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The Best Substitutes for Wax Paper You Can Use in Kitchen

Wax paper has many uses in the kitchen. However, it’s not always something people have on deck. It can be difficult to find a good substitute, but they do exist.

From paper towels to beeswax wraps, here are some of the best wax paper alternatives to use.

What Can You Substitute for Wax Paper?

Paper Towels

paper towel

Paper towels are thin and absorbent [1], making them an excellent alternative to wax paper for wrapping sandwiches and other foods. They also work well as makeshift pot holders on a stovetop.

Just be sure to use plain, white paper towels; colored varieties contain dyes that may stain your food or hands.

Aluminum Foil

aluminum foil

One of the reasons why food sticks to waxed paper are because the grease from the food sticks to the paper and coats it with oil.

So if you don’t have any waxed paper on hand for lining a baking sheet, use aluminum foil instead.

You can also line a baking sheet with parchment paper (non-stick paper).

Butter Paper

butter paper

Butter paper is a specialty item that’s explicitly designed to protect your countertops while you spread butter on bread or toast.

It can also be used as a surface protector when rolling out pie dough or cinnamon rolls.

Freezer Paper

freezer paper

Freezer paper is similar to wax paper but has grooved lines printed on one side of the roll that allow air to circulate around the food inside plastic bags or other containers with sealed lids.

Freezer paper can be used as an alternative to regular plastic wrap since it protects against.

Parchment Paper

parchment paper

Parchment paper is an excellent substitute for wax paper, and it works for many of the same tasks, including lining baking sheets.

The most significant difference between parchment and wax paper is that parchment will not let liquids pass through it.

Parchment also has less flexibility than wax, so it’s not ideal for protecting surfaces from spills.

Oil or Butter

Wax paper works well for protecting your countertop from food spills, so why not use oil or butter to do the same?

Just rub a little on the surface of your countertop before placing anything on it. You can also set a few drops of oil in your pan before adding food to prevent sticking.

Beeswax Wraps

beeswax wraps

Beeswax wraps are very similar to standard waxed papers, but they have been infused with beeswax, so they are more pliable than typical waxed papers and more durable.

They tend to last longer than traditional waxed papers because they do not crack as easily when exposed to water or heat.


If you’re looking for a cheap way to cover surfaces while cooking, try crumpling newspapers into balls and placing them over your stove top burners or under pots and pans while in use.

This method works best if you place an old dish towel over the top of them, so they don’t fly away while you’re stirring!

Silicone Rubber Mold

Silicone [2] rubber molds are used to make candy and other treats like homemade ice cream.

You can use them in place of wax paper if you want to keep food fresh without using plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

Silicone rubber molds are reusable and dishwasher-safe, which makes them a good choice for kitchen cooks who want to reduce their environmental impact.

Tracing Paper

Tracing paper is made for use with drawing pencils and pens and is typically used to transfer an image onto another surface, such as fabric or wood.

It comes in many colors, including white and black, which are perfect for food uses since they will not interfere with the color of your foods when wrapped up or baked in pans lined with tracing paper.

Additional Substitutes with Specific Uses

Here some additional substitutes that have more specific uses:

For Freezing

Aluminum foil can be used as a substitute for wax paper when you need to freeze things.

It’s a good idea to use heavy-duty foil, as regular foil tends to get too soft and can tear.

For Steaming

The best wax paper substitute for steaming is plastic wrap.

It is a very thin paper that is coated with a thin layer of wax. It’s used to line baking sheets and pans and to keep food from sticking to other surfaces and melting into them.

For Ironing

The best wax paper substitute for ironing is regular parchment paper.

It’s available in most grocery stores, but it might be easier to find at a specialty kitchen store like Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table.

What makes parchment paper a good substitute? It’s nonstick, so your clothes won’t stick to it.

It’s also heat-resistant up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius), so you can use it with an iron set on high heat.

For Stickers

Plastic wrap is a good substitute for wax paper when making stickers. It’s easy to peel off and can be reused multiple times.

To use, wrap the plastic around the sticker and press down on the corners.

Place the wrapped sticker on a hard surface like a table. Then peel off the plastic wrap.

If you want extra protection, you can use two pieces of plastic wrap instead of one.

For Making Candy

Plastic wrap! Plastic wrap is an easy alternative to wax paper.

The plastic wrap will keep moisture from seeping into cakes, cookies, and other baked goods, but it can’t be used for covering foods that need to be refrigerated.

If you’re making candy that needs to be set up before being eaten (like caramel or chocolate), plastic wrap can help with this process.

FAQs About Wax Paper

Can you put wax paper in the oven?

Wax paper cannot be used for baking, and it is used for only one thing – keeping items from sticking to each other.

If you’re looking for an alternative, use parchment paper instead.

You may like: Can You Put Cardboard in the Oven?

Is wax paper the same as parchment paper?

No. Parchment paper is made from cellulose fiber and is often made with recycled materials such as newspaper or cardboard.

Wax paper is typically made from paraffin wax (paraffin is a petroleum by-product) and can be bleached or unbleached, depending on what type of wax you prefer.

Both products do serve similar purposes but have different applications.

Can you put wax paper in an air fryer?

Yes, you can! Make sure that both sides of your food are covered with a layer of wax paper before placing it into your air fryer, though: This will prevent oil splashes when cooking!

You may like: Can You Put Parchment Paper in an Air Fryer?

Can you bake cookies on wax paper?

Yes, but only if they go straight into the oven! If you want to bake cookies on a cookie sheet first

Final Thoughts

Wax paper is a valuable material to have around the house, but it isn’t essential, and it can be a bit expensive. 

So it’s good to know what substitutes you can use instead of buying wax paper.

I’m Jennifer Schlette, a Registered Dietitian and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I love cooking, reading, and my kids! Here you’ll find the healthiest recipes & substitutions for your cooking. Enjoy, and be well, friends!

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