I use Cling Film every day to cover leftover food and wrapping pack lunches. cling film also is horrible thin plastic stuff that does not stick when you want it too and seems to tangle itself up with itself also I can never seem to find the end! To top it off there is no way to dispose of it after it’s been used. You can’t reuse it or even recycle it and billions of meters of cling film just ends up in landfilled sites.
There must be something else I can use instead? I mean cling film was only first used to keep food safe in 1956, although cling film was created back in 1933 by Ralph Wiley, originally green and designed for fighter planes to protect them from sea spray. Well before 1956 my great grandparents used a bowl over a plate and brown paper bags. So why do we find the need to have to use this horrible plastic stuff to get tangled up in, I really don’t know.
Yes there is and it’s hitting the green community with a storm. There are lots of websites and blogs all talking about it and directing you where to buy it. If you are a thriftier you can your own version called beeswax cloth or beeswax wrap.
I thought I would give it a go and see if I could make my own. I found there seem to be two different ways to make these bee wax versions of cling film. After trying both I found this way to be the most effective.
- Scrap fabric
- Organic beeswax
- Clothes Horse
- Cut your scrap fabric to the size you need your cloth to be for example; If it is going to be used to cover bowls of leftover food, cut a circle of fabric bigger than your bowl or for wrapping sandwiches in, cut your fabric four times the size of your average sandwich. It’s really about guessing and experimenting.
- Cover your oven shelf in tinfoil (this protects you oven from melted wax)
- Grate your wax into a plastic tub (please don’t make the mistake I made and grate your beeswax with a cheese grater you then want to use preparing food with afterwards. Use an old cheese grater or buy a cheese grater just for this job from a secondhand shop)
- Turn your oven to a low heat. (make sure your fan is off to prevent wax from being spread around your oven)
- Lay your piece of fabric onto your oven shelf and sprinkle all over the fabric your grated beeswax.
- Place your oven shelf back in your oven with the fabric and beeswax.
- After 3 or 4 minutes all the wax should be melted. Using oven gloves remove your oven shelf from the oven.
- Hold your fabric up to the light to make sure all the fabric is covered in melted beeswax. If there are any areas lacking wax place your fabric back on your oven self and repeat stages 5 to 8. If all your fabric is covered with melted beeswax, hang your clothes to dry. (only takes a minute to dry)
- Repeat the process until you have made all the beeswax cloth you need.
When you need to use cling film place the beeswax cloth over your bowl/plate and with your hands press your cloth onto the edges of your bowl. The heat from your hands will help the wax cloth mould into the shape of what is being covered, as soon as you let go the wax cloth will hold its shape. In the same way you can wrap your sandwiches in the wax cloth like you would with cling film and protect your sandwiches as well as keeping them fresh.
Once you have finished using your beeswax cloth wipe it clean with cold water and some homemade dishwashing soap, (I use Dr Bronner) leave to air dry fold and pop into your draw ready for the next time you need it.
We took our beeswax cloth to the woods for a BBQ and they not only wrapped our food but also came in handy as easy to pull out plates.