You likely have some wax paper hanging around your kitchen and maybe some parchment paper, too—but it’s important to remember they’re different things with different uses. The coating on wax paper is flammable, whereas parchment paper can be put in the oven, so you might think wax paper is more useless than its peer. But you would be wrong. In fact, it can do more things around the house than you ever realized: Here are a few.
Replace Swiffer sheets
Swiffers are versatile little cleaning devices, but if there’s one drawback to using them, it’s the fact that you have to shell out money on replacement pads all the time. Well, actually, you don’t: If you’re just using the Swiffer to dust, there’s no reason not to slap some wax paper on it, which can attract dirt and grime just as well as the dry pads.
Clean your can opener
Just as you use a paper towel to clean your sewing machine, you can use a piece of wax paper to clean your can opener. Per the Family Handyman, you should fold the paper a few times so it thickens up, then clamp your can opener onto one of the edges and turn the handle a few times, just like you were opening a can. Then, proceed to wash it as normal. You might be surprised by how much gunk is hiding in the crevices.
We love this tip from Angi: Because a wine cork expands once you yank it out of the bottle (plus it can be a little crumbly), sticking it back in when you’re done drinking is hard at best and unpalatable at worst, considering those little bits of cork could fall into the remaining liquid. Wrapping the cork in wax paper eliminates both problems by making the cork grippier and providing a tighter seal while also preventing debris from mixing with your prized vino. Plus, it’s easier to pull out when you want to go back for another round.
Shine up appliances
After you’ve given your steel appliances a good cleaning (may we recommend using Bar Keepers Friend?) go back through with a piece of wax paper to give them a final buff. You’ll remove any remaining dust, add some shine, and deposit a little waxy residue that will, in turn, protect them from future run-ins with dirt and grime, according to House Digest. The waxiness will make water and other messes slide or wipe right off—at least for a while. Try this not only on the oven and fridge, but on your sink, faucets, drawer pulls, and shower knobs. (Taste of Home also recommends this trick to seal your wooden cookware, like spoons and bowls.)
Quick hit tips
There are some other, easier uses for wax paper that need less explanation but could get your brain moving in the right direction while considering what else you can do with it:Line your refrigerator shelves with wax paper for easy clean-up (like you might with cling wrap).Form a quick, impermeable funnel to make pouring liquids in the kitchen easier.Line hard-to-see areas that collect dust, such as above the fridge or cupboards, then toss the paper when it gets dusty.
Now feel free to buy this stuff in bulk because you finally know you’re going to use it all.