How to re-wax your beeswax wraps?
Before we kick off, let's talk quickly about terminology as this will make explanation a little easier. There are two terms we frequently associate with the upkeep of your Green Bee’s beeswax wraps.
The first is “REFRESH”. This is the process of redistributing the existing wax on your wraps without adding any additional wax. This is designed to reinvigorate your wrap with very little intervention. Ideal for when you wrap displays deep folds, or the wax starts to dry out. Refreshing can be achieved pretty easily through the use of a hair dryer. Simply hold the wrap between your fingers and gently warm to melt and redistribute the wax. We suggest refreshing every 2 - 3 months, or when you notice deep folds on your wrap or the wax starts to dry (using your wraps in a fridge or freezer may dry the wax out quicker).
The “REWAX" on the other hand involves adding additional wax to your wraps, which will in turn extend their use-life significantly; It will also make them feel like new. Depending on frequency of use, the re-wax process is normally recommended at around the 4 - 6 month point, post-purchase.
You’ll know when your wraps need “re-waxing” as the process of “refreshing” no longer provides the desired outcome. You’ll also find that your wraps start to lose their stiffness, feeling more like standard fabric.
There are two methods we normally use for re-waxing wraps. The Iron and Electric Oven method. Both processes take around 5-10 minutes.
Iron Re-wax MethodYou will need:
- Iron and ironing board (steam function disabled)
- 1 x clean tea towel (old)
- 2 x sheets of smooth baking paper (50mm bigger than the wraps on each side)
- 1 x beeswax wrap re-wax block
- 1 x fine cheese grater
Put the tea towel on your ironing board and then cover with one sheet of pre-cut baking paper. Remember, the paper should be at least 50mm bigger than the wrap on each side to catch any excess wax.
Using a fine cheese grater, grate the refresher block over the wrap lightly, paying particular attention to the areas where the wax has worn the most. We recommend purchasing a dedicated grater for this task as the wax shavings can sometimes be a little tricky to remove from the grater after use.
Once grated, put the second piece of baking paper over the top of the beeswax wrap. Again, ensure there is at least a 50mm overlap of baking paper on each of the fours sides of the wrap.
Make sure your iron is set to the highest temperature and pre-heated before using, then iron over the top baking paper sheet using a constant motion. Do not hold the iron in the same spot as you may burn the wax which only has a melting point of around 60℃.
Work the iron over the whole wrap. You’ll notice a ‘wet look’ under the baking paper that spreads as the wax melts and distributes. Make sure you get right into the corners and edges.
Be quick with this next step as you’ll need to act before the wax sets!! Peel the top layer of baking paper away, then hold the wrap by the corners using your thumb and forefinger, before peeling it away from the bottom sheet of baking paper.
Once the wrap is completely free from the baking paper, gently waft for around 15 - 25 seconds until the wrap stiffens.
Complete this process for each of the wraps you wish to refresh.
Top tips for the iron method:
- A single Green Bee re-wax bar will be sufficient for one x 50cm sheets, two/three x 30cm sheets or five 20cm sheets. It can be used sparingly.
- Keep the same baking paper for the next time you re-wax.
- Rinse your grater by pouring boiling water through it.
- Smoother tea towels will provide a better beeswax finish than a textured alternative.
Electric Oven re-wax methodOnly use this method if you have an electric oven. Beeswax is highly flammable and can combust if exposed to the naked flame of a gas oven.
You will need:
- 1 x oven tray big enough to hold your wraps.
- 1 x sheet of smooth baking paper (big enough to cover base of oven tray).
- 1 x beeswax wrap re-wax block.
- 1 x fine cheese grater.
Pre-heat oven to 60℃.
Place your baking paper neatly inside the oven tray, avoiding any creases that might later cause an uneven distribution of wax. We suggest using an old oven tray incase any excess wax spills beyond the baking paper.
Place your wraps on top of the baking paper.
Using a fine cheese grater, grate the refresher block over the wrap lightly, paying particular attention to the areas where the wax has worn the most. It’s better to add less than more, remembering that one re-wax bar is sufficient for 5 x 20cm wraps or 4 x 30cm wraps.
Place the oven tray on the middle shelf of the oven for 3 minutes before removing. Do not leave your wraps unattended at any stage throughout this process.
Taking hold of the wrap at the corners using your thumb and forefinger, peel it away from the baking paper sheet while the wax is still molten.
Once the wrap is completely free from the baking paper, gently waft for 15 - 25 seconds until the wrap starts stiffen.
Hey presto, it’s as simple as that. Your wrap will now feel like new and will provide months of extra usage.
Top tips oven method:
- We find it’s easier to re-wax wraps one at a time.
- Larger wraps can be re-waxed by folding in half or quarters if they do not fit in to the oven tray.