DIY Cloth Plastic Wrap Replacement

DIY Cloth Plastic Wrap Replacement | areturntosimplicity.com

I have a love-hate relationship with plastic.

Actually, I pretty much just hate it.

I despise all the nasty chemicals it leaches into food and drinks, and the toxic waste it creates in landfills and the ocean.

However, I love that I can preserve my garden goodies by freezing them, and I haven’t figured out how to do that without the use of plastic bags. I do wash and reuse my bags, and that makes them last WAY longer. I also never heat food in the plastic bags. Still, amid the wave of contentment and sense of accomplishment I feel every time I open our freezer door and see the overflowing bounty of preserved harvest, there is a nagging frustration that it is all stored in plastic. Ugh. Thus the quart and gallon plastic bags still remain in my kitchen…

If you have any awesome ideas on how I can fix this problem, please shout out in the comments below!

Last year, I did find a way to get rid of one of the last lingering plastic items in my kitchen. Plastic wrap.

I had whittled it down to only a few uses, but I couldn’t figure out a good way to cover super large containers, or a way to wrap my pie dough while it chilled in the fridge.

Now, with this awesome DIY cloth plastic wrap replacement I have almost completely eliminated plastic from my kitchen!

(If I can just figure out a way to get rid of those dumb bags in my freezer, I will be completely plastic free!)

The DIY cloth plastic wrap replacement is so easy and fun to make!

You will need:

  • 100% cotton cloth
  • Beeswax
  • An old baking sheet

DIY Cloth Plastic Wrap Replacement | areturntosimplicity.com

Cut your cloth into whatever sizes you want your waxed cloth “plastic wrap” to be. I used a couple of my most used bowls to measure out circles that were a couple inches wider than the top of my bowls, then I cut a bunch of large rectangles and squares as well.

Pre-heat your oven to 250 degrees.

Place a piece of cloth on the old baking sheet, and sprinkle with your beeswax pellets or granules. (if you have bars of beeswax, you can grate or chop them to create small pieces.)

DIY Cloth Plastic Wrap Replacement | areturntosimplicity.com

Sprinkle about this much beeswax on the cloth. Precise, I know. 🙂

DIY Cloth Plastic Wrap Replacement | areturntosimplicity.com

Place the baking sheet in the oven for 3-4 minutes, or until the beeswax has just melted.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and make sure the cloth is completely saturated with melted wax. If it isn’t, just add a bit more beeswax to the areas that are lacking, and return to the oven for a couple minutes.

Once the cloth is saturated with melted wax, immediately remove the cloth from the baking sheet, and wave around in the air for a few seconds to allow the wax to harden a bit. Lay on a counter or table to finish cooling.

Once the cloth is cooled, it will resemble a heavy wax paper in texture, and be quite stiff.

*Note- if you have pieces of cloth that are larger than your baking sheet, you can fold them in half, sprinkle the beeswax on the exposed side and melt as usual. Once it is melted, flip the cloth over, and repeat on the other side. 

DIY Cloth Plastic Wrap Replacement | areturntosimplicity.com

 To use, place your food item in the waxed cloth, and fold the cloth around it. Hold in place for a few seconds to allow the warmth of your hands to mold the cloth to the desired shape.

To clean your waxed cloth, gently rinse in cool water, and allow to dry.

It works fabulously, and makes the neatest looking packages in the fridge and freezer. I have some extra pie crust wrapped in the fridge right now!

I am loving my DIY cloth plastic wrap replacement! Be gone you annoying, toxic, clinging plastic wrap!

DIY Cloth Plastic Wrap Replacement | areturntosimplicity.com
This post has been shared at Thrifty Thursday, Friday FavoritesTuesdays With a Twist, The Homestead Blog Hop, Down Home Blog Hop, The Home Acre Hop, Simple Lives, The Pin Junkie, Freedom Fridays, From the Farm Hop, Old Fashioned Fridays, Simple Saturdays, Simply Natural Saturdays, Wildcrafting Wednesday, and The Art of Homemaking

  
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32 responses to “DIY Cloth Plastic Wrap Replacement”

  1. Gentle Joy says:

    What a wonderful idea! I think it may be a while before I actually DO this, but I love the idea. Thank you. 🙂

  2. Marisa says:

    Yes! I was just looking at a post from a beekeeper who mentioned using her beeswax to make waxed cloth. I too hate all the ziplock bags in my freezer, instead I’m trying to use large glass jars to freeze in. I want to expand my knowledge of canning so I don’t have to rely on my freezer so much anymore.

    • becky says:

      I do freezer jam in glass jars. DO NOT BUMP THE JARS TO HARD THEY CAN CRACK EASLY THAN YOU HAVE TO TOSS JAR AND WHAT IS IN IT . this has happened to me a time or two over the years .THE HORDE PLASTIC.

  3. Jennifer A says:

    I can’t wait to do this! I hate the plastic wrap and bags too, and it was much easier getting rid of the paper products in the kitchen.

  4. JES says:

    Great tip! Thanks for sharing this on the Art of Home-Making Mondays. You have quite the handy blog! 🙂

  5. Klayr Clark says:

    Idea to use instead of plastic bags: In theory (I haven’t tried this), could you make fabric bags with zippered tops with the beeswax cloth? I know that some zippers are air tight, so you could use those and not have any air go into the bags…

  6. Carla says:

    This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a couple of months, and I think for general purpose, this will be perfect. I’m wondering if you’ve used this idea in warmer weather, yet? Like, wrapping sandwiches for a picnic, when summer temps hit the 80°-100° range? I’m thinking the 80s should be mostly ok, but above that? Have you played with them in your kitchen, when you’ve been baking and the kitchen is sweltering? I’m not trying to be negative, it’s just that these are the temps where I mostly end up relying on the plastic :/ Otherwise, I’ve made the switch to glass or metal on almost everything else. But, I’m disabled, and glass is too heavy for me to carry to a picnic, or pack for a potluck, etc., and a metal bento box, while great for a lot of things, would overheat a good ol’ pb&j, or cheese, lettuce…
    I’m really hoping the beeswax holds up well, in the heat, since I know it has a fairly high melt temp, compared to other waxes.

  7. Angie says:

    What a fantastic idea!! Like you, I really don’t enjoy plastic wrap for many reasons. I will have to try this. I pinned it.

    Thanks again for sharing!

  8. Erin Blegen says:

    Great idea! I rarely use that dumb wrap too- this would be a great idea to have on hand for when I do use it. Thanks!

    As far as the freezer bags- I try to can as much as possible vs. freezing. Otherwise, I freeze in large mouth jars. At this point, I really only use the plastic bags for holding meat- but I first wrap the meat in freezer paper and then put them (already wrapped) into large freezer bags as an additional layer to ward off freezer burn.

    Erin
    http://www.yellowbirchhobbyfarm.com

    • Angi says:

      Oh, I love your meat wrapping idea! I love canning too, and I guess I will be employing other methods besides freezing to reduce plastic storage. 🙂

  9. This is an absolutely brilliant idea! I also am trying to get rid of the plastic we use in our home and I LOVE this idea! Thanks so much for sharing it! I just happen to have some beeswax pellets in my supplies and I may have to make this soon!

  10. I’m not a fan of plastic either and as much as possible I use glass pyrex containers with (plastic) lids, but at least the lids are reusable for years and years and your cloths would be a good lid substitute if you got ones without lids. The glass is great for liquids but you do have to thaw a little to get things to come out. I usually just sit the container in a bit of hot water in my baking tray to defrost them enough to get them unstuck. ( I don’t like microwaves much either)

  11. I saw your post on Friday Favorites and had to stop by. This is such a great idea. I had a question though, how many times can you re-use the same cloth? Do you have to use this process each time you want to use one, and I guess, do you really have to wash them at all?

    • Angi says:

      Nikki- I made these about 4 months ago, and they are still going strong. I made some of the cloths into bags for sandwiches/chips/popcorn etc, and they get used quite a bit. (post coming soon on the bags!) I can usually just brush off the crumbs, and re-use the cloth wrap without washing it. When it gets something like peanut butter or blue cheese on it that won’t just brush off, I rinse the wrap in COLD water, and gently rub it with a dishcloth. I think I will need to re-apply the beeswax to a couple of my most used pieces in about two months, but I will have gotten 6 months of use out of them before doing anything. Does that make sense?

  12. I’ve been looking to do this. Came at just the right moment. Pinned it & liked it.

  13. Ginny Hilton says:

    Use glass jars in the freezer. when you buy your canning jars, I use Ball and Kerr, get the straight shoulder jars and they can be used in the freezer. The box that these jars come in will say “Freezer safe”.

  14. Therese Bizabishaka says:

    Hi, what a great idea. I remembering seeing on a cloth diapering forum a discussion about using a type of waxed/oiled cloth to make waterproof diaper bags instead of PUL. Maybe it could be used if getting bees wax was a problem. Also there is a food grade PUL available that people use for reusable lunch bags that can be washed in the machine but I haven’t personally used it. I wonder if I could train my teens to use the waxed cloth instead of plastic wrap?

  15. What a great idea! I am going to feature you this week in the HomeAcre hop. I make baggies out of PUL and they work great. I don’t think they would work for freezer bags though. They work great for a few days in the fridge or for lunches, but my guess is it would eventually get freezer burn if I used them there because they are not as thick as actual plastic bags.

  16. D says:

    I’m just curious about bacteria? If you are reusing … is there any reason to worry about cross contamination? Anybody know? I think this is a fantastic idea. I don’t keep plastic wrap … use reusable containers and waxed paper.

    • Angi says:

      Well, there are two elements to this. First, I definitely don’t recommend using this cloth wrap for raw meats, because you can’t wash it with hot water and soap, so there would definitely be a contamination issue! Second, all other food items can be easily rinsed from the wrap, and shouldn’t cause any issues. Beeswax is a natural anti-microbial, which really combats anything yucky that might try to take hold. 🙂

  17. Jennifer Storment says:

    Have you looked into silicone freezer bags? They’re pricey as they’re not mass marketed, but they work as freezer bags, and still allow for freezer expansion as I know mason jars can break when freezing liquids like soup. http://www.amazon.com/Lekue-1-Liter-Fresh-Bag-Clear/dp/B0049EU670/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427563937&sr=8-1&keywords=silicone+freezer+bag

    I’d need at least 10 – 20 in rotation, which would be quite the investment, so hopefully the prices come down a bit, although when I first saw them hit the market about a year ago, they were twice as much! 🙂

  18. Eva Helene Antonsen says:

    I’ve been wanting to do this for sometime and now I’ve found your description, I think I will do it today!

    Like you I am trying to get rid of the plastic in my kitchen, and like Stella Lee, I’ve found that the square pyrex glass containers are great for preserving foods in the freezer as well as the fridge and the oven (they go from cold to hot easily). They are better, I feel, than canning jars, since jars are most offten round and will nit stack properly. I do have some conserns regarding the plastic lids for the Pyrex containers though, but It just dawned on me that maybe I could make waxed cloths to put in between the food and the lid before going in the freezer 🙂

  19. Sheryl says:

    I have been collecting Pyrex and fire king containers At yard sales for years so I don’t use plastic wrap but on rare occasions. I might experiment on the wash with hot water and a touch of soap for your great idea though. As someone who makes cold process soap on occasion I can tell you that regular hot water won’t melt your beeswax. Intriguing idea you have here, thanks!

  20. Aileen says:

    If you freeze your garden veggies on a cookie sheet first individually, then you can transfer them into canning jars and freeze. You won’t have to worry about jars breaking from expansion or everything freezing into a clump.

  21. Tar says:

    Hi! Great post! You may have answered this but how long do they last? Do you have to get rid of them after a certain amount of time?

    Thanks!

  22. Theresa says:

    I can’t wait to begin making these! I’m going to get different holiday themed fabric to use. I’m also going to make several to give away as wedding, and Christmas gifts. I don’t think I can keep them in my camper due to heat but at least I can get rid of cling wrap at home.

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