Kitchen and Home Uses for Wax Paper | Reader's Digest

Kitchen and Home Uses for Wax Paper

Clever uses for wax paper that you can try today!

from Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things

Fail-safe cake decorating

You made a special birthday cake, and now comes the moment of truth: Can you pipe out the lettering in frosting on the first try? Not many of us can, so try this trick to make it easier. Cut a piece of wax paper the same size as your cake, using the cake pan as a guide. Then pipe the name and the message onto the paper and freeze it. After just half an hour it should be easy to handle. Loosen the frosting and slide it off onto the cake using a spatula. Everyone will think you’re a cake-decorating professional!

Funnel spices into jars

Filling narrow-mouthed spice jars can make a big mess on your kitchen counter. Roll a piece of wax paper into a funnel shape and pour spices into your jars without spilling a single mustard seed. In a pinch, you can even funnel liquids by using a couple of layers of wax paper offset so the seams in the layers don’t line up.

Speed kitchen cleanup

Wax paper can help keep all kinds of kitchen surfaces clean.

  • Line vegetable and meat bins with a layer of wax paper. When it needs replacement, just wad it up and throw it in the trash or, if it’s not stained with meat juices, the compost pile.
  • If your kitchen cabinets don’t extend to the ceiling, a layer of wax paper on top will catch dust and grease particles. Every month or two, just fold it up, discard it, and put a fresh layer down.
  • If you’re worried about meat juices getting into the pores of your cutting board, cover it with three layers of wax paper before slicing raw meat and throw the paper out immediately. It beats scrubbing the cutting board with bleach!

Tame the waffle-eating waffle iron

Having trouble extricating waffles from your waffle iron? Nonstick surfaces don’t last forever. You can’t fix the problem permanently, but if you just want to get it to work today, put a layer of wax paper in between the plates of your waffle iron for a few minutes while it heats up. The wax will be transferred to the plates, temporarily helping waffles pop out again.

Uncork bottles with ease

If you keep a bottle of cooking wine in your kitchen, you probably uncork it and recork it many times before using it up. Instead of struggling with the cork each time, wrap some wax paper around the cork before reinserting it. It’ll be easier to remove the next time, and the paper helps keep little bits of cork from getting into the wine.

Keep cast iron rust-free

Cast iron devotees agree that this superior cooking material is well worth a little extra effort to keep it in tip-top shape. To prevent rust from forming on cast iron between uses, rub a sheet of wax paper over your skillet or Dutch oven after washing, while it’s still warm. Then place the sheet between the pot and the lid to store.

Keep candles from staining table linens

Candles in colors that coordinate with your dining room linens make a lovely finishing touch to table settings — and it’s helpful to store them all together — but if you store the candles with table linens, the candle color can rub off on the linens. To avoid this, wrap colorful candles in plain wax paper before storage. Avoid paper with holiday patterns, which can also stain linens.

Store delicate fabrics

Treasured lace doilies and other linens handed down in your family can decay quickly if not stored with care. A sheet of wax paper between each fabric piece will help block extraneous light and prevent transfer of dyes without trapping moisture.

Stop water spotting

Company’s coming, and you want every room of the house to look its best. To keep bathroom fixtures temporarily spotless, rub them with a sheet of wax paper after cleaning them. The wax that transfers will deflect water droplets like magic — at least until the next cleaning.

Make a snow slide go faster

Everyone knows, the more slippery the slide, the more fun it is! Keep tots swooshing on their tushes by balling up a large piece of wax paper and rubbing it all over the slide surface.

Protect surfaces from glue

Woodworkers know that there’s enough glue in a wood joint if some squeezes out when they clamp the joint. They also know that excess glue will be a real pain to remove if it drips on the workbench or, worse, bonds the clamping blocks to the project. To prevent this, cover the bench with strips of wax paper and put pieces of wax paper between the clamping blocks and the project. The glue won’t adhere to, or soak through, the wax.

Make educational place mats

One way to make learning fun is with personalized place mats featuring math facts or other lessons your child is trying to memorize. Take several flash cards and sandwich them between layers of wax paper cut to place-mat size. Sandwich that between two layers of paper towels and press it all with a warm iron to “laminate” the flash cards in place. Remove the paper towels before use.