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  • Writer's pictureClare Freeman

How to Refresh Beeswax Wraps

Updated: Jun 14

Beeswax wraps are a great eco-friendly alternative to clingfilm for sealing dishes and keeping food fresh, but over time the wraps gradually start to lose some of their grip and become more floppy and less 'sticky'.

This is because some of the beeswax is gradually rubbed off through use. You'll probably notice it first along the fold lines where you regularly fold the wrap, and on other high use areas. But don’t worry, your favourite beeswax wraps can be easily revived with the application of a little more beeswax.

Three beeswax wraps in cherry and lemon designs next to a bowl of strawberries

Which is the best method?

To refresh your beeswax wrap, in essence all that you need to do is to melt a little bit more beeswax and allow the fabric of the wrap to soak it up. The two most common methods used to achieve this are:

The oven method is the easiest and (in our opinion) the least messy. However it is only suitable for electric ovens. If you have a gas oven you should use the ironing method. (This is because beeswax is flammable and should be kept away from naked flames.)

What type of beeswax to use

To refresh the beeswax in your wrap, you can either use solid beeswax blocks that you shave little bits off, or alternatively special beeswax refresher beads which can be easier to work with but aren't always easy to find.

If you are using a solid beeswax block you might find it easier to use a vegetable peeler to shave off small bits, rather than using a grater. This is because the grater can get gummed up with wax quite quickly and it can be difficult to get all the wax off afterwards, whereas a vegetable peeler is easier to clean (speaking from bitter experience here!)

Beeswax block with beeswax shavings and a vegetable peeler on a dark blue plate

Refreshing beeswax wraps: Ironing method

  1. First, protect your ironing board with a thick cloth or tea towel and then a sheet of greaseproof paper.

  2. Lay your tired beeswax wrap on top of the greaseproof paper and then scatter a few beeswax shavings or beads on top. You only need a few as a little goes a long way. Remember that your wrap is still impregnated with beeswax, you’re just topping it up. (We used a little too much in the video below for the size of wrap as we were distracted by filming. About three beads for this size wrap would have been better.)

  3. Lay another layer of greaseproof paper over the top of the beeswax wrap and then carefully iron on a cool setting to melt the wax beads.

  4. When the individual beads have melted, start pressing more firmly with the iron to spread the wax evenly all across the wrap. Take care that it doesn’t ooze out the sides!

  5. When the wrap is evenly covered with the newly melted beeswax, carefully peel it off the greaseproof paper and leave it somewhere flat to cool and stiffen. This only takes a minute or so.

You should now have a bright and rejuvenated beeswax wrap with all its previous ‘stickiness’ revived.

Refreshing beeswax wraps: Oven method

(Note that the oven method for refreshing beeswax wraps is not suitable for gas ovens. Use the ironing method as described above instead.)

  1. Heat your electric oven to 80 degrees. Don't be tempted to go much hotter as you run the risk of the wax discolouring - or even catching fire if you go too far.

  2. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

  3. Shave or grate a small amount beeswax off a beeswax block. If any of your shavings end up a little large break them up with your fingers. Smaller pieces will melt more quickly. You’ll only need a few grammes per wrap, depending on its size and how depleted it is. (Alternatively you can use a couple of refresher beads.)

  4. Lay your wrap on the baking tray and sprinkle over your beeswax crumbs or refresher beads. If your wrap is too large for the tray, sprinkle beeswax on one layer and then fold it over.

  5. Pop the tray in the oven and set a timer for 4 minutes. Oven temperatures, the precise composition of the beeswax, and the size of the beeswax pieces vary so it's not possible to be exact - but at around 4 minutes you should just be starting to see evidence of melting.

  6. Check whether the wax has all melted. If it hasn’t, give it another 2 minutes then check again. Repeat as necessary until all the wax has melted and the whole of the wrap looks shiny. Do not leave the wrap unattended in the oven!

  7. Remove the tray from the oven and carefully pick up the wrap by a corner and waft it around for a minute or two to cool off.

  8. Your sad and floppy beeswax wrap should now be brighter, stiffer and stickier, and ready for use again.

Quick tip for afterwards

When you've finished refreshing your beeswax wraps by either of the above methods, you'll be left with a couple of sheets of greaseproof paper covered with beeswax. You can either fold these up and save them for the next time you need to refresh your wraps, or tear them into strips to use later as firelighters.

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