FAQs

What does KHALA mean?

Khala ཁ་ལག། means food in Tibetan. Why did we choose this name? Because Khala & Company's co-founder Tamar McKee spent many years working in Tibetan communities and wanted to pay homage to the many meals and companionship generously shared with her.

Did Khala & Co invent beeswax wraps?

We wish we could take credit...but truthfully no one can! Historically, beeswax was used by the Egyptians for preserving all sorts of things, including food. In the early 1900s, oil cloths and beeswax-infused cloth were used over jars and containers for a variety of purposes including food storage. We took this time-honored practice and re-invented it, creating the original Coconut-oil Beeswax wrap, and the first ever Hemp based Vegan wax wrap!  

 

How long will a Khala Cloth last?
“My last batch are still going strong (2 years old!) and I find they work better the more you use them. They become more adhesive and easier to clean.”
“This is a refill order for me after buying my first set of khala cloths a year ago- and they are still going strong.”

The life of your Khala Cloths will depend on the care received. Following our Care & Use instructions, these Beeswax and Vegan wax wraps can last up to a year! When your wraps have become old and worn, don’t fret. They have many other uses in their second life, too.

  • Cut into strips, Khala Cloths make great fire starters for camping or use as a twisty tie.
  • Repurpose them as a campsite or picnic placemat.
  • Use them to help open jar lids.
  • If you wish to compost your Khala Cloth, first cut into strips before composting. We also find that worn out Khala Cloths make great toppers to our kitchen compost pail, but that is just our system!

All in all, our wraps are designed to give as much service as possible before they are truly un-useable, and even at the end of its productive life, Khala Cloths can be reborn as part of your compost. As we like to say - from Mother Earth, back to Mother Earth.

Help! My wrap isn’t sticking!

When Khala Cloths are first made, they have a brand new ‘stiffness’ that rugged feel is because they are designed to last! They just needs some breaking in. This is largely addressed (with video available) under our Care & Use page, but for some quick tips, here’s what to do to get them ready for use:

  • Wash them! Use cool water, a little eco-friendly soap, and put in a place to hang dry where they are away from direct heat.
  • Work them! When wrapping over a bowl, make sure that the cloth is folding over itself so it can stick to itself as well as the lip of the bowl, then use the heat of your hands to warm the wax and mold it around the edges, pressing firmly.
  • Still not getting a tight seal? We suggest twisting the cloth edges to get a tight fit.

Finally, remember that our wraps are wax based, and so respond to temperature. The fridge will cool the wax and make them stiffer, especially when they are brand new. Give your Khala Cloths some time to break in they are designed to be durable and resilient!

What are Khala Cloths made of?

We take pains to be certain that our Khala Cloths are made from all organic and natural ingredients, whether they are Beeswax or Vegan based.

We use certified organic cotton, hemp blend fabric as the basis for all of our wraps. The Beeswax blend uses organic and locally sourced Beeswax, blended with organic Coconut oil and Tree Resin. Our Vegan wax wraps are made from 100% plant based waxes and oils, including consciously-sourced Soy wax, Jojoba, Coconut oil, and Tree Resin.

All of our prints are Oeko-Tex certified, meaning they are without dyes or materials considered harmful to human health. We know how hard our customers are trying to be sustainable and healthy and hold ourselves to a high standard to meet those goals!

Why use Hemp?
“…hemp is planted in dense crops not allowing sun light to penetrate, which reduces weed growth by 95%, eliminating the need for herbicides… Hemp is an ideal rotation crop due to its long taproot structure that helps retain topsoil, while also replenishing soil quality due to the natural leaf composting that regenerates vital elements in the soil.” – EnviroTextiles LLC
“It is estimated that cotton accounts for 10 percent of pesticide use and 25 percent of insecticides globally, while hemp, due to its resilience, requires very few chemicals to grow.” – Natán Ponieman and Javier Hasse via ámbito and GreenEntrepenuer
“Recently, a series of tests has been conducted on hemp hurd for its antibacterial activity, and strong antibacterial activity is shown against E. coli. This finding reveals tremendous opportunity of hemp hurd to be used in functional applications.” – Antibacterial properties of Hemp and Other Natural Fibre Plants: a Review

This is a big question, and we have a blog post coming soon dedicated to this exact subject! To keep it short here, hemp is a great crop that doesn’t get enough credit. Not only can you use every part of the plant for something (the different applications are staggering in number), but organic hemp also has a carbon footprint on par with organic cotton, while using ½ the land and ¼ the water required for processing. It’s a pretty fantastic little plant, and so we use it in our fabric as the basis for our wraps.

Can I just make my own?
“I got a few of these last summer in an attempt to rid my life of plastic. They were awesome. Then I decided I would try to make my own. Way too much work to get it right. Then I thought I would save money and bought cheaper ones. They didn't work, too thin, and no stick. You get what you pay for so now I am only buying Khala!”

Khala & Co.’s wraps are made with specific materials and equipment designed to allow it to adhere well to surfaces. We’ve been making wax wraps for a decade and have perfected the art to offer great design and functionality. Best yet, because of the materials we use, our wax wraps will last longer than most homemade wraps. Khala & Co. prides itself in creating very durable, affordable, and sustainable wraps.

What to do with my small wraps?
“I’ve used them for covering plates, bowls and used the small one to wrap up half a jalapeño! When it was unwrapped, there was absolutely no odor on the cloth!! They wash easily and I’ve folded whichever ones are not being used together so they’re easy to store. I’m glad I finally tried them.”
“We use them on everything, including my filtered water jug”
“I used the beeswax wrap for a cut-in-half tomato. It lasted FOUR days in the wrap without getting mushy or spoiled.”

The smaller wrap sizes are ideal for taking care of partially used fruit and vegetables. Picture a half a cucumber, onion, ginger root, avocado, lemon etc; cover the cut end with a Khala Cloth and maintain the produce’s freshness for 5-7 days in the fridge. You can also cover jars, or fold into bags to enclose snacks. For more information on food storage with our wraps, you can check out our blog post here!

Are your wraps antibacterial?

Beeswax is known to have antibacterial properties against certain strains of Staphylococcus and Salmonella bacteria. Coconut Oil, an ingredient in the blend of both our Beeswax and Vegan wax blends, contains alkaloids and saponins which are known to have antibacterial effects. A 2018 Report on Edible Films and Coatings noted that Coconut Oil was shown to have some antifungal properties when spread on the surface of produce. Jojoba oil, another ingredient found in our Vegan Wax blends, is in the tentative stages of showing antibacterial resistant properties.

All of this is to say we cannot put a label on our wraps saying they are 100% antibacterial, but ingredients in the wraps have antibacterial properties, specifically against bacteria that causes food borne illness, and therefore our wraps have some of these properties as well.

Why are Khala Cloths not white?

Simple! We try to find the most environmentally friendly fabrics that we can get, and that means that we avoid using heavily bleached fabric or whitened beeswax. The use of bleach in the manufacturing process of textiles both produces toxic by-products and requires lots of water. While there are eco-friendly alternative methods being developed, they are not widely spread or cheap enough for us to find fabric bleached with this method, so we prefer to find the next best eco friendly option, which is why our fabric is a bit darker in color.

For our Beeswax, the answer is simpler still; We just don’t think that lightening the color is necessary. It doesn’t amplify the quality of the Beeswax, or aid in its ability to keep food fresh, so it is ultimately a question of time and aesthetic. We find that our prints are still clear and colorful through the slight sepia tinge that the wax lends, and if you’re into that cottagecore look, these wraps will fit your kitchen perfectly.

Yes, if we wanted to industrially process both the wax and fabric, we could make it white. But honestly, we do this for Mother Earth and the simple method has less environmental impact. 

Do the Beeswax or Vegan wraps smell?
“Smell good out of the package (I know that sounds strange but when you smell them you’ll see what I mean)”
“Plus they smell amazing, beeswax is one of my favorite smells on earth.”

Both of our wax blends do have a mild scent. Our Beeswax wraps smell, perhaps not surprisingly, lightly of Beeswax! Since we use naturally-filtered organic beeswax, our wraps will give you a faint wafting of honey scent. The nectar collected by the bees can create slightly different sweet smells (which we love, and so do the bees! There have been times when we leave the doors open for a breeze, and inquisitive bees have flown in to check out the apparently massive hive in their neighborhood).

As for the Vegan wraps, they smell lightly of flowers! We find that the scent is strongest when first opened, but dissipates quickly, especially after washing (this can take away the tacky feeling some batches can have, too).

Do your wraps pick up smell over time?
“I’ve used them for covering plates, bowls and used the small one to wrap up half a jalapeño! When it was unwrapped, there was absolutely no odor on the cloth!! They wash easily and I’ve folded whichever ones are not being used together so they’re easy to store. I’m glad I finally tried them.” 

Our wraps do not pickup odor over time. They may begin to lose some of their inherent scent, either  honey or floral depending on the wax blend you get, but this scent will not leach into the food you are storing either.

How do I track my order?

When your order is shipped you will receive an email from hello(at)khalaco.com with your tracking number. Please make sure you have marked this address as a safe sender so it doesn't end up in your spam or junk folder!

Why a Khala Cloth and not plastic?
“It [plastic] turns out not just to have floated across the oceans, but has sunk to the deepest parts of the sea floor. This is not a sign that our planet is in a healthy condition…” – Jan Zalasiewicz PhD, Leicester University

If you’re looking to live more sustainably, this is a great question and usually the deal breaker. We’ve taken the care to be certain that our wraps use dyes, fabric, waxes and oils that are sustainably sourced so they have as little environmental impact as possible on their way into the world, but also make our wraps truly biodegradable, so they have as little impact on their way out of the world as possible. In 100 years, you won’t find our wraps clogging the ocean, flying through the air having escaped from a landfill, or carelessly littered at a campsite, and that’s not something you can say for any plastic food packaging out there. Similarly, after you feel that you’ve gotten the most use out of the wrap as is possible, you can recycle it for other uses (which you can find under our FAQ, How Long will a Khala Cloth Last?).

In America, 143.55 million households used 1-2 boxes of plastic wrap in a six month period alone. That’s a 75 foot long piece of plastic, 143.55 million times over, biannually. You can re-use our wraps in a variety of ways for up to a year, from covering leftovers to folding into a bag, to wrapping up some goodies. This versatility means our cloths can replace not only plastic wrap/ aluminum foil as well as plastic baggies from your kitchen. With the bonus of the longevity of our wraps, you will not only be preventing such a heinous amount of plastic from entering the environment, you’ll be saving money by not purchasing single-use alternatives multiple times throughout the year.

If you’re worried about how well the wraps work in comparison to plastic wrap, let us put your mind at ease. Our wraps are breathable, allowing air flow instead of trapping in moisture like plastic wrap. Why is this good? When moisture gets trapped, it causes your food to smother and rot faster. By using a Khala Cloth, you can extend the shelf life of your food, by up to 5-7 days in some cases!

Looking to learn more about ways to reduce plastic in your life? A quick google search will give you hundreds of tips, but we also have some tips for you in our blog section! We recommend Ecofriendly Swaps to Go Zero Waste and The Truth About “Compostable” Plastic.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of plastic wrap that I've saved with even a few of the Khala food wraps and I will definitely be buying more in the future!”
“I bought these packs for my mom and mom-in-law for Mother’s Day. Both are trying to reduce their carbon footprint and stay away from chemicals and plastics in their food. They loved their gifts.”
“They are so user friendly and environment friendly that I use them frequently”
“Khala cloths are the answer to single use plastic for me.”
Why use a cloth coffee filter and not a paper one?
The use I get out of one is amazing, I can’t believe I never had this.”
“It does seem to change the flavor of the coffee a bit, capturing some of the bitterness and leaving a smoother taste.”
“I compost my e filters and coffee grounds so I debated purchasing these. I am so glad I did. Both my husband and I agree the coffee tastes better.”
“These work great, they're so simple to rinse out after each use, and soak/wash when needed. I cringe to think of all the coffee filters I put in the trash after all of these years, but I am SO glad I can at least gradually start tackling one unsustainable habit after another. And this is a super-easy place to start!!”

In the same spirit as our wax wraps, our 100% organic cotton blend coffee filters are meant to replace single-use items in your life by helping you go paperless! Coffee is the morning ritual of choice for 64% of Americans. Unfortunately, that requires a new coffee filter every morning, and while you’re probably using a paper disposable and not plastic, the continual demand for more paper puts the same strain on resources that other paper products do. Paper cups alone produce a disturbing amount of CO2 emissions, one pound for every four cups produced!

Replacing a paper filter with a cloth one that can be used over the course of a year will greatly reduce your carbon footprint, and some of our customers even find they enjoy the taste of coffee better when filtered through cloth. We offer a discount of buy one, get one 25% off if you buy a set of two, so if you and a friend are looking for a sign to take the leap and going paperless, here’s your chance! Check out our product page for more details.

What is your packaging made of?

Our packaging is made of 100% post-consumer recycled paper materials and is manufactured by a local family in Denver, Colorado. When you’re all done with the package, which has Care & Use instructions printed on the back, it can be recycled again!

Leery of packaging in general? We understand that too, and now offer Nude packaging options. You can access Care & Use instructions via our website.

What is the cost of shipping?

Shipping cost is automatically calculated at checkout by weight and destination of the order. Choosing the appropriate shipping method is the sole responsibility of the buyer. International orders can take additional time to arrive due to customs, imports, and other factors. We are not responsible for package delays due to postal service error or international customs.

Can you ship internationally?

International orders are subject to additional importation fees and taxes that may be incurred by their country. Please contact your local customs and import offices prior to placing your order as we are not responsible for additional fees incurred by customs, importation, or VAT. Similarly, shipping for international orders can take longer due to customs, so please keep this in mind when you are placing an order, to allow for time to deliver. 

We currently ship to the following countries:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, and Venezuela. 

Do you offer refunds?

Unfortunately, since this is a food storage product, we do not accept refunds once the product is removed from its package. Please contact us if you have any questions, concerns, or thoughts on the matter!