Heritage Hints From Mama: Uses For Waxed Paper


I’m excited to have my Mama with us today! She has a lot of wisdom to share. Be sure and click on some of her other posts at the bottom after you read this one :)



Hello Everyone!

My name is Janice, better known as Mama.  You are welcome to adopt me as your go to Mama and I’ll attempt to answer any of your questions.  I will be here to pass on my years of learning by trial and error.  Today I thought I would pass on some of the many uses for wax paper.

Now some of you young people may not have a roll of wax paper in your kitchen but I am from a different generation who used it to wrap sandwiches.  You see we did not have all sizes of zipper bags: snack size, sandwich size and now even large sizes for storing bedspreads and the like.  We used wax paper primarily to wrap sandwiches for our lunches.  Over the years, I have found a few different uses for wax paper.

One of my favorite uses is to put it under batters to catch the drips.  I use a batter bowl to mix up pancake batter.  The bowl has a lip on it so that you can pour the batter into the pan.  After you pour the batter, there is always a little that drips from the lip onto the counter.  If you wait to wipe it up, it becomes similar to concrete and takes a lot of scrubbing to get it up.  Just put a small piece of wax paper on the counter underneath the bowl and you don’t have to worry about the drips.  Just wad it up and throw it away when you clean up.

I also slice tomatoes and potatoes over a piece of wax paper and then just gather it up with the peelings still on it and throw it away.  It saves having to mess up a bowl or messing up the counter with the peelings (Those thin plastic grocery store bags are good for this as well).

If you are icing a cake, cut three small pieces and slide them underneath the edges.  After you finish icing the cake, slowly pull them out and the cake plate will be clean as a whistle. (By the way, who knows how clean a whistle is? I’ve always wondered about that!)

I have another wonderful use of wax paper that saves having to get up on a stool or ladder to clean the tops of your cabinets.  If your cabinets do not go all the way to the ceiling, cut a long piece of wax paper to lay on the top of the cabinets.  My cabinets are a little narrower than the wax paper.  I just cut the length and then fold about an inch under and lay it on top of the cabinets.  If you want to display things on top of the cabinets, just set them on top of the wax paper.  When you get ready to clean the top of your cabinets, just roll the wax paper up, throw it away and cut another piece to fit.  It sure cuts down the time that you would usually spend cleaning the greasy cabinet tops!  Ideally, you should probably change the wax paper every three months or so but I promise I will not drop in to see if you want to do it once a year.  No one will know but you.

Now, in closing, I’ll leave you with a tip that most of you probably know.  I just discovered it last year and it has made a real difference!  Most rolls of wax paper, aluminum foil and plastic wrap have a tab on each end of the box that you can push in.  It keeps the roll from falling out of the box when you are rolling the product out to cut it.  I guess if I had time to read the boxes, I would have known this sooner.  Oh well, at least I found out about it before I turned seventy!  You see there is a bright side to everything!

Let me know if you have other uses for wax paper or if you discover a time saver for the home.  We’re all here to learn together.  I’m sure everyone would love a few timesavers and shortcuts.

In the meantime, I need your help. Is there anything in particular you’d like me to write about? I enjoy visiting with y’all but I want to share useful information that you’ll enjoy so your ideas are welcome! Please share them in the comments along with any other great ideas for waxed paper uses. We’d love to hear them!

Take care and remember Mama loves you!


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  1. Pam says

    Hi Mama Janice,

    Thank you for a great post. I am 57 and like you, I did not know there were “tabs” at the end of the boxes of wraps to hold them in place. I found out by accident—if I had only realized earlier, how much easier it would have been to have stored family-dinner leftovers. What a great marketing campaign you and Reynolds can help show everyone else. I think you would be an excellent spokeswoman for them.

  2. Jane Cohn says

    One idea for waxed paper…Run your hot iron over a piece. The wax on the paper does a good job of getting spray starch off.
    I use waxed paper for loads of thing. I have never wrapped a sandwich in it.
    Thanks for your ideas.

  3. Heather says

    Wax paper is the best! My MIL uses it to separate layers of homemade cookies in the Tupperware container my kids are always happy to see when she visits…
    I make a lot of packed school lunches every morning, a sheet of waxed paper makes a nice surface to corral the sandwich crumbs and mess. Can usually reuse too.

  4. Ann says

    Thanks, Mama, enjoyed your article so much. You know, my husband showed me the tabs on the end of the boxes a while back (I am 64). I had never even noticed them either!!! Just goes to show, “we are never too old to learn”. Thanks for sharing all your wisdom with us. Keep the posts coming!!

  5. Jerrie says

    My hint is to turn your cake pan upside down and make a circle on your waxed paper and then put in the bottom of the pan never sticks and cakes are lovely when you peel the waxed paper off them.

  6. Janice says

    I use wax paper when I need to bread anything before frying. Just put flour and/or bread crumbs directly on the wax paper and toss when finished. I have used plastic bags for this also but it seems to take so much more flour to do it that way and the bags are way more expensive than wax paper.

  7. Grace says

    Great post, mama Janice. I still buy the wax paper because while growing up, my mom always used it. Mom also used the wax paper when frosting cakes. Another use by her was for making our lunch sandwiches in the Am in bulk. She’d line up all the Wonder white bread, put the spread, asking us ” mayo or mustard”, then the domestic ham slices, or bologna, and finally the top slice, each sandwich wrapped in wax paper or there was ” wax” sandwich size bags that fold over. In fact, at mom’ s house there is still a single box of the wax paper bags right next to the ziplock plastic baggies.
    Wax paper also used for rolling out cookie dough to do the cut- outs.
    I used it last week for crushing graham crackers for crumbs by placing crackers in between and rolling my grandma’s rolling pin, ( for beach theme cupcakes using Teddy Graham’s, and Life saver’s tummies, etc. ) . A post on summer in the yard activities with your grand kids , cooking, decorating, economical tips.

  8. Lisa says

    My thought as I read the tab part was….”not on the cheap, off-brands I use, I’d have noticed by now as much as I use parchment, aluminum foil, cling, and wax paper.” I just went and checked them all and the tabs are there. Mama I will never doubt you again!

  9. Judy Ann says

    “Mama” is from the era I am from…Wax paper wrapped sandwiches were the norm for us. The wax paper always kept the bread soft and fresh! Like previous poster, I learned at an early age to cut the “cake pan” circles when baking a cake. It peels right off when the cake is cooled too~
    My favorite use for “wax paper” is to make a small ball of it and use it to scoop out some Crisco to grease any pan from cookie sheets to pans for cornbread.

    I absolutely LOVE the tip for the top of the cabinets! I will be cleaning them and placing some wax paper on them this weekend! What a wonderful tip. It is perfect for protecting the counter top from spills etc as well…such a useful product that I grew up with and it is still available to purchase..It stood the test of time!!

  10. Sarah Froemming says

    I learned to cook without measuring so I use a small piece of wax paper and about a tablespoon of raw meatloaf, macaroni and cheese or whatever . Put the food on thewax paper and into Micowave on low/med temperture. Cook and taste for seasoning before baking.

    I also use wax paper with flour on it to coat meat before frying.

    Use a double layer in vegetable bin of fridge to make easier cleanup if something goes bad before use.

    Use waxpaper to clean iron plate if scorched from starch.

    You can also use it between delicate fabric and sewing machine foot to protect fabric. when sewing.

    You can also use it to rub a light coat of wax on sewing needles and other things to make them easier to use. and top of drawers to make easier to slde into chest etc.

    There are many more ways to use it also. My mother used it for everything. That was the only kitchen paper she bought.

  11. Marnie says

    My sister just shared with me a tip she learned from working at WalMart. They rub wax paper on the top of their racks to help the hangers slide smoothly. She recently used that idea on her curtain rods to help the hooks slide better. Worked like a charm! I also use wax paper on the counter when I make my MIL’s famous caramel popcorn. I just pour it on the paper to cool. YUM

  12. Kathy says

    I, too, use waxpaper to line cake pans, put it on the counter to roll pie crusts and pat out biscuit dough, and peel potatoes and such on it. When I was a kid we had metal slides and would rub the slide with waxpaper to make it more slippery. It really did work and you would slide down much, much faster!

  13. Patty Barger says

    Thanks for the tip about the tabs on the box ends. I never knew that and the roll is always falling out of the box! My mama is 76 and is the Queen of penny pinching. Cereal bags are made from wax paper and she recycles them. She cuts them out into sheets and uses them just as you would wax paper on a roll. She also leaves them as bags and stores cookies, other homemade goodies, and sandwiches in them!

  14. Pam Elkin says

    Hi Mama,

    This is a WONDERFUL POST!!! These are very helpful! I always keep wax paper but have to admit that I do not use it very often. I like it for rolling out biscuit dough. We used a lot of wax paper when I was growing up.

    I always enjoy your posts. You are beautiful and so sweet, just like your precious daughter!! Mamas sure are special!. Anything that you want to share with us is fine with me. Good Mama advice is the best. My Mother has taught me so much.

    So good to hear from you and God bless you always!

    Love to you and Christy!

  15. Ruth E Chidley says

    I, too, grew-up using waxed paper for most everything thus far mentioned. One use for waxed paper I learned after getting a microwave was to put a sheet over any food I might be warming so if there was any popping or splattering, it will hit the waxed paper and not the top or sides of the microwave….then you just wad-up and throw away…so nice and easy. : )
    Thank you Mama Janice for the very fun and informational blog. You can share anything on your little “pea pickin’ heart”….hmmmm….I didn’t know our hearts could pick peas! : )

  16. Summer says

    Love this post – so many things to do with wax paper that I never thought of. I tend to be very “green” and think about the environment (I make a lot of my cleaning products with vinegar and natural soaps)…just wanted to say that as a bonus, wax paper is so much kinder to the environment. You can even put it in a compost heap. It breaks down faster than a lot of other things, surprisingly. MUCH better than grocery bags or plastic storage bags! Kind to the budget AND the planet – that’s a win-win!

  17. Evonne says

    I remember as a kid, when my mom baked a cake, she would trace around her cake pan on a piece of wax paper, cut that out, and lay it in the pan, and then poured the batter in. After baking, she turned the cake out, and peeled off the wax paper! Wa-La! Seemed to work everytime. I have also seen her use brown paper in the same way.

  18. Samantha says

    Thanks for the tip about the tabs in the boxes of wax paper, plastic wrap, and aluminum foil. I immediately ran to my drawer with the wraps and checked the boxes. I can’t believe that I’ve never noticed that before!

    When making Christmas cookies that I store in cookie tins, I trace the tin on wax paper and then cut a circle of the wax paper to uses as a liner in the tin. It makes it easier to clean the tins out when empty.

    I also use wax paper to cover food in the microwave. Like Ruth said, it cuts down on the splatters and helps keep the microwave clean.

    That’s a good idea to put wax paper on the top of kitchen cabinets that don’t reach the ceiling. My grandmother used to line the tops of her cabinets too, but she used paper towels.

    Love this post. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Karen says

    When my daughter was a baby, I set her carrier on the kitchen table while I cooked supper. To occupy her, I gave her a sheet of waxed paper which she delighted in crumpling to hear the crinkly sound.

    My mother wrapped my recess snacks in wax paper when I was in grammar school. My favorite was Nilla wafers with peanut butter!

  20. lyndell says

    My husband and I use it to cool chocolate pretzels, and other candy. I always use it on top of my cooling rack for cookies and cakes. Makes it easier to move layers of cake. Didn’t know about the taps! Thank you!

  21. Mama Judy says

    I am 76 and also grew up with wax paper & the many uses for it. In the “olden days” we used what we had and thought nothing of it. One of my many uses that has not been mention here YET..is to wad up a ball and cram it into a shot glass, when you want to use a pin or needle (any kind of pin from a brooch to a safety pin) just jab the pin or needle into the wax paper wad a few times, and you will have a much easier time inserting the pin into fabric…(“In the day” I used it keep my babies diaper pins slick so as to go into the diaper fast & easy) As an aside, if you are somewhere that wax paper is not handy and you have to use a safety pin in an emergency, just run the pin thru your hair and the invisable oil from your hair will serve the same purpose. (how many of you out there even remember diaper pins?) Thanks for this blog…MamaJudy

  22. PL C says

    I use wax paper to separate leftover waffles to freeze, and to separate layers of iced Christmas cookies in the cookie tins. When working on a colored pencil drawing, I rest my working hand on a sheet of wax paper; otherwise, my hand smudges the work in progress. Many colored pencils are wax-based, so there’s no incompatibility, and the natural oils of my hand won’t inhibit blending I intentionally want to do. Of course, there’s the old grade school craft of grating old crayon stubs and sprinkling them between wax paper layers, then ironing to melt. Made great ‘stained windows’ for any reason/season.

  23. Lisa Riley says

    I am messy in the kitchen. I get a bunch of recipes going at the same time and stuff starts flying. A lot of the things you have to measure in the kitchen are expensive – like spices…so I measure over a piece of waxed paper, then lift that wax paper and tip the spillage back into the jar. NO WASTE!

  24. Gloria Decker says

    My husband is on a diet. Everything has to be measured or weighed. I pull out a piece of wax paper, cut it in half, then set it on top of the scale. Save the other half for use later. After measuring, I use the wax paper to move the food to the bowl, or plate, or stove. No mess, no drips. Just throw it away!!

  25. Annette says

    Love all the uses for wax paper that everyone has shared. In our house we always use it to cover food when warming in the microwave. It was a rule with our family that if you made a mess in the microwave, you had to clean up all those splatters yourself. Our kids are all grown now with families of their own, but it didn’t take long for them to learn that it was much easier to cover your food with wax paper instead of cleaning the microwave!
    Another thing I use wax paper for is to put a piece on the counter to lay my egg shells on when mixing a recipe. Less mess to scrunch up the wax paper with the egg shells on and toss the whole thing in the trash. Also works great the same way when cooking eggs on the stove. Keeps all that egg mess in one place and then just throw away the wax paper and all those egg shells at once.

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