Sex is great, but have you ever wiped out your refrigerator and put all the food in it in containers and cling film? If you, like me, have a weakness for the perfectly organized household, you know what I’m talking about. In fact, there are a number of ways to smartly store half onions, leftover pasta and sliced fruit. The top candidates are cling film, Tupperware or glass containers. However, those who put something on their ecological footprint are now looking for more environmentally friendly alternatives. Sustainable beeswax cloths are very popular.
Beeswax cloths are cotton that is coated with beeswax. You can easily wrap avocado and Co. in the pieces of fabric and store them fresh for a certain time. After use, they can be cleaned and reused immediately. It is even possible to compost the alternative packaging. In terms of eco-balance, that sounds like a hammer at first. More on that later. First and foremost, however, the question of food tolerance arises. At the end of 2019, Stiftung Warentest put a damper on the trend product.
In this article:
- The XL beeswax cloth from Beeofix *
- The GOTS certified XXL beeswax cloth from Beegut *
- The Ecolly * beeswax wrap in a set of three (S, M, L)
What to look out for when buying beeswax cloth
The consumer organization Stiftung Warentest pointed out some time ago that the impregnation aids in the cloths could be transferred to food. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) should consider this. Above all, it is about jojoba oil. This has no place in food. The BfR last explained why jojoba can be harmful in a report in 2007. Jojoba wax is stored in intestinal cells (belonging to the intestinal canal) and the liver.
Stiftung Warentest has another point of criticism: “Beeswax is allowed as an additive, but fatty foods in particular can absorb a lot of it. This is critical if the wax is polluted. Germs can also become a problem. ”
The best beeswax cloths – without jojoba oil and from organic production
So if you want to use beeswax wipes that are sustainable and gentle on you and your food, wipes made from organic production and without jojoba oil are ideal. And there is! A few manufacturers of beeswax cloth keep their hands off jojoba oil and rely exclusively on certified organic beeswax.
If you want to pay attention to animal suffering in addition to sustainability and compatibility, you can switch to a vegan alternative with some brands. In this case, for example, organic sunflower oil is used instead of beeswax.
1. The XL beeswax wrap from Beeofix
XL beeswax cloth from Beeofix – 23.98 euros at Amazon *
The beeswax wraps from Austria are certified as food contact material. The Beeofix beeswax cloth extra large XL measures approx. 40 x 55 centimeters and, according to the manufacturer, is suitable for covering bowls with very large quantities of fruit and vegetables or bread and baked goods. The good thing about an XL cloth: You can cut smaller wrappers from it as required. Beeofix also offers vegan alternatives. Cost: 23.98 euros.
The beeswax wrap from Beeofix at a glance:
benefits: Certified without jojoba oil and food contact, also available vegan
disadvantage: The most expensive option
2. The GOTS certified XXL beeswax cloth from Beegut
GOTS certified XXL beeswax cloth from Beegut – 19.99 euros at Amazon *
The Beegut brand has also switched production – and now no longer processes jojoba oil. Plus point: Beegut uses GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified organic cotton. The German manufacturer also has a very large beeswax cloth on offer that you can cut to size individually. At 50 x 60 centimeters, it is larger than the XL cloth from Beeofix and even a few euros cheaper. Cost: 19.99 euros.
The Beegut beeswax at a glance:
benefits: Without jojoba oil and GOTS certified
disadvantage: Older products were still made with jojoba oil
3. The Ecolly beeswax cloth in a set of three (S, M, L)
The Ecolly beeswax cloth in a set of three – 9.99 euros at Amazon *
The Ecolly cloth is made of pure beeswax, one hundred percent organic cotton and natural tree resin. Important: Only the new generation of beeswax cloth does not contain jojoba oil. Here are the dimensions: Small (S): 17 x 20 centimeters (e.g. for cheese, avocado, fruit), medium (M): 25 x 27 centimeters (e.g. for sandwich, small bowl, bread) and large (L): 30 x 35 centimeters (for larger foods such as cakes or large bowls). Cost: 9.99 euros.
The beeswax from Ecolly at a glance:
benefits: Without jojoba oil, organic cotton, the cheapest option
disadvantage: Only the new generation of towels is produced without jojoba oil
Keeping food fresh with beeswax cloths: this is how it works
It’s pretty simple: the wipes seal with the warmth of your hands. To do this, you simply press the material against your food or over the edges of the container. You will quickly get a feel for how hard and how long you should press. You can clean the cloth quickly with a little soap. Simply use a sponge and then rinse it off with cold water. Although stains can remain on the cloth, the residues will quickly disappear after a few cleanings. Warning: If you find stains on your cloth that have been left by spoiled food, you should dispose of it.
The big question with all this is of course: How often can I use a beeswax cloth? As a rule, the more carefully you handle your product, the longer it will stay with you. The aim is to use such a cloth for a whole year.
Do I need an extra beeswax drying rack?
Some manufacturers sell additional drying racks for their beeswax towels. Our recommendations: let it be. You can easily dry the towels on the clothes horse like other fabrics.
What about the life cycle assessment?
There are no concrete figures yet. However, the old rule applies: the longer the cloth is recycled, the better the ecological balance. In fact, it seems that the beeswax cloth only beats the cling film in terms of sustainability after many uses. At least that is what Prof. Dr.-Ing. Eugen Herzau from the University of Applied Sciences in Leipzig for the “SWR”. Herzau teaches packaging technology.
How are beeswax sheets made?
Everyone knows the picture of a beekeeper heaving a large honeycomb full of juicy honey out of a box while closely observing the buzzing beehive. The very honeycombs that hold the delicious juice together are made of wax. This in turn arises in small scales on the belly of the bees, which contain wax glands. In the case of ecological cultivation, the wax is only released from the many honeycombs after repeated use. There are special devices for liquefying the solid material. Then it will be clarified. The beeswax is boiled so that the remaining dirt can settle. Finally, this liquefied and clarified wax is brushed onto pieces of fabric. The beeswax cloth is ready.
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