With many of us now making solid choices based on sustainability we discuss eco-friendly food wraps, the different types along with our favourites but most importantly – how to clean reusable food wraps.
Most individuals are used to using plastic wraps and various bags for saving or covering their food items.
All of this reliance on plastic has many environmentalists concerned.
One study indicates that only one third of the plastic food packaging in the UK is recycled each year.
Tons of plastic food containers, food wraps and other plastic kitchen/cooking items are sitting somewhere in a trash dump or are burned.
Why More UK Citizens Are Turning to Eco-Friendly Food Wraps
Many feel that using plastic to cover the food that we eat exposes us to harmful toxins contained in the plastic wraps, bags and other food containers.
Even worse, what happens to those toxins and carcinogens when that plastic wrap is heated in the microwave or burned outdoors in a trash barrel?
Scientists say harmful chemicals can leak into food from ordinary plastic food wraps when heated in a microwave.
Different Types of Sustainable Food Wraps
Currently, there are a number of different types of food wraps that can be found on the market.
These range from reusable food storage containers, plastic free stainless steel lunch boxes and many more.
Some popular choices of reusable food wraps include:
- Silicone suction lids
- Silicone stretch top lids
- Fabric bowl covers
- Beeswax reusable food wraps
- Organic cotton food wraps
- Soy wax or parchment paper
- Other silicone food huggers
- Reusable plastic bags
How to Clean Reusable Food Wraps
Reusable food wraps are very easy to care for.
As you would a normal plate or bowl, simply hand wash the wraps with a mild eco friendly dishwashing soap.
It’s important to note that depending on which type of food wrap you have will depend on how hot the water should be when washing.
Beeswax wraps for example should be washed in hot water.
It is always worth checking the manufacturers instructions before washing but if in doubt use use cool water.
You can use your normal dish cloth to wipe any stubborn residue before rinsing off.
Drying is also straight forward, simple allow to air dry.
Fabric Bowl Covers
Reusable fabric bowl covers are a nifty idea that can save a household a huge amount of plastic in their trash each year.
These natural fabrics like organic cotton or muslin can be stretched over the top of a bowl and some secure with rubber bands.
Note: Don’t microwave or wash rubber bands in hot water.
- Can conform to just about any sized bowl
- Can be machine washed for sanitising and individuals can make their own if desired.
- Can’t microwave rubber band, many have PUL liners which contain plastic.
Our Favourite – Beeswax Food Wraps
Beeswax food wraps are simple to use and should last for up to 12 months if cleaned and cared for properly.
Usually made from natural fabric, beeswax and sometimes oils like jojoba.
These reusable wraps come in lots of different sizes, shapes, colours and design patterns.
- Ideal for wrapping up crackers, sandwiches or other foods.
- Warmth of hands “melts” beeswax so you can mould it to conform to any shape.
- Easy to find, should last up to 12 months
- May use gentle sponge/cloth to remove stains.
- Flatter for easy storage.
- Perfect for travel.
- Must keep away from hot water, microwaves and heat sources.
- Not the best for food dishes that may have sauces or other wetness.
- Have to touch up beeswax when worn.
Refreshing Beeswax Wraps
If the beeswax is crinkly, refresh by laying wrap atop a silicone baking mat.
Place in 140 degrees C preheated oven. Leave door ajar, and watch wax melt for 2 minutes.
Remove by edges carefully with hot mitt and hang dry.
How to Re Wax Beeswax Wraps
If you need to re-apply wax to beeswax wraps follow these 5 simple steps.
- Purchase beeswax pellets.
- Heat oven as above.
- Place fabric on cookie sheet with mat again.
- Wait a few minutes with door open.
- Use paintbrush to brush on wax and air dry.
Clean Mould Off Beeswax Wrap
Beeswax contains natural antibacterial properties.
If mould appears, brush lightly, wash, wax and dry in direct sunlight.
Learning how to clean reusable food wraps is easy.
As scientists and environmentalists are sounding the alarm on the future of the earth, many citizens in the UK are looking for ways to do their part.
More are turning to eco-friendly food wraps.