How to rewax beeswax wraps?
How to rewax beeswax wraps
With the correct care and attention, beeswax wraps should last for around 12 months. It can be longer but we like to remain conservative with our estimate. Either way, just think how much plastic wrap you’ll be saving.
Before we kick off with the rewax process, 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 beeswax wraps.
The first is “RESTORING”. This is the process of redistributing the existing wax on your wraps without adding additional wax. By simply melting the wax, a wrap can be refreshed with very little intervention. Ideal for when your wrap might starts to look a little tired.
Restoring can be achieved with something as simple as a hair dryer. Simply hold the wrap between your fingers and gently warm to melt and redistribute the wax. We suggest restoring every 2 - 3 months. Around this time you might start to notice deep folds on your wrap or drying of the wax.
“REWAXING" on the other hand involves adding additional wax to your wraps and will extend their use-life significantly. This will also make them feel like new.
Depending on frequency of use, the rewax process is normally recommended after around 4 - 6 months of use.
You’ll know when your wraps need “rewaxing” as the process of “restoring” is no longer as effective. 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 take around 5-10 minutes.
Iron Re-wax Method
You 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 a tea towel on your ironing board and 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 wax shavings can be a little tricky to remove from the grater after use. Alternatively, you could cut the block into small pieces using a knife.
Once grated, put the second piece of baking paper over the top of the beeswax wrap. Ensure there is at least a 50mm overlap of baking paper on each of the fours sides of the wrap.
Set the iron to the highest temperature. Once pre-heated, 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.
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 don’t want the wrap to stick to the baking paper. Peel the top layer of baking paper away. Hold the wrap at the corners using thumb and forefinger then peel it away from the bottom sheet of baking paper.
Gently waft the wrap for around 15 - 25 seconds until the wrap stiffens.
Complete again for each of the wraps you wish to rewax.
Top tips for the iron method:
- A single Green Bee re-wax bar will rewax a single 50cm sheet, three 30cm sheets or five 20cm sheets.
- Keep the same baking paper for the next time you rewax.
- Remove excess wax from the grater by pouring boiling water through it.
- Smoother tea towels will provide a better beeswax finish.
Electric Oven re-wax method
Only use this method if you have an electric oven. Beeswax is highly flammable and can ignite 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 your oven to 60℃.
Place your baking paper neatly inside a deep oven tray, avoiding any creases that might later cause an uneven distribution of wax. We recommend 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 five 20cm wraps or three 30cm wraps.
Place the oven tray on the middle shelf for 3-5 minutes before removing. Do not leave your wraps unattended at any stage.
Taking hold of the wrap at the corners using thumb and forefinger, peel it away from the baking paper sheet while the wax is still molten.
Gently waft the wrap for 15 - 25 seconds until the wrap starts stiffen.
It's that simple, your wraps will now feel like new and offer 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.