Are you a newbie to the vegan family? Do you find adapting to the vegan lifestyle exciting? A vegan diet can be a great choice but at the same time, challenging. You may have to face a few hurdles during the transition phase. Getting the equivalent vegan source of food/nutrients is a problem, but with a little help from experts and how to guides, you can pass through each stage with ease. The real trouble starts when you might have to start packing food for work or send snacks to your kids or say preparing food for travel. The solution to your food packaging problem lies in the wraps. But the existing wraps available on the market are mostly plastic-based which is against the vegan lifestyle. To avoid plastic cling film and foil, many vegans use wax wraps. But again the existing wax wraps in the market are made of bee wax– which is entirely against the vegan ideologies.
Recently it has been identified that soy wax can be substituted by bee wax for making DIY wraps. The problem concerning these vegan wraps is that comprehensive information is not available online.
What materials are required to make wax wraps?
You would require a clean, 100% cotton, used clothing and soy wax which is readily available in the nearby crafts shop. Apart from this, you would need a pair of shears or regular scissors and greaseproof paper.
Steps to be followed to make the wraps:
Take the old used cloth, with the help of scissors cut it into small square pieces, ignoring the cuff and seam areas. Naturally, the cut pieces would be of different sizes. You can reduce the cloth size by tracing a plate, or cut round wraps with the help of the bottles and jars.
Next, heat the iron box on a low temperature and keep two sheets of greaseproof papers ready on the iron board. The heat settings for pressing silk clothing would be the ideal temperature for this process. You must ensure that the shiny side of the paper is kept on top.
Sprinkle the wax on the board and spread the cloth on the melting wax. Ensure that the wax sticks to the fabric, evenly. When the wax cools a little, the wrap must be hung on the clothesline till they get completely dry.
Possible issues in the process:
Overheating the iron can damage the paper, and hence it is necessary to wait for a few minutes till the steam subsides of the iron. Too much of heat can make the wax runny, and it might not uniformly settle on the cloth as expected.
Do not use thin cotton or mixed fabric variety as the heat might burn the fabric. The wax will not stick to materials other than cotton.
Any alternative methods?
For those who do not have an iron box at home, they can preheat their ovens and keep the cloth pieces with soy wax sprinkled on them. The oven method makes sure the wax settles uniformly and melts fast. After checking for any uneven wax lumps, the wraps can be hung for drying, which should not take more than five minutes.
How to use the wraps?
The wraps are ideal for wrapping anything from sandwiches and vegan cheese to half-cut fresh vegetables like half onions, cut edges of cucumber, etc. Especially for those who buy milk in glasses from dairies, the lid cannot be used to close the glass jar once it is force-opened. However, the soy wax wraps serve well to cover the glass entirely. The wraps cling on to the food container firmly when used. The heat of the palm is sufficient to seal any leaks. However, it is better to avoid the usage of wrapping meat products.
How to maintain the soy wax wraps?
Since it is impossible to wash them in running water, it is good to wipe the wraps with a damp cloth using an eco-friendly soap. Warm or cold water would be the best choice to wash these wraps. You should never use hot water as the wax would be wiped off. The wraps have to be hung till they get completely dried and leaving them in the clothesline for a longer time is not a good idea as lizards/ants are fond of eating the wax. Also, when exposed to open air for a long duration, the wrap becomes dirty. Hence, it is a good idea to fold them and store it in airy baskets.
When you feel that the wax coating on the wrap has faded, you can melt some more wax on to it, and these can be reused numerous times.
Soy wax wraps provide the perfect vegan solution for wrapping your food. As these wraps can be reused, there is no addition of wastage to environmental pollution. So buying soy pellets in departmental stores will come in handy as one can prepare the wraps in bulk and store them for future use.