How to restore beeswax wraps
How to restore beeswax wraps
With the correct care and attention, beeswax food wraps should last for more than 12 months. It's worth noting that how you use and care for your wraps can significantly impact the length of their usable life. For example, washing in cold water rather than hot water will extend their life significantly.
Before we start, it’s worth expanding on some of the phrases we use in this article.
“RESTORING” is the process of melting the wax on tired wraps without adding any additional wax. By heating the existing wax on the surface of the cotton, food wraps can be revived with very little intervention.
“REWAXING" is the next step in maintenance and involves adding additional grated wax to your wraps before melting. Read our rewax article for more detail.
As a general rule of thumb, we recommend restoring your beeswax wraps every 2 to 3 months. You'll know when they need to be restored as deep fold lines will start to show in the waxy surface. They’ll also become less sticky and the wax may show signs of drying.
This timeline can vary though. If you use your wraps regularly in a fridge or freezer, restoring may be required more frequently. This is because the food grade wax coating tends to dry out more quickly at colder temperatures.
There are three very simple options available when the time comes to restore:
1. HAIRDRYER REFRESH METHOD
Hold wrap in your fingertips. Use a hairdryer on a high heat and low blow setting to gently warm your wrap and redistribute the wax. This is the quickest and easiest way to restore wraps and can be completed in about 2-3 minutes. It’s best to avoid a fast blow setting as this could cause the heated wax to spray.
2. ELECTRIC OVEN REFRESH METHOD
Place your wrap on a tray lined with baking paper then preheat the electric oven to 60ºC. Place the baking tray in the oven and allow the wax to melt and redistribute. You’ll know when it’s time to remove your wraps as the melted surface wax will look wet. Once removed from the oven, separate your wrap from the baking paper immediately before the wax has time to cool.
Note: Do not leave your wrap unattended in the oven. You should also not use a gas appliance for this task as beeswax is flammable when presented to a naked flame.
3. IRON REFRESH METHOD
Place your wrap in between two sheets of baking paper. Iron for a few seconds on a high temperature with no steam. Once the wax has been melted, remove from the baking sheets immediately and then waft your wraps to encourage drying.
WHAT IF RESTORING DOESN'T WORK?
There will come a time when restoring doesn't work as effectively. When this happens we recommend rewaxing your wraps using the instructions in our rewax article. This is recommended every 4 to 6 months. You'll know when a rewax is due as your wraps will lose their stiffness and feel more like standard fabric.
Keep ditching the cling film and plastic wraps by restoring your beeswax wraps.