Working in the kitchen might lead to delicious food in the end, but you’ll also be left with a lot of cleaning up. Thanks to things like aluminum foil and parchment paper, it doesn’t have to be so messy. You can simply line a baking sheet with either one of these materials, making clean up a breeze.
Another popular kitchen material that you’ll find in just about every household is wax paper. A lot of people are unsure whether or not it can even go in the oven. If you’ve ever wondered the same thing, you’re in the right place.
According to Reynolds Consumer Products, wax paper may be used in the oven as long as it’s never exposed directly to heat. You can use it without wondering if it will affect the taste of your food, your health, or cause a safety issue. With that being said, once it’s exposed to heat above room temperature, it can melt.
Since most homeowners don’t know a lot about wax paper and the other materials they’re using in the kitchen, I decided to take a deep dive into the topic. Below you’ll find everything there is to know about the topic, including 20 alternative uses to wax paper. Let’s jump into it!
Table of Contents
- Are Wax Paper And Parchment Paper The Same Thing?
- What Is Wax Paper Used For?
- The Bottom Line About Wax Paper’s Use
- Similarities Between Wax Paper and Parchment Paper
- Additional Benefits
- Popular Kitchen Uses For Wax Paper
- Measuring Dry Ingredients
- What About Lining Baking Sheets?
- What Can Wax Paper Be Used For?
- 1. Line Your Cabinets
- 2. Clean Your Can Opener
- 3. Shine Your Faucets
- 4. Stain-Proof Wooden Kitchen Items
- 5. Dusting Made Easy
- 6. Make a Funnel
- 7. Prevents Splattering Food
- 8. Pair It With Wine
- 9. Unsticking a Zipper
- 10. Extends Cheese Expiration Date
- 11. Makes Curtains Move Smoother
- 12. Improves Ironing
- 13. Use It As A Fire Starter
- 14. Flatten Raw Meat
- 15. Keep Candlesticks Safe
- 16. Clean Your Garden Tools
- 17. Make Professional Looking Cakes
- 18. Protect Surfaces During Crafts
- 19. Create A Super Sled
- 20. Press Flowers and Leaves
- Wax Paper Alternatives
- 1. Beeswax Wrap
- 2. Glass Containers
- 3. Cloth Wrap
- 4. Soy Wax Paper
- Related Questions
- Is wax paper and baking paper the same?
- Is wax paper in the oven toxic?
- Does wax paper catch on fire?
Are Wax Paper And Parchment Paper The Same Thing?
Wax paper and parchment paper look almost identical to one another at first glance. Superficially, they are both similar simply because they both are used in culinary endeavors and have a special coating that makes them resistant to various elements. They are both non-stick and easy to mold into various shapes.
- Parchment paper is designed to be shoved in an oven, while wax paper is not. This is the big takeaway here. If you need to line your tray with something other than foil, use parchment paper. This will give you a non-stick surface plus the wrapping power you love.
- Wax paper is designed to be used as a countertop mess preventer, a wrapping tool for butter, or as a paper for sifting. Basically, if you’re making chocolate truffles, you should get wax paper for your rolling area. Parchment paper can also work, but it’ll be pricier.
- Wax paper is considered to be a fire hazard, while parchment paper is not. The paper in wax paper is flammable. The wax can melt away, leaving the paper at risk of combustion. Do you really want to try your luck with this stuff?
- If you put wax paper in high heat, the wax will melt off. This doesn’t sound like that big an issue, but you will not enjoy biting into food that’s literally coated in a layer of wax. This is especially true if it pools around in certain parts of your meal.
What Is Wax Paper Used For?
Though wax paper doesn’t work well in ovens, it still offers a lot of use for people who are handy in the kitchen. In fact, wax paper can be downright awesome to use in terms of versatility. Some of the more popular uses include:
- Wrapping Food. Butter is usually wrapped in wax paper as a way to keep it from spoiling. If you want to get fancy, there are rolls of patterned wax paper that make for a great presentation piece.
- Rolling Pie Crusts. Wax paper is wonderful for lining countertops before you start rolling out pie crusts and cookies. The wax on the paper makes it easy to pick up crust scraps and can help you move the dough around without it sticking to various surfaces. Besides, it’s easy to clean up.
- Polishing Metal Fixtures. It’s true. You can use wax paper to polish metal in a pinch, making it a great choice for people who have got to polish their cutlery before guests arrive.
- Lining Baking Cups. We don’t suggest this, but many people still do it anyway. If you are okay with having slightly waxy or burned cups, then you can give it a go.
- Freezer Storage. Putting wax paper between hamburger patties before they’re frozen will help you prevent them from sticking.
- Icing Cakes. Ever since it was invented, wax paper was used to make a funnel for cake icing. If you’re a fan of doing fancy designs but don’t want to splurge on a pastry bag, roll up a piece of wax paper into a funnel and have fun.
- Cheese Storage. Believe it or not, plastic wrap is not good for fancy cheeses. The best way to store your cheese is to use wax paper instead.
The Bottom Line About Wax Paper’s Use
Wax paper is a good choice for anyone who needs to have a type of non-stick paper that works well at a cold temperature. Light warming and short-term heating might also work out well here. However, it’s not the best choice for people who want to cook at a higher temperature simply due to its limitations.
Similarities Between Wax Paper and Parchment Paper
These two infamous kitchen materials do have a lot in common in terms of cooking. The main being that they’re both designed to be used as non-stick options. This makes either of them the perfect option when it comes to lining pans, cooling cookies, and more.
Another great thing parchment paper and wax paper have in common is that they’re both moisture resistant. If you ever have something that you need to temporarily protect from water, wrap it in either one!
In addition to repelling water, they also keep grease at bay. This can come in handy when you’re cooking or baking in your home. Things like cookie or bread dough won’t stick to these papers. Each of them comes in convenient rolls that have a metal tear-off seam that can easily fit in a kitchen drawer.
Parchment paper and wax paper can both be used in a multitude of ways. From everything from crafts to cooking, they can come in handy. There is one major area where these two differ, and I think it’s about time we talk about it.
Popular Kitchen Uses For Wax Paper
So, if wax paper should be avoided in the oven, can I put it in the microwave? Surprisingly, microwaves don’t really have a negative effect on wax paper. The inside of the appliance still gets hot but in a different way than an oven does.
This makes wax paper the perfect alternative to things like plastic wrap or aluminum foil, which are not microwave-safe. If the parchment paper is so great for everything, why do we even have wax paper at all? Well, your wallet sure knows why!
Wax paper is found in more stores than parchment paper is. Not only that, it’s a lot more affordable, which can save you quite a bit of money if you’re using it often. Having more access to wax paper can limit what you do in the kitchen.
You’re well aware now about what you can use it for when you’re baking or cooking. Just keep in mind that it should be avoided if you’ll be putting it in the oven at a high temperature.
Measuring Dry Ingredients
Another popular use for wax paper over parchment paper is to measure dry ingredients. The slick and smooth non-stick surface is designed just for the task! Whether you need to sift, measure, or even mix dry ingredients, you can do so on wax paper.
After you’ve done that, you can carefully pick up the paper and pour the ingredients into a mixing bowl. While parchment paper excels in a few areas where wax paper doesn’t, they’re both incredibly useful.
What About Lining Baking Sheets?
When it comes down to it, if you’re lining a baking sheet, you should either be using parchment paper or silicone sheets. Either one of these will get the job done without posing a fire threat. Again, this is only if heat is involved; if it’s not, wax paper will work just fine.
What Can Wax Paper Be Used For?
By now, you’re an expert on how to use wax paper for cooking or baking. I wanted to share with you 20 other things you can do with it. Everything from shining your faucets to getting a zipper unstuck.
Just because you shouldn’t use it for baking scrumptious chocolate chip cookies doesn’t mean you can’t get great use out of it! Go grab your box of wax paper, dust it off, and get ready for some incredible life hacks.
1. Line Your Cabinets
You know how earlier you read that wax paper is moisture and grease resistant? That can come in handy in your kitchen drawers and cabinets. Cut a piece of wax paper that will fit in the area, and you’ll be set!
You can use this in other rooms of the house as well, especially the bathrooms. It’s a cheap way to keep your drawers and cabinets lined. This will also save you plenty of cleaning time in the long run.
2. Clean Your Can Opener
Sit down and ask yourself when the last time you cleaned your can opener was? While you might wipe down the outside occasionally, getting into those nooks and crannies is crucial. Bacteria loves to sneak it’s way into crevices on appliances and can lead to food poisoning.
Use a piece of wax paper and get into all the little grooves and cutting areas. It will clean it and put the same protective coating on the metal pieces that it did on the faucet. Who knew wax paper was such a great cleaning tool?
3. Shine Your Faucets
I don’t know about you, but when there are water spots on the faucets in my kitchen and bathroom, it drives me bonkers. After you’ve cleaned them, you can use wax paper to make them shine like new. Simply take a piece of paper and rub it all over the faucet area!
This will not only shine the metal, but it will give a protective coating. The coating prevents water droplets from leaving their mark on the metal. It also reduces the amount of grime from your hands that will be on the faucet as well.
4. Stain-Proof Wooden Kitchen Items
This is easily one of my favorite kitchen hacks I’ve ever learned, and I just had to share it with you. Have you ever used a wooden spoon, cutting board, or a salad bowl and found that it is easily stained? For example, let’s say you’re making spaghetti, and you stir in the tomato sauce with a wooden spoon.
It won’t take long for the wood to soak up some of the red from the sauce and stain the entire spoon. To avoid this from happening, you can rub any wood utensil or tool town with wax paper. It will provide a seal that doesn’t let any liquid or natural food coloring through.
This is a great hack to implement when baking with food coloring. Quickly rub some wax paper over your wooden cutting board. You can say goodbye to stains without saying so-long to colorful treats!
5. Dusting Made Easy
Dusting is one of the most tedious chores that practically no one enjoys. If you have hardwood floors or tile throughout your home, you know how quickly it accumulates. Instead of spending a bunch of money on dusting tools, use wax paper!
What I like to do is sweep and mop my floor as usual. After it’s dry, I will take a piece of wax paper and rub it into the floor. Not only does this pick up dust, but it also prevents the floor from getting stained!
6. Make a Funnel
We touched on this earlier, but I wanted to go into more detail. You can use wax paper to create a funnel. This can come in handy when you have to refill things like your spices or baking ingredients.
Some would suggest taking this to the next level and using it outside of the kitchen. You can use the fun in your garage, garden, or even to refill the soap in your bathroom. Overall this is a handy trick that will save you time and prevents a messy cleanup.
7. Prevents Splattering Food
Since we can safely use wax paper in the microwave, it’s best to get the most use out of it possible. After you’ve made your comforting bowl of spaghetti from earlier, you may have leftovers. Heating up leftovers in the microwave can often lead to food splatter and a frustrating cleaning task.
Because wax paper is water-resistant, it works perfectly to prevent those splatters from happening in the first place. All you have to do is place a piece over the dish you’re heating up. Anything that would’ve splattered onto the walls and ceiling of your microwave will be in your bowl!
8. Pair It With Wine
Yes, you read that right; wax paper comes in handy with wine. There are two main uses for the historic kitchen material. The first thing you can do is rub the removed cork with the wax paper.
This will help it glide back into the bottle with ease. If the cork has expanded or you lost it entirely, you can replace it with wax paper. Simply wad some up and stuff it in the opening of the wine bottle.
9. Unsticking a Zipper
This one is as simple as it gets. If you ever find yourself with a stuck zipper, reach for the wax paper. Rub the paper all along the teeth of the zipper, and it will help it to glide open!
10. Extends Cheese Expiration Date
There’s no denying that cheese is one of the most delicious foods known to man. Even though the process of making it involves aging, that doesn’t mean it never expires. Instead of throwing your block of sharp cheddar into a sandwich bag, follow this hack.
Take your favorite cheese and wrap it in wax paper. After that, follow up with some aluminum foil. Write on the paper the best by date before putting it in the refrigerator.
11. Makes Curtains Move Smoother
Another quick life hack brought to you by wax paper is helping curtains move. If you’ve ever tried to part your curtains to let in some natural light, you’ll notice they won’t always glide smoothly.
Take a piece of wax paper and rub it all around the curtain rod to create a glide-friendly pathway. You can also use this hack on shower curtains as well if you’re encountering the same issue in your bathroom.
12. Improves Ironing
Sometimes when people iron, they’ll add a laundry agent to get rid of all the wrinkles faster. These cleaning products can build up over time on your iron and create a major issue. Not only will you need a new iron, but it can also create a fire hazard if you continue using the one with build-up.
Using an iron with a clean surface, rub some wax paper over the metal. Not only does this keep off fabric cleaner, but it will also help improve the iron. If you do have gunk on the surface and need it removed, turn the iron on low and rub it against some trust wax paper.
13. Use It As A Fire Starter
Whether you’re starting up the fireplace for a cozy winter evening or you’re out camping with your friends, wax paper can come in handy. Instead of looking all over for kindling or spending money on expensive fire starters, you can use wax paper.
All you’ll have to do is wad it up and get your matches! If you’re cooking s’mores or roasting some corn, you don’t have to worry about a wax taste or texture on your food.
14. Flatten Raw Meat
Something else you can do with this parchment paper substitute is to use it for flattening chicken breasts. Sometimes the meat needs to be thinned out, and wax paper is here to do the job. Place the meat between two pieces of the durable material and get to work.
Pound them down with a kitchen mallet or heavy pan. Remember to toss out the wax paper immediately to avoid any cross-contamination.
15. Keep Candlesticks Safe
If you have candlesticks, especially a variety of colors, listen up. Using wax paper is a great way to store and protect candles. If it gets hot where you’re storing them, the wax paper prevents the colors from running into one another.
When it comes time to burn your candles, it’s always a smart idea to play a small piece of wax paper under the burning candle. This can catch drips and save whatever surface you have the candle on.
16. Clean Your Garden Tools
I bet you never thought you’d be using wax paper in your garden, but here we are! Garden tools can quickly rust and erode from natural elements. Wax paper can clean these tools and prevent them from rust in the first place.
Run a bit of wax paper over the metal parts of shovels, rakes, hoes, and other gardening instruments. They’ll glide through the soil with ease thanks to the wax layer. This same layer will keep the materials safe from rain, snow, and harsh wind.
17. Make Professional Looking Cakes
Have you ever attempted to make a cake as you’ve seen on one of those popular baking shows? If you really want your cake to have a professional look, use wax paper. After you’ve baked the cake or any pastry, place a piece of wax paper underneath it.
When it comes time for decorating, you can add all types of decorations without having to worry about cleaning up. The wax paper gives a finished look to the bottom layer, and you won’t have to wipe around the serving plate to get rid of excess frosting.
A bonus cake hack I’ll give you is to use wax paper for calligraphy. If you’re writing “It’s a Boy!” on a cake, and you don’t want to mess it up, do it on wax paper. Throw it in the fridge for an hour and peel it off to place it on your cake.
18. Protect Surfaces During Crafts
If you’re crafty like me, you’ll know how messy things can get. If you work with things like paint, resin, or glitter, wax paper is your new best friend. It not only catches all of these materials to make for easy cleanup, but it also keeps surfaces protected as well.
Another use for wax paper in terms of painting can come in handy when you’re painting the inside of your home. Put a piece of the paper across the top of the paint jug before hammering the lid back on. This prevents that pesky film from forming, and your paint won’t thicken.
19. Create A Super Sled
Do you live somewhere that experiences snowy winters? You’re in luck with this next trick. Take a piece of wax paper and rub it on the underside of your sled, skis, or snowboards.
This will make you glide through the snow with ease and at a much faster speed. This could be dangerous if you have little kids and go to public places to play. Keep this for use in your yard or in a closed-off area.
20. Press Flowers and Leaves
This is probably one of the oldest uses for wax paper in the book. It can be a fun way to preserve nature in time and create beautiful art pieces. This is the perfect opportunity to round up the family and spend some time together outdoors.
Look for the prettiest flowers, stunning leaves, and cool plants. Take whatever calls out to you and bring it back inside. You can either use two pieces of wax paper for this craft or fold one in half.
Make sure the plant is between two pieces of wax paper, place it in the paper flat. Take your iron and run it on a low setting over the wax paper. This preserves the flower or plant forever and gives you heartwarming memories of time well spent.
Wax Paper Alternatives
There are a myriad of alternatives when it comes to wax paper. Since it has so many uses, the other options are practically endless. Because it is a short-term product, I wanted to share with you some eco-friendly long-term alternatives.
While wax paper can be a better option in place of something like plastic wrap, it still has its faults. Here are four options you can feel good about when it comes to wrapping up your food.
1. Beeswax Wrap
While it’s new on the market, I have to mention the use of beeswax wrap. You can use this to cover sandwiches, the tops of Tupperware containers, or even store food waste. There is nothing dangerous about this alternative, and it’s just about as eco-friendly as you can get.
Beeswax wraps are easily the most expensive alternative, especially compared to wax paper. There are convenient plant-based wraps as well that are perfect for vegan households. You can get a few uses out of one piece of beeswax before needing to throw it out.
2. Glass Containers
The first thing I want to say when it comes to glass containers is that plastic is decent as well. While glass Tupperware is much better for the environment, plasticware is better than using plastic wrap. If you’re looking to reduce the amount of waste you produce, glass jars are it!
They’re reusable, can be washed in the dishwasher, and don’t stain like plastic containers. Glass is a durable material that will last for decades and doesn’t pose a health risk when it comes to holding foods. Some cities are even giving customers the option of getting take out in glass containers for an extra charge.
Another great use for glass containers is you can take them with you to some grocery stores. You fill them up in the bulk area and will likely get a discount for bringing your own jar. It’s a win for your wallet and the planet!
3. Cloth Wrap
Another alternative to wax paper that you can feel good about is cloth wrap. You can make your own elastic or non-elastic bowl covers. You have the option to use any fabric of your choosing or buying specific furoshiki cloth.
There are several helpful online tutorials that will show you how to make these wraps and covers. After you use one, put it in the laundry with the rest of your towels and linens. Cloth wraps can also be used as things like napkins, tablecloths, and even picnic blankets.
This is a great option if you really like customizing things to your liking. You can make different sizes, color-code the wraps based on what they’re used for, and even find cute patterns that match your kitchen decor.
4. Soy Wax Paper
Lastly, the most obvious alternative for wax paper is… soy wax paper! One of the biggest downfalls of paraffin wax paper is that it’s not recyclable due to the wax coating. Some people have also claimed that it’s to blame for certain health conditions.
Soy wax paper is a much more sustainable option that leaves you worry-free. Not only is it recyclable, but you can also throw soy wax paper in your compost pile. It will still keep in the freshness of food and has all of the other great benefits of wax paper.
Whichever of these alternatives that you consider to go with, give yourself a pat on the back. It’s little steps like these that make a big difference for the Earth. While it may cost a few bucks more upfront, it’s well worth it in the long run.
Is wax paper and baking paper the same?
Baking paper, also known as baker’s paper, isn’t the same as wax paper. It has a silicone coating instead of a paraffin wax coating. Baking paper is heat-resistant, whereas wax paper isn’t. However, parchment paper and baking paper are considered interchangeable.
Is wax paper in the oven toxic?
Because wax paper is coated with a thin layer of wax, many people assume it’s toxic. If you’re using food-grade wax paper, you have nothing to worry about. You should avoid using it when cooking or baking hot food.
Does wax paper catch on fire?
When exposed to high heat for an extended period of time, wax paper can and will catch on fire. This is why you’ll want to stick to using parchment paper when cooking or baking in the oven. Parchment paper can brown but shouldn’t ever catch on fire.