15 Brilliant Uses for Wax Paper Throughout the Home

Paige Bennett
Written by Paige Bennett
Updated March 23, 2022
woman pulling on a roll of wax paper while in the kitchen
Photo: nicoletaionescu / iStock / Getty Images

Highlights

  • Wax paper is moisture-proof paper covered in paraffin wax.

  • Wax paper can keep food fresh or help coat wood kitchenware.

  • For cleaning, wax works well for polishing.

  • Around the house, wax can lubricate tools and unstick door jams.

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You might always have a roll of wax paper in your kitchen, but have you ever stopped to think about what you can actually use it for? While you may break it out on occasion, wax paper can do so much more than you realize in the kitchen and beyond. 

From polishing surfaces to helping with home improvement, wax paper is one item you’ll want to keep in your kitchen, your cleaning bin, and your toolbox. Grab a roll and get to work with these clever uses for wax paper.

What Is Wax Paper?

Wax paper is a food-safe and moisture-proof paper lined in three layers of wax, typically paraffin but sometimes soybean. Although it is often used in the kitchen, wax paper is not heat-proof the way parchment paper is, so you shouldn’t use it to line baking sheets. Still, even if you can’t bake cookies on it, wax paper has several uses in and out of the kitchen.

Uses for Wax Paper in the Kitchen

You probably have a spare roll of wax paper in a drawer or on top of the fridge. But aside from making cookie dough easier to roll out, what can you really use wax paper for? As it turns out, this handy item has a lot of uses in the kitchen.

1. Make Cheese Last Longer

brie cheese wrapped in wax paper on cutting board
Photo: alpaksoy / iStock / Getty Images

For the freshest tasting cheese that maintains its texture, wrap it in wax paper. This material allows the cheese to “breathe” so it doesn’t dry out. It also avoids trapping bad bacteria in with the cheese. Even if you get cheese wrapped in plastic at the grocery store, take it out and wrap it in wax if you plan to consume it soon.

2. Line Drawers and Shelves

Wax paper is a great lining for refrigerator drawers or pantry shelves. The wax paper helps capture any leaks or spilled food for easy cleanup.

3. Clean Can Openers

If you haven’t cleaned your can opener in a while, this is your sign to add it to your house cleaning checklist. Rub the can opener and its gears carefully with wax paper. This will also lubricate the gears to make the next can of beans even easier to open.

4. Protect Wood Surfaces

wax paper on wood countertop
Photo: Julia_Sudnitskaya / iStock / Getty Images

The coating on wax paper can also create a protective barrier on your prized wood cutting boards, bowls, and utensils. After cleaning your boards or other kitchenware, wipe them down with wax paper. Do this whenever the items look dull or worn, or at least once per month.

5. Recork Wine

On the rare occasion that you have some leftover wine, you can keep that wine fresh by recorking it. This isn’t an easy task because the cork cap expands slightly after opening that bottle of vino. 

Wrap the cork in wax paper before pushing it back into the bottle. This move creates a tighter seal, keeps bits of cork from falling into the wine, and makes it easier to open the wine bottle when you go to pour another drink.

Cleaning Hacks With Wax Paper

There’s a clean home, and then there’s a spotless home. Wax paper can polish hard surfaces, pick up dust, and even remove grime from hard-to-clean objects, making it an essential item to add to your cleaning kit. These wax paper cleaning hacks will give your home an even deeper clean.

6. Shine Appliances

Remove pesky fingerprints or other spots from appliances around the house with a sheet of wax paper. Clean stainless steel appliances or other hard surfaces as usual, then rub wax paper along the surface for shine.

7. Dust the House

If you forgot to add duster or wet-dry mop pad refills to your shopping list, wax paper works in a pinch. Use wax paper to dust media consoles and dressers, or cut a sheet to fit on your wet-dry mop and glide it along hard flooring to pick up dust.

8. Polish Fixtures and Hardware

Water spots and fingerprints are no match for a little sheet of wax paper. Use wax paper to polish bathroom faucets, shower knobs, doorknobs, and drawer pulls.

9. Clean an Iron

iron and ironing board in laundry room
Photo: Kerkez / iStock / Getty Images

Your iron likely isn’t the dirtiest spot in your home, but it is often overlooked and a tricky spot to clean. If it does have any gunk on the front, this debris will transfer over to your clothes. Place a sheet of wax paper on the ironing board, and sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of salt over the paper. Iron over the salt lightly at the highest iron temperature setting, and the dirt will stick to the salt, leaving the surface of your iron spotless.

10. Keep Hard-to-Reach Places Spotless

Dusting above the fridge or the bathroom cabinets often involves balancing carefully on a step stool or ladder. Instead, place sheets of wax paper on these hard-to-reach places, and every two or three months, toss the old wax paper and replace it.

Wax Paper Uses in Home Improvement

Wax paper is useful all around the house and garage or shed. This material, typically reserved for the kitchen, is handy for lubricating and sealing various objects in your home.

11. Lubricate Tools

Rub wax paper on your garden tools or the tools in your toolbox. The paper will lubricate the tools for better performance, plus it coats the tools to help prevent rust.

12. Tune Up a Snow Shovel

Shoveling snow is already a tough task, but even more so if the snow keeps sticking to the shovel. You can rub the shovel's edge with wax paper to create a slicker surface. Snow will glide right off, making this chore a little easier.

13. Smooth Out Curtain Rods

You tug, tug, and tug again before the bedroom curtains finally open. For curtains that glide effortlessly open or shut, simply rub some wax paper along the curtain rod. This trick works in the bathroom on shower curtain rods, too.

14. Stop Door Jams

You love your older home, but prying open the doors that stick to their frames becomes more annoying each day. Wax paper makes a great lubricant, so rub it along the door frame and the edges of the door. This step should help loosen things up and make the door stick less to its frame.

15. Seal Paint Cans

open can of pink paint and paint brush
Photo: Isabel Pavia / Moment / Getty Images

It’s smart to keep extra paint around after a project in case you need to touch up a spot later. But what’s not ideal is prying off the lid and finding dried-up paint in the can. Before you seal up paint cans for storage, cut a round piece of wax paper and place it directly on top of the paint to preserve it. You can also wrap paintbrushes in wax paper between coats to keep them from drying out.

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