The products were provided to Eco Parents Australia to review. This is not a paid review. The opinions are those of Eco Parents Australia.
I haven’t bought plastic wrap for years and have instead tried and used food wraps and bowl covers made from food safe plastic. I have a household goal to move from single or limited use products to reusable alternatives. It can be a real bonus if the alternative is also plastic free.
Beeswax wraps are essentially fabric that has been infused with beeswax. Often they contain another oil to help soften them. This also keeps them malleable. The wax and oil combination penetrates the fabric and turns it into a product that has many of the practical benefits of plastic wrap.
Many people make their own beeswax wraps. While a beeswax wrap is basically just a few elements, getting the blend of oil to wax right and the quantity of that mixture-to-fabric makes a difference. Too much wax and the wrap is very rigid, too little and it lacks stickiness.
This tinkering is something maker Chantele Kunze of Bee Wrapped Naturally has been working on. So what does she add to her local food grade beeswax? It seems she is keen to keep her blend recipe under wraps…
Researching beeswax wraps has been on my to do list for a few years and well, it never made it to the top. When Chantele approached me to try her product I was happy to finally give them a go. Here are some particulars of the product I used as part of this review.
- Price retail: 3 pack $25 a pack of three delivered anywhere in Australia.
- Pack – three sizes 30cm, 25cm and 20cm. Custom orders and bread wraps also available.
- Fabric type – 100% cotton. Sourced within Australia. Occasional releases with organic fabric.
How to use a beeswax wrap
Over the course of a month I tried to think of all different ways to use the wraps. One of my favourite things about reusable products is the creativity they can encourage. One of the distinct benefits of beeswax wraps over other reusable food storage options is their versatility. They are the closest product I have used that works like plastic wrap. They can be used over bowls and containers, wrapped partially or entirely around food items, or shaped to contain items like a bowl or container.
When using a beeswax wrap you cover your bowl, container or food item then use the heat of your hands to gently mould the wrap in place. When shaping the wrap into a packet pinching the corners or sections in place will provide a secure closure.
I’ve found they work really well when shaped around glass or ceramic containers. They got a work out in my house for storing leftovers in the fridge. No need to transfer leftovers from a bowl into another container then try to find a lid. Just pop a beeswax wrap directly over the bowl. For me this is efficient and it saves on washing up.
A possible downside to using beeswax wraps and other types of food wraps and bowl covers means there can end up quite a sea of assorted patterns and covers. An upside of using plastic wrap is being able to see the food through the wrap. Reusable food covers don’t offer this practicality. My husband is the main cook in our house and was a little frustrated with this aspect. I decided to reorganise my fridge and dedicated a shelf to leftovers. At meal times we spend a moment checking what we have on hand so we might incorporate the leftovers into the next meal. Once we had this simple system in place we have seen a reduction in leftover food waste.
Of the three wraps we used I found the larger one was more rigid. A more rigid wrap can work well if you are shaping the wrap into a container, but can be harder to work with if you are trying to shape it over a bowl. A rigid wrap does offer some protection of the contents if popping into a bag or picnic basket.
Without a doubt I found the beeswax wraps best suited to cheeses. The wax and oil combination offers airtight properties yet still has an element of breathability. They prevent the cheese drying out but does not make it sticky with moisture.
Some of the items I wrapped included cucumber, capsicum, avocado, ginger, carrot, pumpkin, leftover pizza slices, a bowl of cous cous, bowl of passionfruit pulp, pancakes… Here are just a few photos of how I used them.
There are a few rules of use that will keep your wraps lasting longer.
- Don’t use with meat.
- Don’t use with wet stuff (like watermelon).
- Don’t put in the dishwasher.
How to clean
Chantele suggests rinses in cool water and air drying. I find that if I am not using these on wet foods or with meat I can just either brush off crumbs or wipe with a damp cloth.
How to store
Creases in the wraps can cause cracks and over time may reduce the sealing properties of the wrap. To restore a wrap you can place it in-between two sheets of baking paper and on a very low heat iron the wrap. This works to slightly melt the wax and redistribute it across the fabric. Some people suggest storing wraps rolled up instead of folding them. We don’t have an issue with cockroaches where we live but if you do you might consider storing them in a sealed container.
The wraps arrived in a simple brown paper bag with a small sticker to keep the bag closed. A cardboard tag includes instructions and contact details for the business.
How to buy
Congratulations to Carrie Parsons who won a set of wraps valued at $25 as part of our giveaway.