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Topic: wax paper instead of plastic???

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Subject: wax paper instead of plastic???
Date Posted: 5/12/2010 11:13 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2009
Posts: 9,902
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I received a book wrapped in wax paper.  I was wondering if it will protect the book better than plastic as it is thicker or if the wax might do damage.

Anybody know?

Date Posted: 5/12/2010 11:46 AM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
Posts: 4,282
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If a package should get wet, the moisure will go through the waxed paper.  Even if it is well-sealed with tape, it will absorb water.

Date Posted: 5/12/2010 11:54 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,253
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I agree, waxed paper is not an acceptable substitution for plastic, same with tissue paper (It is amazing how many books I receive with a layer of tissue paper as a protective layer!). If you are interested in protecting a book being sent, use plastic! No substitutions!

Date Posted: 5/12/2010 12:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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I think wax paper is a fine layer of moisture protection for books in most cases. If they are splattered or a small amount of rain hits them it will protect the book. If the book is dropped in a puddle and soaks up water it won't help, but neither will many of the plastic wrap methods (like saran wrap) because they aren't completely sealed anyway.

The problem with wax paper is that it will melt onto the  book in warm weather so using it outside of winter time doesn't seem safe.

Date Posted: 5/12/2010 12:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
Posts: 4,282
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Can't agree on this one, Melanie - :^]

I have a very small leak in my mailbox, runs down the inside wall and accumulates on the floor, - not a puddle, but enough to penetrate a package if it has to sit there for an hour or so. Over the years, I've had two packages with waxed paper rather than plastic become a bit soggy.  One was placed in the box on edge (spine) and did virtually no damage to the book - I just wiped it dry.  The other was placed flat and it water-stained a bit too much to re-post.

Yes, I could repair or replace the mailbox, but hey, I live in Southern Calif; how often does it rain here - plus, this is the land of  manana....

Anyway, I wouldn't feel safe using waxed paper.

eta - tried twice to put in a tilde (accented n) - but it just won't accept it.



Last Edited on: 5/12/10 12:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 5/12/2010 1:22 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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Melanie, I agree that plastic wrap isn't totally waterproof under all conditions, but IMO more than adequate for just about anything short of total immursion in the lake.  I've received several packages where the wrapper had been anywhere from damp to totally saturated, but the plastic wrapped book inside arrived in mint condition.

I would be concerned about the wax paper damaging the book in warm weather, and not really water resistant.  In addition, transfered wax or oil spots would make the book unpostable & RWAP.  IMO not a suitable substitution.



Last Edited on: 5/12/10 1:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 5/12/2010 2:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I wouldn't use wax paper without tissue or something insulating the book underneath.  That said, some sort of paper wrapping and then a double layer of wax paper would at least be water resistant, and better than just the PBS wrapper alone.  Whether it's a trustworthy measure or not, it would still be more than is required by the wrapping guidelines.  People who are using it are probably avoiding plastic altogether & are trying to make at least some effort to protect their books.

Date Posted: 5/12/2010 2:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
Posts: 4,282
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I hadn't thought of that, Kim.  Although I should have as I've been cutting way back on my use of plastic and I recycle everything possible.  Yes, definitely better than just the PBS wrapping!

OK, Melanie, you've at least started me re-thinking my position -- an old dog CAN learn new tricks!

Date Posted: 5/12/2010 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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I am doubtful that waxed paper would melt and ruin a book.  I've had things wrapped in wax paper in my car for weeks, in the sun, and the paper hasn't ever melted.   Also, we use wax paper in the microwave and it does not melt.

Date Posted: 5/12/2010 4:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I use it as a protective layer in book repairs and a lot in my crafting, where I need a temporary waterproof barrier & plastic just isn't suitable.  It works perfectly, so I don't know why it couldn't be a viable option for protecting books during shipping as well.  It almost has to come into contact with a hot surface like an iron to melt, and it does repel water well, unless it gets totally immersed in it.  If I were going to ship books in it, I'd wrap the book in a sheet of printer paper before I wrapped the wax paper around it, but I'd be fairly confident that the book had a good chance of reaching its destination ok.  Maybe not as well protected as it would be with plastic wrap, but again, better than just the PBS wrapper - which I'm sure is what the shipper here had in mind.

Date Posted: 5/12/2010 4:59 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I've used waxed paper as liners in a cake pan to help keep the cake from sticking to the pan bottom while baking.  It didn't melt.  I also use it in the microwave - it doesn't melt there, either.  That said, I wouldn't use it as water-proofing or water-resistant in packing a book.

Ruth

Date Posted: 5/12/2010 6:50 PM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2005
Posts: 1,592
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I use it for all of the books I send and as of yet have had no books arrive with any damage and no receiving member has complained.

Date Posted: 5/12/2010 7:05 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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The problem I see with waxed paper is that it would be hard to get a good seal at the edges.  That would allow moisture to get to the book through the unsealed edge.  Plastic wrap sticks to itself and makes a good seal.  Nevertheless, waxed paper would be bettern than nothing as a barrier against moisture.

Date Posted: 5/12/2010 8:22 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2009
Posts: 519
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I seal all my books with my foodsaver. I don't worry about them at all since I started doing that. But I agree, wax paper is better than just the wrapper by itself.



Last Edited on: 5/12/10 8:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/12/2010 8:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,322
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That's a pretty neat use of a "foodsaver."  I'm assuming that the book is basically shrink wrapped?  I bet you have some fun comments from people who receive your books! :-)

Date Posted: 5/12/2010 10:27 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2009
Posts: 579
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From an environmental standpoint, the plastic wrap aka Seran wrap, is one of the WORST things to use, often cheap brands use polymerized chemicals not technically safe to put on your food. And it's 100% non-recyclable.

 

http://www.answers.com/topic/plastic-wrap

 

I think wax paper is a good alternative or a taped baggie, or foil. The chances of a complete drench are pretty slim, where as that errant splash is much more likely and can be easily protected by something other than plastic wrap.

Date Posted: 5/13/2010 12:50 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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Mary, I've received books that were completely drenched somewhere enroute  sad  Fortunately, the books were wrapped in plastic and arrived in excellent condition.  One label was so blurry, I've no idea how USPS read it to deliver.   Unfortunately, I live in a wet climate and even a small mishap with our mailbox door can allow in enough rain to damage packages. 

That said, I prefer to recycle wherever possible - and if creative can usually find some bit of plastic to reuse for protecting my outgoing books.

" . . . And it's 100% non-recyclable."  I'd disagree Mary, some plastic may not be commercially recyclable but it's certainly reusable.

Example - today I received a PBS book with damaged outer wrapper.  USPS had shrink wrapped the entire package to protect it from additional damage  -  not a plastic product I willingly brought into my home, but it can certainly be recycled to protect other books!



Last Edited on: 5/13/10 12:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 5/13/2010 10:32 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2009
Posts: 519
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Patty, it pretty much shrink wraps them. I also love it because it can be reused even if you don't have a food saver. And yes, I do get losts of comments, but never any complaints.