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Wollongong City Council

Beeswax Wraps

Beeswax wraps are a great alternative to single-use plastic wrap, and they're easy to make!

These environmentally friendly wraps can be used to wrap a range of food or to cover bowls and plates. When they reach the end of their life, they can be composted.

Although beeswax wraps are great, you should avoid them if you're allergic to pollen or honey.

Follow the steps below for tips on how to make and care for beeswax wraps.

Beeswax can be bought direct from beekeepers or a beekeeping organisation. Some bulk food stores may also sell beeswax.

Search online to find suppliers near you. Check with the supplier to make sure that no chemicals or insecticides are used in the hives your beeswax comes from.

Beeswax usually comes in a solid block that you will need to grate or chop into smaller pieces to make wraps. Keep it in a closed container in a cool, dry place to prevent dust, dirt or fluff sticking to it.

Beeswax lasts indefinitely, but over time it might get a light powdery coating called 'bloom', This is not mould, and can be simply dusted off.

To make around four large wraps you will need:

  • 100% cotton fabric cut into your desired size. We recommend 20 x 20cm for small wraps, 25 x 25cm for medium wraps or 30 x 30cm for large wraps, but you can make them any size or shape you like.
  • Cutting mat and fabric cutter
  • Pinking shears (optional)
  • 100g beeswax
  • 30g coconut oil - this makes the wraps more pliable and cling better
  • Newspaper and cloth scrap.

See the methods for making wraps below for additional items you will need.

Extra items you will need:

  • Electric frypan. To prevent contamination, this should be a frypan you use only for beeswax wraps
  • Wooden spoon
  • Two pairs of tongs.

Method:

  1. Cut the beeswax into small blocks
  2. Turn the frypan on to low heat and add the beeswax and coconut oil. Stir until its melted and mixed together. Remove any solid bits that form.
  3. Place your fabric in the pan, and move it around with tongs to let the wax soak through and completely cover the cloth.
  4. Slide the fabric up the side of the pan to remove excess wax on both sides. Be careful, as the wax will be hot.
  5. Drape the fabric back and forth over a scrap of material with newspaper underneath to remove any further excess wax. The wrap will cool quickly.
  6. Lay your wrap flat and let it dry well before using.

Extra items you will need:

  • Ironing board
  • Iron
  • Old towel
  • Baking paper

Method (this will make two wraps):

  1. Grate beeswax with a cheese grater.
  2. Place an old towel over the ironing board, and put a sheet of baking paper on top of the towel.
  3. Lay your wrap fabric on top of the baking paper, and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of grated beeswax.
  4. Place a second layer of fabric on top of the first to 'sandwich' the grated beeswax in between.
  5. Cover the top piece of fabric with baking paper.
  6. Set your iron to 'cotton' and iron over the baking paper, moving it continually to push the wax around.
  7. Check that the wax has spread evenly. You can add more if needed and keep ironing it until the fabric is evenly covered.
  8. Leave the fabric to set for 1-2 minutes before picking it up.

Extra items you will need:

  • Oven
  • Cheese grater
  • Baking tray
  • Baking paper
  • Pastry brush
  • Ruler or straight blade (this does not have to be sharp)
  • Tongs.

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees celsius and grate the beeswax.
  2. Line your baking tray with baking paper, and place your fabric on top of the paper.
  3. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of beeswax and 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil over the fabric as evenly as possible.
  4. Place the tray in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until the wax has melted.
  5. Use the pastry brush to spread the wax evenly over the fabric, then squeegee out any excess with the ruler or straight blade.
  6. Return to the oven for another 1-2 minutes.
  7. Lift the fabric with tongs and hold it up to the light to make sure it is completely covered.
  8. Place the fabric on a flat surface to cool.
  • Wash in cool soapy water and air dry thoroughly before reusing.
  • Never use beeswax wraps on meat or fish.
  • Use the warmth of your hands to mould wraps around food, plates or bowls.
  • To store, roll or fold and keep in a cool, dry place.
  • Avoid heat sources like microwaves, dishwashers, steam or hot surfaces.
  • Wraps should last around 12 moths. They can be refreshed with a sprinkling of beeswax and popped in the over for 10 minutes (see the oven method above), or composted when you're finished with them.