Wax paper is wonderful stuff. A lot of people think of it as just for sandwich wrapping, but there’s really so much more you can do with it. Even though plastic wrap is more popular these days, there are many things wax paper just does better. Read on for 5 things to do with wax paper.
Things to Do with Wax Paper
1. Lining surfaces
Some of my favorite uses of wax paper are all about lining surfaces so I can cut down on future cleaning chores:
- Drawers and cabinets. Kitchen and bathroom drawers and cabinets both benefit from being lined with wax paper. Wax paper catches both liquid and dry stuff and keeps it from penetrating the wood inside cabinetry. That means your drawers stay cleaner all the time. You can remove and replace the wax paper every few months or even years – or whenever there’s a spill. That way, you don’t have to scrub these surfaces. (In many cases, you can also clean the wax paper and re-use it to line drawers again.)
- Lining surfaces that are hard to clean. Put a sheet of wax paper along the top of a refrigerator or the top of kitchen cabinets. That keeps those surfaces from getting filthy. Every year or so, replace the paper. Whatever was on it is all the dirt you would have needed to climb up there to clean.
- Line wooden cutting boards. You can also line porous cutting surfaces before slicing into raw meat to make extra sure any bacteria in the meat juice gets whisked away when you’re done.
2. Keep food fresher
Wax paper does one thing much better than plastic wrap: it doesn’t make food “sweat.” And that means certain foods stay fresher longer with wax paper than with plastic wrap.
- Keep cheese fresher longer. I love buying good quality cheese and trying new kinds all the time, but since I’m the only one in my household who eats it, it would often spoil before I could finish it. I finally learned it was the plastic wrap cheeses come in that made this happen. Now I have a method of wrapping cheese in wax paper and tin foil. My cheeses stay fresh long enough for me to enjoy them at my leisure now.
- Sandwiches and cakes, too. Any food item that is bread or cake-like can “sweat” in plastic wrap, especially if it’s not going to be stored in refrigeration. Wax paper keeps brown bag lunches much more appetizing.
3. Makeshift Funnel/Icing Piper
- Makeshift funnel. The easiest way in the world to make a quick, cheap, easy funnel is to cut squares of wax paper and roll them up. Stick one end in the neck of whatever you want to funnel the substance into, and let the top section unroll a little, so the top expands to make the funnel shape. It’s great for pouring dry, wet, even sticky stuff through. And that includes nasty stuff like motor oil that you might never be able to clean off of a nice kitchen funnel.
- Pipe icing onto a cake. Using the funnel method I just described, with a very small hole at the end, you can pipe icing onto a cake with precision. This makes it easy to do intricate designs or write onto the cake.
4. Fix Decorative Icing Before It’s On the Cake
Freeze icing for perfect cake decorations. Instead of putting decorative icing directly onto your cake – which sucks if you don’t get it just right – cut a piece of wax paper that’s the same size as the cake. Pipe your decorations onto it. If you mess up, it’s easy to remove the offending bits of icing and re-do that section. Once it’s perfect, put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Now you should be able to loosen the icing from the wax paper with a spatula and place it on the cake. Once you’ve got it exactly centered, gently press it into the non-decorative icing – just slightly.
5. And Do It All Again
Some of you may be concerned about just throwing away wax paper, since it can’t be recycled. Fair point, but wax paper can be re-used. It cleans up easily in most cases and can be safely reused the same way you’d reuse a plastic tool. You can clean your drawer liners and re-use them many, many times unless there’s been a major spill.