You’re baking cookies or wrapping up homemade caramels, and what do you reach for? Chances are, it’s wax paper. I always keep a few rolls of wax paper in my kitchen, just because I never know when, exactly, I will need it. It’s a versatile material that can be used for all sorts of things in the kitchen.
Have a ton of extra wax paper lying around? Consider these 23 homestead uses for wax paper – you’ll use it up in a flash!
What is Wax Paper?
Wax paper, also known as waxed paper, is a paper that is made moisture-proof by applying wax. Usually, the wax used is soybean or paraffin. It creates a nonstick surface on both sides of the paper.
Generally, wax paper is used instead of plastic wrap when microwaving food. It prevents splatters. It can also be used on your counter while you are measuring out dry ingredients when you are baking. It can form a nice covering for your surface when you are doing things like kneading bread dough, or rolling out pie crusts, too.
However, wax paper doesn’t just have to be used in the kitchen. There are many other ways you can use this versatile, ubiquitous material on your homestead.
Uses for Wax Paper Around the House
1. Make a Funnel
This one is one of my favorites! Whether you have lots of spices that need to go in a narrow-mouthed jar or you’re trying to funnel rice into a small canister, using wax paper is a smart choice. Fold it to make a funnel – the rest is pretty self-explanatory.
2. Cheese Freshener
Love eating cheese – or even making your own cheese? You can keep it fresher longer by wrapping the cut block in wax paper, then a layer of aluminum foil. It will prevent the cheese from soaking up odors in the refrigerator, and will also keep it fresher for longer.
3. Flatten Chicken Breasts
Tenderizing meat is a great way to improve its flavor, but put a few layers of wax paper between the cutlets first. This will help keep the meat in place, and make it easier to handle.
4. Baking Assistant
Need to roll out dough or knead a loaf of bread? Put down a layer of wax paper first. Your clean up will be much easier.
5. Uncork a Bottle
Having a relaxing glass of wine after a long day of work on the homestead? If you’re struggling with the cork, wrap it with wax paper once you get it out. It will make it easier to remove the second or third time, and it will also prevent bits of cork from breaking off and getting stuck in your drink.
6. Clean Up Your Bathroom
If you have stainless fixtures in your bathroom, you can wipe them down with wax paper to keep them spotless. The small bits of wax in the paper will deflect water droplets without leaving behind an unsavory residue.
7. Spruce Up Your Iron
If your iron is getting dull and sticking often these days, wipe a piece of wax paper across the bottom. It will help it glide more smoothly.
8. Freshen Up Your Ice Cream
To prevent those unappetizing ice crystals that appear on ice cream, use a bit of wax paper. Moisture and air are responsible for that buildup, but you can prevent them by covering leftover ice cream with a bit of wax paper.
9. Dust Your Floors and Shelves
Things looking a little dusty around the homestead? Use some wax paper to brighten things up. You can use a simple piece of wax paper to get dust off surfaces and keep it away in the future. You can even clip a piece of wax paper to a Swiffer to dust, instead of a pad, too.
10. Unstick Zippers
Have a few tough zippers that you can’t get to budget? Rub the teeth with wax paper. No problem!
11. Decorate Cakes
I love frosting cakes and cupcakes, but the challenge I always run into is that I don’t have a piping bag for my frosting if I want to create cool designs. You have a couple of ways you can use wax paper to your advantage.
One of the easiest is to make a funnel out of wax paper, as I described above, to contain all of your frosting. However, you can also apply icing to a sheet of wax paper about the same size as the surface of the cake.
Put the wax paper in the freezer for thirty minutes. When your cake is ready to be roasted, all you have to do is slide the icing off the paper with a spatula.
12. Clean the Can Opener
Use a bit of wax paper to clean up your can opener. It will get rid of all the food and label bits between the blades, and will apply a silky-smooth, waxy finish, too.
13. Protect Your Cutting Board
If you’re cutting raw meat and don’t want it to soak into all the pores of your cutting board (which can be hard to clean and sanitize later on), an easy hack is to put a few sheets of wax paper down. It will absorb the juices and create a resistant barrier.
14. Remove Rust from Tools
It’s pretty much universally recommended that, at the end of each gardening season, you need to clean and repair your tools. An easy way to eliminate rust is to wipe the surface down with wax paper. This will also get rid of any built-up dirt or grime.
15. Stop Snow Accumulation
Shoveling snow is a huge chore on its own, but add to it the fact that snow often sticks to your shovel in dense clumps, making your work even harder, and shoveling is a major undertaking.
You can prevent snow from sticking to your shovel by wiping it down with wax paper first. This will create a silky smooth surface that snow has a hard time sticking to.
16. Maintain Cutting Boards
If you have any wooden utensils in your kitchen, from cutting boards to salad bowls or spoons, you can keep them in good condition by wiping them down with wax paper from time to time.
17. Stop Stuck Doors
Do your doors keep sticking? If so, consider rubbing the edges down with wax paper. This should stop them from jamming quite as much.
18. Line Your Drawers
Instead of purchasing contact paper to line the inside of your drawers and refrigerator, you can just use wax paper. Replace it every few months, and you won’t have to scrub your drawers – or worry about any damages, either.
19. Store Homemade Candles
Do you like making your own candles? If so, you may find that the candles can scuff or discolor linens over time. An easy way to store candles is to wrap them in wax paper. They’ll stay fresher longer.
20. Make a Seal on Paint Cans
Wrapping up a painting project on your homestead? Don’t let that unused paint go to waste. Instead, add a sheet of waxed paper over the top. It will prevent a skin from forming. You can also use it to wrap up paintbrushes to stop them from drying out between coats.
21. Plug Up Drafts
If you have drafty windows, you can use bits of wax paper to plug up holes. It will ward off moisture and precipitation, too.
22. Start a Fire
Out of kindling? Wax paper makes an excellent fire starter.
23. Bake a Cake
Unfortunately, wax paper is not the same as parchment paper, so you shouldn’t expose it directly to the heat of your oven if you want to prevent a fire. However, you may use it as a liner in the bottom of cake pans as long as the paper is covered by the pie crust of cake batter.
The non-stick surface will help your cake slide right out of the pan – and it will make clean-up faster, too.
This list likely only scratches the surface of all the fun things you can do with wax paper. If you have some lying around the homestead, be sure to use it up – you have plenty of options, after all!
Rebekah is a high-school English teacher n New York, where she lives on a 22 acre homestead. She raises and grows chickens, bees, and veggies such as zucchini (among other things).