Have you read my other post on How To Use Beeswax Wraps? It's got a ton of great information plus 6 brands you need to know. One of the most common questions I get about mine is How To Clean Beeswax Wraps?
For this post, I am going to break it down step by step. First, let me say that most beeswax wraps are pretty easy to wash, which makes them an amazing zero-waste kitchen essential that you can compost too!
How to clean beeswax wraps: Step 1
Establish whether it needs to be washed in the first place. Because beeswax wraps and naturally antibacterial you don't need to wash them after each use. It will really depend on what you've used it for. Even though they are durable and can be washed over and over again, the water and soap will make wear and tear happen faster than you want it to.
My suggestion is to spot-treat it first. If your beeswax wrap has not come into contact with something wet, like the juice from a melon, you could probably forgo washing it. If I use a reusable wrap to cover bread (dry & odourless or a jar of beans) then I typically just brush the crumbs off using my hand. If only a small area is dirty, I will spot-clean it with a clean cloth using cold water.
If I pack a sandwich with some mayo in it and the mayo gets on a small area of the wrap, I will use a tiny bit of all-natural cleaning solution on a clean cloth and dab/clean just that area. Then rinse with cool water. Without wetting the whole wrap.
How to clean beeswax wraps: Step 2
I never recommend drowning your beeswax wrap in water, like your would when washing a dish. Less is more when it comes to cleaning these items. I rinse my wraps under cold water when they are soiled from the food they have covered like, avocadoes, cucumbers, veggies etc.
Coldwater is a must, they are NOT heat-resistant, so the dishwasher is a no-no (so is the microwave). Coldwater actually helps to keep the wax in place by hardening it, helping the wrap to last longer. In many cases you can rinse instead of scrubbing, depending again on what you've wrapped.
How to clean beeswax wraps: Step 3
Wash with soap (when needed)
Sometimes you will need to give your beeswax wrap a good wash. If you cover something really stinky like an onion (more on this later), or you have a mustard stain on it.
Run the wrap under cold water, make sure you get both sides. If you have leftover avocado (I never met an avo that didn't leave something behind 😂,) use the back of a spoon to gently scrape off the leftover food.
Next, add some soap, make sure it's an eco-friendly cleaner and one that has low-alcohol content. Avoid scrubbing your warps, this will remove the wax coating. If you are using soap, I recommend adding 1-2 drops onto the wet wrap.
Then gently rub between your hands to get a little lather going. I tend to just target the really dirty spot when I rub. Follow with a cold water rinse to get rid of the soap.
Some brands, like BeeBagz, mention that you can soak them. Following this step will also help you to get rid of stains on beeswax wraps.
How to clean beeswax wraps: Step 4
This is a very important step. You need to make sure that you are drying your wraps thoroughly before storing them. First, lay the wet wrap flat on a cotton dish towel and gently pat it dry.
Then hang it on a line, or place it on a dish rack to air dry. Never wring it out.
If you find your beeswax wrap is holding onto a smell, hello blue cheese & onion, let it air dry for a few days. The smell should dissipate.
How to clean beeswax wraps: Step 5
Store in a cool dry place away from any heat (stove) or humidity (dishwasher). Remember beeswax wraps don't dig heat. I keep mine in two places. I have a few that are folded and kept in a drawer where I keep my reusable paper towels, but I also keep a few gently rolled up on the kitchen countertop. I have found that this really helps my family to use them, if they are out of sight they will be out of mind.
Mold can form on beeswax, so keeping them dry and in a cool, dark place is key to making sure that does not happen. You can apply all of these steps to beeswax baggies as well.
Use your beeswax wraps over and over again! Avoid heat sources such as hot foods, microwaves, ovens, dishwashers and open flames. Let dishes and foods cool down to room temperature before wrapping. I do not recommend using hot foods or raw meats, including fish. Some fruits like pineapple are also not great, their enzymes can damage the wraps. if you are not sure, reach out to me or the brand you use directly.