How to Make Reusable Cling Wrap---From Cloth! An Incredible Gift! (Bees-Wrap for Green Living)
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 admit. 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 why should we get rid of plastic in our lives, anyway?
Here's one reason: 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. (The link to that article is just below, if you are interested.)
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?
At any rate, after feeling seriously sick after reading the "Whale Article," I realized it was the last straw. If you are interested in what tipped me over to the completely anti-plastic side, you can read about it HERE.
Note: This article contains affiliate links scattered throughout. If you happen to click through and make any kind of purchase, I may earn a very small commission at no extra cost to you.
**Note: This article has been edited and republished due to some new and exciting findings! Read on for the latest update on how these cling wraps work!
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, especially since you can make your own for a fraction of the cost!
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 to Make Handmade Cling Wrap:
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)
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.
Can You Use Essential Oils in Your Cling Wrap?
This is another to this article, because one of our readers emailed me and asked. The reason she asked this is because she had run across other cling wrap directions that call for using essential oils.
Here's my answer: NO.
The reasons why you would NOT want to use essential oils in your cling wrap:
Essential oils may add a "taste" factor to your wraps. Why would anyone want to adulterate their food with an essential taste? Just saying.
Essential oils are powerful. Many of them will definitely contribute to the breaking down of the beeswax and resin on the wraps. This means you'll have to re-coat them more often.
The only benefit I can see to adding EO's to your beeswraps is that they "may" give them an antibacterial charge---HOWEVER, if you are cleaning your wraps the right way, you should not have to worry about this at all. I never have, and my wraps stay perfectly clean and sanitary.
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 after being crimped! I also tried wrapping up some nuts in a little snack pack as well as a couple of pickled eggs. Again, the wrap didn't budge! I even shook them around like crazy, and everything stayed put!
I've used these daily for a few months now, and when cleaned properly, they last a LONG time! You can also re-wax them if the coating starts thinning out or not working properly. Truly re-usable!
A Surprise Discovery!
One of the reasons I decided to update this article is because of my surprise discovery! I was making some fermented guacamole recently, and I decided to do an experiment! Beeswax Cling Wraps vs. Plastic Cling Wrap!
I needed to completely cover the guacamole, airtight, while it fermented on the counter top for about two days. NOW. We ALL know what happens to avocado when it hits the air, right? Oxygenation occurs, causing it to turn brown and yucky.
I just figured that after two days on the counter, both containers would be filled with brownish guacamole, which I'd have to mix in and just deal with. So imagine my surprise when I took the covers off each one?
Here's a picture:
Wow! Can you believe that? Ah--Mazing! I was so very pleased to see this. It's just another reason why everyone should make their own cling wrap! It actually works BETTER than plastic! YES!
How 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! :-) Any questions that come up? Please leave them in the comments, and I'll get right back to you!
Hugs & Self-Reliance!
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For more ways to get rid of plastic in your life, check out my friend, Danielle's post on 30 Ways to Eliminate Plastic from Your Life---
P.P.S. You may also like these related frugal living and green articles: