7 Things You Should Never Do with Reusable Food Wrap, According to the People at Bee’s Wrap
Of all the eco-friendly stuff I’ve used in my kitchen, my favorite has to be Bee’s Wrap. If you’re not familiar, it’s an alternative to single-use plastic wrap and zip-top baggies. It’s called Bee’s Wrap because it’s a wrap (certified organic cotton) that’s been coated with responsibly sourced beeswax (and organic plant oil and tree resin). There are other brands out there that make beeswax-coated wraps, but I’ve found Bee’s Wrap to be the best. It’s the most pliable, the easiest to “seal up,” and the most durable for use after use. (I use it to wrap up leftover sandwich halves, wedges of cheese, cut fruit, and more.)
I’ve learned a few tricks over the years as a beeswax wrap consumer, and I strongly feel that knowing the “right” way to use it is key to turning skeptics into believers. (Bee-lievers? Ha.) So I went straight to the source, and I asked the team at Bee’s Wrap about the best practices of beeswax food wrap. Here’s how to make the most of yours, according to the people who create it.
1. Don’t expose it to heat.
Okay, it’s probably not a surprise to learn you shouldn’t bake or microwave beeswax food wrap. But according to Carmen Craig Reid, the brand manager at Bee’s Wrap, even hot water can melt beeswax coating. Melted beeswax results in a less “grippy” hold. So how do you clean it, if not with soap and hot water? A quick cool-water rinse will do the trick, says Reid. On a related note: Be sure to cool your leftovers completely before wrapping them up.
2. Don’t use it with raw meat.
Raw meat should be fully cooked before consuming, and any surface it touches should be thoroughly washed in hot, soapy water to avoid the risk of contamination or food-borne illness. Because beeswax wrap shouldn’t be exposed to hot water, it’s not a good fit for raw meat or fish. “Stick with fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, cheese, and bread,” advises Reid.
3. Don’t toss it in the trash.
Although its lifespan is longer than single-use plastic, beeswax wrap won’t last forever. When your eco-friendly wrap has worn thin, or is no longer grippy, it’s time to replace it with a new set. But don’t trash it — you can keep it out of the landfill. Instead, it can be composted along with the rest of your food scraps. Or, if you’re a fan of bonfires and cozy evenings by the wood stove, it can be used as a natural fire starter. Here’s Reid’s clever technique: “Cut the wrap into strips, twist one to two into a wick or crumple into a ball and carefully ignite before placing over your campfire, fireplace, or outdoor grill.”
4. Don’t be afraid to use it.
If you’ve grown up with single-use plastic, wrapping up your lunchtime sandwich with beeswax-coated fabric can seem … odd. But Reid says the best way to make the habit, err, stick, is to just dive in. “Like remembering your reusable water bottles and tote bags, it’s easy once you get in the groove,” she says. She recommends replacing plastic with beeswax wrap for one or two uses until it becomes second-nature. For example, wrapping up half of an avocado after breakfast or storing cut or leftover veggies.
5. Don’t hide them in a drawer.
I used to store my plastic bags and wrap in a pull-out drawer. But I kept forgetting to use them! Reid has a smart solution to that problem: Keep them in sight, so they are close-at-hand when you need one. Drape them over your dish rack, or, according to Reid, hang them on the fridge with a magnetized clip. Not only is this an efficient place to store them, but they also will air-dry naturally.
6. Don’t limit yourself to just one size.
You can order Bee’s Wrap in all sorts of sizes and shapes — and, take it from me, you should. “Small wraps are the go-to for avocados, lemons, and limes. Mediums are sized perfectly for cheese, and larges are great for fresh herbs or covering pie dishes and bowls,” Reid says. Need even more flexibility? Buy a roll and cut it yourself.
7. Don’t forget to code your wraps.
Because fabric and beeswax are both porous materials, they will naturally absorb scents and flavors. That’s normal. And it’s only a problem if you wrap a cut apple in a beeswax fabric piece that has been holding half an onion for the last week. Buy different patterns, and coordinate them with your different needs. For example, herbs go in the green-colored wrap, and cut cheeses get tucked away in the yellow, honeycomb pattern.
Have you tried beeswax food wrap? What are your best tips for using it? Tell us in the comments below.