Why You Shouldn’t Keep Plastic Wrap in a Drawer
That sticky ball of plastic wrap isn't doing anyone any good. Stop ruining your plastic wrap with this simple trick.
If you’ve used plastic wrap before, chances are you’ve struggled with the universal problem. The sticky food saver might just be too sticky. You’re trying to stick it to the bowl or pan but the wrap seems to be a lot more interested in sticking to itself. And since you should never wrap your leftovers in aluminum foil, you’re stuck wrestling with the thin sheets of plastic.
According to Lynell Ross, certified health and wellness coach and nutritionist trained in food safety, the problem may not be your brand, it might just be how you’re storing it. Most of us slide our plastic wrap in a kitchen drawer or cupboard, right next to the aluminum foil and wax paper, but Ross recommends something a little different: store plastic wrap in your freezer. “The cold air in the freezer makes the plastic wrap much easier to handle. By freezing the plastic wrap the molecular structure of it changes, causing the surface to weaken chemical bonds,” Ross told Reader’s Digest.
Plastic wrap is usually made of polyvinylidene chloride (PVC) or polyethylene, materials that, when cut thinly like plastic wrap is, tend to attract static. Many brands of plastic wrap add adhesive to increase stickiness. According to Ross, both should be lessened by the cold temperature. “The cold will eliminate some of the static electricity, which helps prevent the plastic from sticking to itself, making it much easier to unroll and use, and we know how infuriating it can be to fight with sticky plastic wrap.”
Ross isn’t the only one. U.K. based food writer Liana of Liana’s Kitchen learned this trick from her mother-in-law. “I find it regains its stickiness within about one minute of being out of the freezer, which is perfect timing for getting whatever I need wrapped or covered up,” Liana said. “If ever I am out of freezer space I’ll just pop the plastic wrap in about 10 to 15 minutes before I need it. This is usually enough time for the freezer to work its magic.”
“It is safe to put the plastic wrap in the freezer, and in addition, when you double wrap foods that you bring home from the supermarket, you prevent freezer burn,” Ross added. “The thin plastic on meat and poultry from the grocery store is too thin to protect foods well.” Here’s what you need to know about eating foods with freezer burn.
Now that your plastic wrap is a lot less sticky, it will unroll a lot more quickly than you are used to. Be sure to use the tabs on the sides of the box to help control the roll in order to keep from pulling out half the plastic wrap in one go.
- Lynell Ross, certified health and wellness coach and nutritionist trained in food safety
- Liana Green, U.K. based food writer and founder of Liana’s Kitchen