Snipping and dispensing plastic wraps can be a headache sometimes, especially when you need to use them in a hurry. Without proper support, you may end up entangling or tearing them. Fortunately, a plastic wrap dispenser can help you avoid those hassles and make your work easier. You can either purchase a plastic wrap dispenser or make one yourself at home with simple materials.
Making a plastic wrap dispenser is wise since you can use it to dole out and cut plastic wraps easily. Plus, you can save money by not having to buy a dispenser from the store.
Things to Know About Plastic Wrap
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Plastic wrap is a general term used to describe various films and sheets made out of different plastics. We usually use it to cover food items, either keeping them fresh or creating a barrier against bacteria.
Plastic wrap can be transparent or colored, and it may be glossy or matte. The most common type is made from polyethylene. However, other plastic wraps are also available, such as those made from vinyl, polypropylene, and cellophane. Plastic wraps are also sold in individual sheets or rolls. Typically, it is rolled inside a box that includes a cutting edge to help you easily slice off the right amount.
In 1993, Ralph Wiley, a lab worker at Dow chemical, had difficulty rinsing beakers used in creating a dry-cleaning product. It was first developed into a spray that they can spray to protect fighter planes from salty sea spray. Wiley invented the first plastic wrap, which was PVdC or Polyvinylidene Chloride. In 1949, the company developed the spray into saran plastic wrap.
As years went by, many manufacturers developed other PVC options. Some companies also started to use LDPE or Low-Density Polyethylene. In the 1970s, polypropylene was also introduced as an option for plastic wrap.
How is Plastic Wrap Made?
Various polymers are used to make plastic wraps, but polyethylene, polypropylene, and vinyl are the most common ones. These polymers are combined with additives like colorants, fillers, and UV stabilizers to create the desired film or sheet.
Here are the usual process in creating a plastic wrap.
1. Extrusion – The polymer is melted, then the liquid is forced through a small hole to create a tube of stretchable plastic.
2. Calendering – The molten polymer is passed through heated rollers to flatten it out into a sheet.
3. Blown film extrusion – The molten polymer is blown up like a balloon and cooled to create a thin film.
4. Coating – The molten polymer is sprayed onto a substrate (usually another plastic). It is then passed through rollers to level it out.
The polymers are first melted and then extruded through a die to create long sheets. After that, the sheets are passed through heated rollers to flatten them out. Finally, the sheets are blown up like a balloon and cooled to create a thin film.
Types of Plastic Wrap
Polyethylene is the most common type of plastic used to make a plastic wrap. It is often used to wrap food items because it is transparent, non-toxic, and has low gas permeability. You can also recycle them.
Polypropylene is another type of plastic often used to make plastic wraps. It is less permeable to gases than polyethylene, making it ideal for wrapping food items that require a long period of storage. It is also recyclable.
Vinyl is a type of plastic wrap that is less permeable to gases than polyethylene and polypropylene. It is often used to wrap food items that need to be frozen. Vinyl can also be recycled.
What is A Plastic Wrap Dispenser?
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A plastic wrap dispenser is a tool that helps you to easily dispense and cut plastic wraps. It is usually made of plastic or thick cardboard, which typically includes a cutting edge to help you easily cut the exact amount you need. Some dispensers also have a mechanism to roll up the used wrap for storage.
Plastic wrap dispensers are designed to stay still on the counter, so you can use both hands to pull and cut the wrap. They come in different sizes, but the most common is about eight inches long and four inches wide.
How to use a plastic wrap dispenser
A plastic wrap dispenser is a convenient kitchen tool that allows you to easily dispense and cut the plastic wrap. It typically comes with a cutting edge to help you quickly and evenly slice off the right amount of wrap.
To use a plastic wrap dispenser:
- Start by opening the lid and placing the roll of plastic wrap inside.
- Insert the roll so that the plastic wrap is coming off the spool in the opposite direction of the cutting edge.
- Close the lid and press down on it to secure the wrap.
- Hold the dispenser with one hand and use your other hand to pull out a few inches of the wrap. Keep the dispenser still while you’re pulling out the wrap.
- Once you have the desired amount, use the cutting edge to cut the wrap off of the roll. Then, press down the lid to secure the wrap and release it from the dispenser.
- Roll it up using the attached mechanism and place it back inside the dispenser to store the plastic wrap.
The Best Construction Material to Make One
Photo Credits: Western Plastics
Top-notched plastic wrap dispensers are usually made of plastic, wood, aluminum, steel, or ABS. To help you pick the best material for you, let’s take a look at the benefits and downsides of each one.
Plastic is an excellent material for plastic wrap dispensers. It is lightweight and usually inexpensive. Surprisingly, it has heat, water, shock, and abrasion resistance. However, they can be easily damaged and are not as durable as other materials. Eventually, plastic dispensers will lose their appeal after too much contact with different elements.
Wood is another popular material for plastic wrap dispensers. It has a classic look that can add a touch of elegance to your kitchen. Wood is also durable and long-lasting. However, it is essential to note that wood is not waterproof, so it is not ideal for use in humid environments. Also, a wooden plastic wrap dispenser may not resist heavy use and abuse, unlike ABS and metallic materials.
ABS is a strong and durable plastic often used to manufacture industrial products. It is also used in the construction of LEGOs. Due to its strength, it is an ideal material for a plastic wrap dispenser. Also, any manufacturers use ABS because it can withstand impact and corrosion. However, you need to keep in mind that ABS is not food-safe.
Aluminum is a lightweight metal that is durable and does not rust. It has a sleek look and is often used to produce cookware and kitchen appliances. An aluminum dispenser will likely never rust or corrode, but it may dent if dropped.
Steel is a very strong metal often used to make tools, hardware, and other household items. A steel dispenser is an excellent choice if you want a durable and long-lasting product. However, it is important to note that steel can rust if not properly treated and maintained.
How to Make A Plastic Wrap Dispenser
Now that you know the different materials you can use to make a plastic wrap dispenser, it’s time to learn how to make one! For this tutorial, we will make a dispenser using the basic material we can obtain: wood.
Tools and materials needed:
- Flat lumber or plywood
- A saw
- A drill
- A screwdriver
- Plastic wrap
- Tape measure
- Prepare your plywood or lumber by measuring and cutting it to the desired size. If you are using plywood, make sure that the thickness is at least ¾ of an inch.
- Using a tape measure, get the size of the plastic wrap and mark the plywood.
- Cut a slot on the plywood using a saw. The size of the slot should be based on the measurement you took earlier.
- Now, you are ready to fasten the sides of the wooden dispenser and create a box. Use screws and attach the side panels to the bottom piece. Make sure that you tighten the screws properly to avoid any mishaps. It’s important to test fit the plastic wrap before attaching the top piece.
- It’s time to make the cutting hole. To do this, use a drill to route a hole on the top piece of the dispenser. The hole size should be big enough for the film roll to fit through.
- Cut the end pieces of the box and create a lip. You will use it to hold the plastic wrap in place. Make sure that the lip is not too big or too small. It should be just the right size to fit the width of the wrap.
- All you need to do now is put everything together and attach the top piece. Ensure that the cutting hole is aligned with the slot you created earlier. Once everything is in place, screw everything together.
- Drill a hole for the magnet that will hold the sides of the plastic wrap dispenser.
- Fit the cutter blade into the hole and attach the magnet.
- You can choose to paint or decorate your dispenser however you like.
- And that’s it! You have now made your very own plastic wrap dispenser. Go ahead and place the plastic wrap and test it out. You should be able to dispense and cut the plastic wrap with ease.
Best Features of Plastic Wrap Dispenser
Photo Credits: Tasting Table
Since plenty of plastic wrap dispensers is already in the market, it can be hard to decide which one to buy. So leading manufacturers keep on adding new features to exceed other competitors. Added features will give the user more value for money. We have listed some features that you should look for when purchasing a plastic wrap dispenser.
- Magnetic Cutter: It is a handy feature that will help you get a clean and straight cut.
- Automatic Rewinding: This feature prevents the film from unraveling and keeps everything organized.
- Crank Handle: It makes it easy to rewind the film without using your hands.
- Vertical Design: It takes up less counter space and is perfect for small kitchens.
- PVC Film Holder: This feature helps keep the film in place and prevents it from slipping.
- Rubberized Feet: It prevents the dispenser from sliding around when in use.
- Multipurpose: This kind of dispenser can handle not just plastic food wrap but will also hold cling wraps, aluminum foils, shrink wraps, and other wraps with ease.
Now that you know what to look for when purchasing a plastic wrap dispenser, it will be easier to find the best one that meets your needs. Remember, the best features are the ones that make life easier for you.
What to Look for When Buying a Plastic Wrap Dispenser
Now that you know what features to look for, it’s time to learn about the different types of plastic wrap dispensers available. There are two main types of dispensers: manual and automatic.
This dispenser requires you to use your hands to pull the plastic wrap out. It can be a bit difficult to use, especially if your hands are full.
This dispenser is easier to use because it automatically pulls the wrap out for you. You need to place the wrap roll in the designated spot, and it will do all the work for you.
There are also two types of automatic dispensers: crank handle and electric.
- Crank Handle Dispensers: This dispenser uses a crank handle to pull the wrap out. It is a manual dispenser, but it is easier to use than regular manual dispensers.
- Electric Dispensers: You can power this dispenser using electricity, and it automatically pulls the wrap out for you. It is very easy to use and perfect for large families or businesses.
Other Plastic Wrap Organizer Ideas
Photo Credits: Oddity Mall
Plastic wrap dispensers are not the only way to organize your plastic wrap. Here are some other ideas that you can use.
📌A DIY plastic wrap dispenser hanger
You can consider mounting your plastic wrap box at the back of a cabinet door or a small part of your pantry wall. All you need are a wooden dowel and some utility hooks. It is perfect for those who want to save space in their kitchen.
If you have a pegboard in your kitchen, you can use it to store your plastic wrap. Just add some S-hooks, and you’re all set.
📌Try the multi-option dispenser.
Modern wrap dispensers are an excellent solution for different size containers and come with a magnetized cutting blade. You can use it for products like aluminum foil, parchment paper, and even plastic bags. It includes a space for paper towel rolls too. You can even remove the dispenser on top and bring it wherever you work.
📌Use a ready-made organizer.
If you don’t like any DIY projects, there is a ready-made organizer that you can buy. You can mount it on the wall or your cabinet door for easy access. It contains four spaces for food wrap rolls. You can even use it as a magazine holder as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I use plastic wrap in the microwave?
A: Yes, you can use plastic wrap in the microwave. Just make sure that it is microwave-safe. It would be best to poke a hole from the plastic wrap first for ventilation. Avoid using plastic wrap in the microwave if you’re heating food high in fat. It may result in melted plastic wrap.
Q: Can I reuse plastic wrap?
A: It would be better to use a new piece of plastic wrap every time you cover your food. It avoids contamination and ensures that your food will be safe to eat. However, if you want to reuse it, make sure that you clean it first with warm, soapy water. Dry it thoroughly before using it again.
Q: Is plastic wrap safe to use?
A: Yes, plastic wrap is safe to use. However, it is always best to follow the instructions on the packaging to make sure that you’re using it correctly.
Q: How do I clean my plastic wrap dispenser?
A: You can clean your plastic wrap dispenser with warm soapy water. Just make sure that you rinse it well to remove all the soap residue. You can also use a damp cloth to wipe it down.
Q: How do I keep my plastic wrap from sticking?
A: The best way to keep your plastic wrap from sticking is to use a non-stick spray. You can also use wax paper or parchment paper. Just make sure that you don’t use any spray or oil with a strong smell. It can transfer to your food and affect its taste.
Q: Can I use a plastic wrap dispenser to dispense aluminum foils?
A: Yes, you can use a plastic wrap dispenser to dispense aluminum foils. However, you need to make sure that the dispenser has a cutting blade that is strong enough to cut through the aluminum foil.
Plastic wrap is an essential item in every kitchen. It helps you keep your food fresh and prevents it from drying out. However, it can be challenging to store and organize. A plastic wrap dispenser is a handy tool that makes it easier to organize and use your plastic wrap. With so many options available, you will find the perfect dispenser.
DIY enthusiasts will love the challenge of making their plastic wrap dispensers. At the same time, those who prefer ready-made solutions can simply buy one. Whichever option you choose, make sure that it fits your needs and lifestyle.