Etee Organic Reusable Beeswax Review: A Zero Waste Solution to Replace Saran Wraps
It was a Reddit sub that introduced me to the Etee organic reusable beeswax wrap. This was in July 2017, if I’m not mistaken.
While the very thought of swapping the Saran wrap that clings on perilously close to the sandwiches and everything else that I tuck into the fridge seemed appealing, and I had decided to explore the possibility, I forgot about it altogether.
It just fell through the cracks.
Later in the same year, I attended a ‘Zero Waste’ event and came across a lot of people who had wrapped their food in the Etee reusable beeswax wrap. And it looked cute, to be honest. Myriad colors, different patterns. It almost looked like any normal paper wrap.
That triggered a curiosity and I decided to decode the whole, reusable, washable, organic and eco-friendly food wrap wave that has been slowly creeping all over the internet landscape.
What is the Etee Organic Reusable Beeswax Wrap?
Etee Organic Beeswax wrap is a healthier alternative (or so it is made out to be) to plastic wraps that one normally uses to wrap food.
You can wrap just about anything edible in it, from sandwiches to leftovers to bread.
It has a semi-flexible, waxy structure, if that’s the best way to describe it.
Think of it as a slightly rigid paper with excellent flexibility. (Wow! Does that even make sense?)
It is essentially a piece of organic cotton that’s coated with beeswax and organic jojoba oil (for the aroma) and a little tree resin for the waxy structure.
A few aromatic essential oils have been added to mask the honey-based aroma that beeswax naturally exudes. But they aren’t overwhelming. The wrap has a very subtle but pleasant aroma.
Even the colors used to dye these wraps are 100% organic and non-toxic.
The history of natural food wraps
Waxing cotton dates back to the 15th century and is believed to have originated in Egypt. For many years, its applications were mainly limited to waterproofing in the commercial shipping industry.
However, when infused with beeswax, it made for an excellent, malleable food storage that adhered to the food surface without absorbing the odor or color of food.
Cut to more modern times, beeswax wraps made an appearance circa 2012.
However, DIY handmade wraps were already on sale in as early as 2009 on Etsy.
But can it be a sustainable, user-friendly replacement for plastic wraps?
Why do we love plastic wraps so much?
Take a look around you. We are surrounded by plastic.
Plastic containers, plastic appliances, plastic tools, plastic machines and of course, wraps.
We are plastic hoarders and we can’t get enough of it.
And most people have enough reasons to warrant its widespread use.
Plastic is cheap. It is universally available.
It is so, so user-friendly. You can just rip off a piece of Saran wrap and it magically clings on to whatever that you wrap it with.
It is easy to remove. It retains the freshness of the food. You can toss the food into the microwave with the cling wrap still on it.
I could go on about the perks of plastic wrap.
But there are also perils.
The amount of plastic in our landfills is alarming. It does not biodegrade.
And according to the most recent reports, that seemingly, harmless cling wrap might be leeching chemicals into your system that can cause breast cancer, mess up your hormonal system and cause infertility in men.
Not to mention that all that plastic might one-day start to leech the same chemicals into our soil and water.
I’d rather skip convenience and forsake our love for plastic, than end up with a tumor in our body one day. What about you?
Etee Food Wrap Review: What Are The Benefits?
There are many advantages of swapping Saran wrap with Etee beeswax wraps in your kitchen. Here are a few of them.
- Completely Organic: Etee beeswax wraps are completely organic. There are no chemical ingredients and hence, nothing to contaminate your food with.
- Antimicrobial: Etee beeswax is bacteriostatic and fungistatic. It will create an impervious seal around your food that does not cause mold growth. The food will retain its freshness and it does not dry out or lose moisture.
- Excellent moldability: While the earlier iterations of Etee beeswax wraps were a little stiff, the new ones use a blend of hemp (55%) & organic cotton (45%) muslin fabric. These are coated with beeswax and non-GMO soy wax, which give it excellent malleability. Be it your bowls or your food, it wraps around them easily.
- Does not crack: The coniferous tree resins in the wraps prevents it from cracking when stored in the fridge.
- Reusable: You can reuse the beeswax wraps if it gets stained. All it takes is a quick rinse under cold water with some mild detergent. You might not be able to get all the stains off, mind you, but it certainly beats one-time-use plastic any day.
- Saves money: Each Etee wrap lasts for about 120-150 uses. With a pack of 9 wraps priced less than $50 currently, that’s a lot of money saved, especially if you are a large household using aluminum foils or Saran wraps every single day.
- No taste change: There’s a misconception that Etee wraps might change the taste of your food because of all the essential oils added to it, but it does not. There is no change in the taste of your food. Period.
- Biodegradable: A single Etee beeswax wrap can last for months with minimal upkeep. But the best part is that once you are done using it or feel that it’s time to get a new one, you can just toss the old one in the garbage. It is completely biodegradable and will biodegrade within a few days. In comparison, single-use plastic like Saran wrap does not biodegrade for 1000 years.
- 100% Money Back Guarantee: Etee throws in a 100% money back guarantee with a 90-day term. That’s pretty neat and helps eliminate any apprehensions that you may have about the purchase. If you don’t like it for some reason, you can just return it within 90 days for a full refund.
How user-friendly are these wraps?
You’d be surprised to know that Etee wraps are reasonably easy to use. The only possible quibble that I have with them is you need to warm them for a minute or so in your hands.
Etee calls this process ‘activating’ the wrap. In reality, you are just warming up the beeswax so that it adheres well to the food or the bowl.
But that’s not a deal breaker.
In fact, it has a retro-ish charm attached to it when I’m watching the wrap go around the bowl after I activated it.
These are easy to clean and dry. Although you might want to find a dedicated spot for it because it tends to stand when dried, unlike normal fabric.
What I didn’t like about the wraps
All said and done, there are a few design idiosyncrasies that could be ironed out in future iterations.
- Non-microwaveable: Anything beyond normal room temperature will cause the wax to melt. So nuking your bowls with these wraps around them is out of the question. But that’s not all. You’ll have to be careful about not getting these too close to the stovetop. So, you are still going to be stuck with the Saran wrap for microwaving your food.
- A little awkward to dry: The Etee wraps are semi-rigid as I mentioned earlier and they are a bit awkward to dry for the same reason. You can’t put them with the dishes. A better option would be to use the clothesline, but I’m not sure if the pin can cause the wax to crack.
- Cannot be used for covering uncooked meat: Etee does not recommend that you use this to cover uncooked meat for some reason. I believe that might have to do with the natural colors used to dye the wraps more than anything. But somehow, that’s a bummer, isn’t it?
- Cannot be used for more than 30 days in the freezer: There are times when you toss something into the freezer and forget about it for a couple of months. Has happened on numerous occasions with me and I’d prefer that the beeswax wrap can last for 60 days at least in a freezer. 30 days seem too little.
Buying Etee Organic Beeswax Wraps vs. Making your own recipe
I love the whole DIY scene and I’m pretty active with my newfound love for woodworking. So, when I discovered that I could make my own Beeswax wraps rather than buying them off-the-shelf, I was excited and rolling up my sleeves already.
But after trying three different recipes involving the use of hot irons, baking ovens and whatnot, I felt that it was just not worth it when you could buy a premade one of much superior quality off-the-shelf.
Don’t get me wrong here, you can very well make your own cotton towels infused with beeswax.
But those are just barebones, stripped down versions of the Etee wraps.
Also, the process is very tricky because Beeswax has a very low tolerance to heat. It becomes flammable at 100°C and melts way before that at 60°C. So, the chances of you ending up with a flawed batch is very high, if you don’t end up with an oven on fire that is.
Do yourself a favor, if you are curious about using the Etee organic wraps, buy yourself a pack of three rather than fiddling with things that you aren’t certain about.
Do I recommend the Etee Wraps?
The Etee wraps are safe, easy to use and can save me a lot of money in the long run.
More importantly, they are not leeching toxic chemicals into our food, nor piling up in landfills.
They have a few minor niggles. But none of them were deal breakers for me.
So, if you are apprehensive about whether these will work for you, go right ahead and buy a batch. I’m sure that you will thank me and yourself for it.
Also, I would love to hear about your experience with these wraps. So, do write in to me. Cheers!