How to fix a beeswax wrap

Learn how to fix a beeswax wrap – it’s easier than you think!

(updated 1/9/2023)

Is your beeswax wrap not working anymore?  Is it less sticky than it used to be?  Are there any dry patches or discolored spots?  Or has it gotten really old? 

Beeswax wraps can get damaged from heat & too much direct sunlight.  Overtime with use, they also lose some of their wax coating.  Wax wraps also pick up stains & spots over time from food.  And sometimes, if you’ve made your own DIY wraps (good for you!), they don’t quite turn out as you hoped when you’re first learning how to make wraps.  

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Want a little more background info on wax wraps?  I have a whole post here that tells you what they’re made of, how to care for them, and their different uses!

 

Here’s how to fix a beeswax wrap (or a vegan wax wrap) that’s gotten damaged or worn out.

 

There are 2 general ways to fix your beeswax wrap.  The first approach is to warm the wrap in your oven or with an iron to redistribute the wax blend across the wrap and even out any spots.  If the first approach isn’t enough to repair your wrap, the second method is to apply more wax blend to the wrap to rejuvenate the wrap.  Read on to learn exactly how to warm your wrap and apply more blend in a safe and tidy way. 

If your wrap got a little damaged, you might just need to warm it up and smooth out the wax coating again.  This is easier than applying more wax blend, because you most likely already have the tools you need.  If your wrap got really damaged OR is really worn out, you’ll probably want to skip to the next second approach to fix your wax wrap.  

These instructions work the same for a vegan wax wrap and a beeswax wrap! I’ll often reference just beeswax wraps in here for simplicity 🙂.  Want more info on how to use a vegan wax wrap?  Check out this article here that covers 14 ways to use a vegan wax wrap.

Wax wrap that needs to be rewaxed

How to fix a beeswax wrap by warming it up (for wraps that aren’t too badly damaged or worn)

*Note that this post has affiliate links which means if you purchase one of my recommended products, I’ll receive a small commission. Thanks for supporting my blog!*

 

In this step you want to gently warm your wrap so that the wax blend melts and spreads around the wrap.  

 

My favorite way to warm a wrap is in the oven on low heat.  If you’d rather do it with an iron, scroll below.

Supplies to fix your wax wrap in the oven: 

-baking sheet 

-a wooden popsicle stick or a paint brush

-a piece of parchment paper. Compostable parchment paper is the most sustainable option – you can order it here.

 

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 175 F & line a baking sheet with the parchment paper so that the wax doesn’t get on your baking sheet.

 

Step 2: Place the wrap on the parchment paper & place it in the oven for a few minutes until the wax is melted (it’ll look shiny and wet).  Note: If your wrap is larger than your baking sheet, it’s okay to fold the wax wrap over onto itself. 

 

Step 3: Once the wax is melted, use a wooden popsicle stick or a clean paint brush to spread the blend around evenly.  I use an all natural paint brush but the wax stays on the brush – once it’s waxy, it’ll stay waxy.  So if you don’t plan to use the brush for more wraps, it’s more affordable to use a solid wooden popsicle stick instead of a brush.  I sell brushes with my beeswax wrap & vegan wax wrap kits which you can purchase here.

If your wrap is folded over because it was larger than the baking sheet, just spread over the folded area with a little extra pressure to make sure both pieces of the fabric are getting coated.  

 

Step 4: Once you’ve spread the blend around, put the wrap back in the oven for a few more minutes to let the wax melt again & smooth out any globs or unevenness.

 

Step 5: Pull the baking sheet out & quickly but carefully peel the wax wrap off the parchment paper.  Try not to let the wrap touch itself or anything nearby.  It’ll cool quickly and as it cools, it wants to stick to things.  So try to work fast.  You can hold it in your fingers for a few minutes until it cools, or you can hang it from clips or on a string until it dries.

 

I find this oven method easier, but if you don’t have an oven or would rather not use an oven, the ironing way works too!

Use a string or clip your wax wrap to a handle

Supplies to fix your wax wrap with an iron:

-An iron & ironing surface

-Parchment paper (check out the compostable option here).

-large rag

-optional: wooden popsicle stick or paint brush

 

Step 1: Place your wax wrap between two pieces of parchment paper.  The parchment paper protects your ironing surface & your iron from the wax.  I would recommend also protecting your ironing surface with a large rag in case small amounts of wax seep out the sides.

 

Step 2: Turn your iron up to a high heat & iron the wrap through the parchment paper so that the wax blend melts (it’ll look shiny & liquid).  You can use the pressure of the iron to spread the blend around.  You can also open the paper in between ironing & use a popsicle stick or paint brush to spread the wax blend around once it’s melted.  Note that your paint brush will have wax on it now so unless you plan to make more wraps, you’ll probably want to use a popsicle stick.

 

Step 3: Once you’ve redistributed the wax, you’ll want to QUICKLY peel the wrap off the paper before it starts to cool and stick to the paper.  Peel it carefully so that it doesn’t stick to itself or anything else.  You can hold it in your fingers until it dries – a few minutes – or hang it from clips or a string until it dries.  

Here’s a troubleshooting tip for you:  if you find that the wax wrap starts to stick to the parchment paper and doesn’t peel away easily, try ironing smaller sections at a time and peeling away those small sections, letting them cool, and then ironing a different section of the wrap.  As the wraps cool, they’ll start to stick to the surface they’re touching, so it’s important to peel them away quickly and hang them to dry.

 

The reheating process, either by iron or oven, should help repair damage to the beeswax wrap by redistributing the wax blend.

How to apply more wax wrap blend to a beeswax wrap.

If your wrap needs more loving than just a reheating in order to work again, here’s how to apply more wax blend to your wrap.

 

Supplies to rewax a beeswax wrap

-beeswax or vegan wax blend bar.  You can purchase a bar from me for beeswax or vegan wraps here.Or you can make your own blend of beeswax or vegan wax (I like candelilla wax which you can find here), pine gum rosin (sap from a pine tree), and coconut &/or jojoba oil.  You’ll want to melt your own ingredients together and use the small pot & paint brush approach (see below).

box with paint brush, wax blend bar & fabric
Get a kit to make the process SO MUCH EASIER!

-grater or knife that you don’t mind getting waxy.

OR

– a small pot & clean paint brush that you don’t mind getting waxy.

-same supplies as above the iron method OR the oven method.

 

Overview:

The aim of this approach is to put more wax blend onto your wrap, warm the wrap, check your results and smooth the blend around, warm it again, and hang it to dry.  You can repeat the process of adding more wax blend, warming the wrap, smoothing the blend if needed, and warming it again, until you get the wrap where you want it to be. 

 

Here’s the step-by-step for rewaxing a beeswax or vegan wax wrap:

 

Step 1: Using either a grater or a knife, chop up the blend bar into smaller pieces.  Spread the smaller pieces evenly across your wrap and especially on any worn out or dry looking spots.  

 

If you use a small pot & brush, melt the bar or DIY blend on VERY low heat (DON’T LET IT OVERHEAT – IT IS COMBUSTIBLE! IF YOU SEE SMOKE, REMOVE IT FROM HEAT!).  Then use the paint brush to spread the blend evenly across the wrap.

Paint brush dipping into small pot to get wax blend on tips
Dip just the tips of your brush into your wax wrap blend

Step 2: Use either the ironing method or the oven method (see above) to melt the blend & spread it evenly.  

Painting the wax wrap with beeswax blend
Use the paint brush or popsicle stick to spread the blend evenly across the fabric.

Step 3: Once the blend is evenly spread, remove the wrap quickly & hang it to dry, just as described above.

 

Hopefully that gets your wrap back in action!

 

But what should you do if your beeswax wrap has stains or discolorations?

Here’s how to fix stains or discolorations on your beeswax wrap:

-Try gently scrubbing the stain away with your regular dish soap & a scrubber.

-This might remove some of the wax as well, so you could then follow the steps above to recoat your wrap if necessary.

-If the stain won’t scrub off, you can accept it as a harmless stain & recoat the area with wax blend.

-If the stain bothers you or looks like mold or mildew & won’t come off, you can also cut your wrap to remove the discolored spots.  Just cut off the discolored areas.  You can compost the cut off parts or use them as fire starters.

 

I have several wraps with stains that I continue to use.  It’s really just a matter of personal preference!

Troubleshooting tips when fixing your vegan or beeswax wraps:

If you’re having any issues as you fix your wrap, one of these tips might help!  

 

If your vegan or beeswax wrap looks really textured and not smooth at all…

  1. Rewarm it either with the oven or iron method. 
  2. Remove it very quickly after the wax has fully melted again.
  3. If you feel the wrap starting to stick to the baking sheet before you pull it off, that means it’s starting to dry on the baking sheet. You need to remove it more quickly to avoid the texture.
  4. You could also try turning your oven up to a higher temperature to see if that helps avoid the texture (200 F) by keeping the wrap warm for longer when you remove it from the oven.

 

If you see any dry spots on your beeswax wrap…

This means you need more wax blend.

  1. Apply more wax blend to the dry spot.
  2. Put the wrap back in the oven to fully melt again.
  3. Pull it off & hang it or hold it to dry once you’ve finished covering dry spots

 

If you have really thick areas of wax blend on your wax wrap…

  1. Rewarm your wrap with either the oven or iron method. 
  2. Use the popsicle stick or paint brush to spread the wax more evenly. 
  3. You could also try using a smaller piece of fabric to soak up the excess wax blend.  Use leftover wax blend to fully cover the smaller piece of fabric and make it into another, small wrap that’ll work for jar lids, veggies, etc.

 

If your beeswax wrap stuck to itself while drying…

  1. Carefully pull it apart and place it back on the baking sheet and back in the oven or rewarm it with the iron method again.
  2. Pull it out of the oven/parchment paper once it’s fully melted again.
  3. Hang it or hold it again to dry very carefully so that it isn’t touching itself.  

I really hope that helps you get your wax wrap back in action!  

But I also know that sometimes a wrap is too far gone to fix.  Maybe it got really mildewy or moldy & won’t scrub clean.  Or maybe the fabric is tearing.  

 

What to do with your beeswax wrap once it’s totally worn out.

-cut it into smaller pieces

-compost those pieces in your home compost OR ball them up and use them as firestarters for your next bonfire. 

-OR repurpose it in a crafty project!  Maybe your wax wrap isn’t not food worthy anymore, but it’s still a partially wax-covered fabric. You could use it in your workshop for various projects.  A wax wrap can be placed under things to stop them from slipping around (like a cutting board or other work surface).  It can also help protect a surface from stains or water marks.  

 

If you’re interested in making wax wraps from start to finish that are nice enough to sell, check out my DIY wax wrap course here. https://notrace.teachable.com/p/diy-wax-wrap-workshop

 

Have you tried fixing wax wraps?  I’d love to hear about it!  Leave a comment below!

Thanks for reading!

-Liz at No Trace

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