How to Make Reusable Cling Wrap---From Cloth!
I've been trying to get rid of most plastics for food storage, carrying items, and packaging in my life for quite some time now. It's been a process. I don't use plastic wrap, I avoid processed foods that are packaged in any kind of plastic---focusing on whole foods instead, and I have even stopped drinking out of plastic water bottles---unless I'm desperate. I make most of my own things, too, which alleviates quite a few products with plastic packaging. However, for food storage, I'm admittedly addicted to zip lock bags.
But the "Whale Article" finally did it for me. I'm done. I'm even going to start being vigilant about making sure my eco-friendly shopping bags are always ready to go in my truck. No more plastics for me. At least not consciously on purpose.
In addition to the ecological harm plastic does in our world, there is a great deal of research that shows that use of plastics (made of petrochemicals) are correlated with a great number of disorders including Alzheimers, estrogen imbalances in both men and women (erectile dysfunction anyone? or too much estrogen if you are female?), and many other issues...potential genital disfigurement? Egads!!! Here are some places you can visit to find out more: Source 1, Source 2, Source 3.
At any rate, after feeling seriously sick after reading the "Whale Article," I realized it was the last straw. If you are interested, you can read about it HERE.
Getting Rid of Cling Wrap....And Ziploc Bags
I don't really use Cling Wrap too much anymore, but I AM seriously addicted to zip lock bags. They do everything! They can even hold salad dressing! But I'm just SO DONE with trying to justify plastics that aren't absolutely necessary.
After doing some research, I found some very awesome products that can actually sub in for cling wrap and even baggies...at least some of the time. One is Bees Wrap, and there is another one from a company called Abeego. I'm sure there are others out there too. I personally think they are a bit pricy, and if you are interested in taking a look at them, I have a link after the article you can click on.
Because I tend to be on the frugal side, I went searching for some DIY options, and I found some instructions using the exact same or similar ingredients as the expensive products. After looking at many of these recipes, I decided to try out my own and experiment based on what I found out about beeswax, pine rosin, and jojoba oil.
What Turns Cloth into Cling Wrap?
Pretty much everyone is familiar with beeswax. It comes from bees, smells an awful lot like honey, and does a great job as a waxy coating.
Pine rosin comes from the resin of pine trees. It is not a wax, but since it is derived from a resin, is very sticky and water proof. Some people choose to use it, and some don't. I tried it both ways, and personally, I like it and think it helps the wrap work better.
Jojoba oil is a wonder oil that is actually a soft wax. It helps keep the cloth malleable.
I played around with the percentages, and even left out the jojoba oil in one of the trials....and here is what I finally came up with:
How to Make Your Own Reusable and Washable Cling Wrap!
Things You Will Need:
1. Organic cotton cloth (or at least cotton), cut into squares (I cut mine into 8x8, 10x10, and 12x12, but next time I make more, I'm actually going to make an even larger size and probably a 9x9 too.
3. Pine Rosin
4. Jojoba oil (optional) NOTE: Jojoba oil did seem to make the wrap softer and more pliant without losing the "cling" factor. I don't think it's absolutely necessary though. The other wraps I made without it were just fine.
5. A small disposable paint brush (or one that can be dedicated to making more of these later)
Other basic tools (scissors, oven, oven mitt, aluminum foil, cookie sheet)
Be sure to see below to view a list of resources and places you can get your items!
How to Make Your Own Reusable Cling Wrap:
1. Cut your cloth into squares. My smallest cloth was about 8 x 8, the medium cloth was about 10 x 10, and then I made one that was about 12 x 12, give or take.
2. Mix up your beeswax and pine rosin (and jojoba oil if you are using it). I used 2 tablespoons of beeswax to 1 tablespoon of pine rosin. For the first cloth, I just added a little drizzle of the jojoba oil.
3. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, and place your cloths on top. I had to overlap mine a little bit, but that turned out to be just fine.
4. Sprinkle the beeswax mixture on top. See the picture---I didn't really have a measurement for this. In fact, the first time I tried it I didn't use enough on the cloth. I found that too much is better than too little, however, WAY too much is not great either because it causes clumping.
5. Place in a 210 degree oven for about 15 minutes or so. Watch it, though, because your beeswax and rosin may melt much faster than that. Rosin happens to be a bit flammable. Just keep an eye on things, and when you see that everything is melted down, go to the next step:
6. When the waxes are completely melted, use your paint brush to spread out the oil evenly.
7. Now quickly take the cloths out and hang up to cool down. You need to do hang them pretty quickly, because the waxes start setting up pretty fast.
8. Finish with pinking shears, if you want to. I did, because I like a clean, pretty edge.
How to Use Your Handmade Cling Wrap
This is fun and easy! I was amazed at how well they work! All you have to do is crimp them around the top of a bowl to create a seal. Mine didn't even budge! I also tried wrapping up some nuts in a little snack pack as well as a couple of pickled eggs (see pics). Again, the wrap didn't budge! I even shook them around like crazy, and everything stayed put!
To Clean Your Handmade Cling Wraps:
After using the wraps, just wash BY HAND with mild soap and cool to slightly warm water and hang up to dry completely.
These are so easy to store, too! Just lay them flat in a drawer! Simple!
You will never have to buy plastic cling wrap (or maybe for me---zip lock bags) again! Most of the information I read states that this reusable cling wrap should last about a year, depending on how often it's used. PLUS, after it starts losing its cling power, you can just rewax it! Isn't that awesome?
What do you think about using substitutes for plastics in your home and life? Leave a comment for me below!!! I'd appreciate it! :-)
Hugs & Self-Reliance!
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Here are some commercially made reusable food storage wraps. I hear these are pretty good, too, if you don't want to make your own.
I like to use the little beeswax pellets. They are small and melt quickly---and you don't have to spend a lot of time grating beeswax blocks.
Here is the Pine Rosin I bought. You can make quite a few wraps with this amount, but it didn't make sense to buy a smaller amount, for the cost. I'm going to give these wraps as part of my gifting this holiday season using pretty cotton cloths! This size is great if you use a lot of plastic bags (like I do) or want to use this as a gift idea (like I do).
I used an actual paint brush, but when I do this project next time, I'm planning on using these foam brushes. You can't really reuse the paint brush again, unless you dedicate it to making cling wraps. It's REALLY stiff after this project is finished.