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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

How to Wax Cheese for Long(er) Term Storage

Original Article:

A while back I posted an article on long-term storage options for cheese—Parmesan, powdered, freeze-dried, etc. And I mentioned waxing cheese, but without going into any details. Today, we’ll learn how to wax cheese so that it can last for years.

First off, it’s important to begin with cheese wax. Paraffin is susceptible to cracking, which would let microbes in to spoil the cheese. Beeswax can work, but it’s a bit fragile and requires special attention. It’s generally not strong enough to protect the cheese unless it is handled very carefully.[1] Fortunately, cheese wax is a one-time investment, as it can be cleaned and melted again to re-use later.

You’ll also want:
Food handling gloves (so that you don’t transfer microbes from your hands to the cheese)
Double boiler for melting the cheese wax—perhaps a clean metal can
Parchment paper
Brush (for filling in empty spots)


The process for waxing cheese is really pretty simple and straightforward.

Cut the cheese into smaller blocks. I prefer the size I want for a meal, just in case there is no electricity for refrigeration later. I don’t normally use more than ½ pound at a time, so that’s the size I aim for. When the kids are all out on their own, I’ll probably wax smaller blocks. Do what works for you and your family.

Dip the cheese in either vinegar or a brine solution (1 teaspoon salt per cup of water) to kill any bacteria on the cheese surface. Let dry completely on parchment paper before waxing.

Melt the wax in a double boiler. Use a can or pot large enough to hold the melted wax and with space to spare for dipping the cheese blocks.

Freeze the cheese blocks for about 15 minutes. This will make dipping easier and help the wax layers harden more quickly.

Dip the cheese.[2] Dip a block of cheese halfway into the wax, hold it there for 6 seconds (to kill bacteria), and set it cheese side down on parchment paper to dry briefly. Then pick up the waxed end and dip the unwaxed end in the wax, and set the end you waxed first on parchment to dry. Repeat this process until you have 3-4 coats of wax. For best results, apply repeat coats when the previous coat of wax is dry but still warm.

Attach a label before dipping in the final coat of wax. Alternatively, use a brush to apply a little wax, affix the label, and then brush over the top of the label with additional wax.

Store cheese blocks in a cool, dry, dark place. I still keep mine in the refrigerator.

You can buy cheese wax on Amazon; it runs about $12 per pound. It’s about half that at, but you know, it doesn’t come with “free” shipping.

Notes. Cheese wax is difficult to remove from pots and utensils. If at all possible, use a metal can for your double boiler and a disposable brush.

Links to related posts:

TEOTWAWKI Options for Cheese

TEOTWAWKI Butter Options



[2] Some advocate using a brush to apply the wax to the cheese. While that method does have certain advantages (you don’t have to heat as much wax), it also allows the wax to cool a bit and it won’t be hot enough to kill any mold spores. Since we’re doing this for longer-term storage, it’s important to get every advantage we can to eliminate any potential bacteria.

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