13 Genius Uses for Wax Paper

It's been the sandwich-wrapper of choice for generations. Find out what else you can do with a sheet of wax paper.

Roll of wax paper on a countertopPhoto: Taste of Home
Photo: Taste of Home

When I was a kid, my mom was awesome at packing school lunches that never got boring. One thing I could count on: If there was a sandwich in my lunch box, it was neatly wrapped in wax paper. Now that I have my own house (and a Pinterest account), I’ve discovered lots of other uses for this waterproof paper that go way beyond PB&J.

1. Line cabinets.

Many people use it to line cabinet shelves, but don’t forget the tops. Wax paper is great at grabbing dust (see No. 5) so instead of scrubbing every couple of months, you’ll just have to replace the paper. Try it on top of your fridge, too.

2. Polish faucets.

Wipe down chrome faucets, knobs or other fixtures with a piece of wax paper to keep them fingerprint and water-spot free. (Heads-up…turns out, dryer sheets work for this, too!)

3. Clean a can opener.

Rub the wax onto the can-opener gears to keep the blade rolling smoothly. It will keep the can edges from becoming dangerously jagged.

4. Seal wooden utensils.

Protect wooden spoons, spatulas and the like by buffing them with a balled-up piece of wax paper. Try it on wooden serving bowls and cutting boards, too.

5. Form a funnel.

Roll a piece of paper into a cone, insert it into a jar and pour in the contents. Refilling jars with everything from spices to hardware just got a whole lot easier. Plus, you can just toss the wax paper afterward.

6. Nix microwave splatter.

Cover food with a sheet of wax paper to catch saucy splatter before it gets all over your microwave. It’s 100 percent microwave safe, unlike some plastics.

7. Cork a wine bottle.

Before you seal a bottle of wine for the night, wrap a little piece of wax paper around the cork so it will be easier to pop open next time. Plus, the wax will stick to the bottleneck, creating an even tighter seal. (Tighter seal = fresher wine.)

8. Un-stick a zipper.

Rub the teeth of a zipper with wax paper to give it extra sliding power. Get the wax as close to the pull as you can.

9. Help curtains glide.

Swipe wax paper across a curtain rod so your drapes will slide open and closed smoothly. (Think of all the hassle that could’ve been avoided on Twin Peaks if Nadine had known about this trick.)

10. Grab dust.

Out of Swiffer Sweeper cloths? Fit the sweeper with a sheet of wax paper to pick up dust like a charm.

11. Tune up an iron.

Help your iron sail across fabrics by waxing the soleplate (the metal part) with wax paper.

12. Start a fire.

Shredded wax paper is an awesome stand-in for kindling. If you don’t feel like searching for pine needles or bark when you’re on a camping trip, bring along a zip-top bag filled with strips of it to get to the s’mores making faster.

13. Protect candles.

When storing pillar or votive candles, roll them in this handy paper to keep the dyes from leeching into other candles or linens nearby.

Do you call it wax paper or waxed paper? Turns out it could be a regional thing. Find out what other food words you use are determined by where you grew up.

No matter what you call it, get yourself a roll of wax paper so you can get in on these homekeeping hacks.

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Ellie Martin Cliffe
Now a deputy editor at Taste of Home, Ellie has been writing about food and parenting for the last decade. When she isn't at TOH HQ, she's likely trying gluten- and dairy-free recipes, canning whatever's in season, listening to anything with a fiddle, or playing Uno with her family.