehrlich has been soundly discredited many times over since its 1971 publishing date. It’s a bunch of fear-mongering from the Progressive (Commie) Left.

      Don’t worry about it.

    • Limit population growth…you go first. Who gets to decide the size of a family? Maybe Mormons or Catholics since traditionally they have large families. Or poor people of any race. Or Hispanics? Or Southerners since they’re all uneducated rednecks who shouldn’t breed. Make your own decision about it, but don’t suggest that it should be mandated or enforced. China’s policies have led to a huge population of young men and no women to marry.
      Susan (mother of 5)

    • Are you serious!!!! China is hardly a country any other country in the world would want to emulate. Unwanted children literally dumped by parents on the side of the road. In any case China has left itself with something of a problem, since they have too many males and not enough females particularly in rural areas. There are now reports of abductions and trafficking of women and forced marriages. Men of low income have less chance of meeting someone which could cause breaks in family lines. In the long the term these single men will have to rely heavily on social services to look after them! With regard to the reusable wrap, use common sense! Don’t use to wrap raw meat for goodness sake! The health risks associated with plastic wrap are far greater than some waxed fabric used sensibly. Plastic bags NEVER need to be used!!!! Where I live no-one goes shopping without reusable hessian or cotton shopping bags and if you forget and do need a plastic bag you pay for it!

  • Love this idea! It would be cute to use leftover fabrics I already have for decorative covers.

    Did you put the wax on both sides of the fabric? Or, did it seep through to the other side do you didn’t need to do the back side? If only one side is waxed, which side down toward the food?

    Thank you and have a great day tomorrow!

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