Addicted to novelty since 2001

What’s the Deal with Cling Wrap?

Has anybody else noticed that cling wrap (also known as saran wrap) doesn’t work as well as it used to? Trivial? Yes. Decaying-world paranoia? Yes. But what’s the deal with cling wrap? Did they remove some toxic element that also made it function? Am I living in a low static environment?

I remember a time when the cling wrap used to adhere firmly to the edge of the bowl of leftover pancake mix. Ah, those halcyon days of cling wrap reliability. Today, the wrap just lays on top of the bowl, like an inconsolable lover. What’s the deal?

25 Responses to “What’s the Deal with Cling Wrap?”

  1. me

    you might want to try press and seal crap instead if your gonna use any, it seems to work good.

  2. Sue

    Funny, I find that my Glad cling wrap sticks to everything. It works a little TOO well. Maybe you just got a bum shipment.

  3. Darren

    Sue: Yeah, the problem is definitely endemic–it must have to do with static or humidity or something.

    Catherine Reply:

    The Saran Cling Plus is horrible! It doesn’t tear properly and it sticks to nothing but itself.

  4. donna

    I totally agree. All the clingwrap we have — two different brands! — sucks ass and doesn’t cling. Stupid cling.

    Inconsolable lovers don’t cling? Man, you’ve never seen me after a bad breakup. :)

  5. -j.

    I, too, use Press and Seal, which works wonderfully…once. Lift even a corner of it off, and it’s useless. Don’t make ’em like they used to, I suppose.

  6. gill

    I don’t know about cling quality, but in relation to a post you did yesterday, supposedly David Suzuki has said that you shouldn’t microwave anything with the cling wrap still on it. Bad bad toxic stuff gets onto your food and gives you cancer.

    Well, this is according to both my mother and stepmother, who have both freaked out at me for my microwaving habits. They could be entirely wrong, but it’s not like I could say that.

  7. David Janes

    It was changed a long time ago to make it Microwave friendly. That’s when it went from “wrap” to “loose sheet”.

  8. Jeff

    “Today, the wrap just lays on top of the bowl, like an inconsolable lover.”

    ~Great line Darren

  9. Rob Cottingham

    The moment I tried Press ‘n’ Seal, I blurted out, “My God – they’ve finally invented Saran Wrap.”

    Saran Wrap and its pre-P’n’S siblings never struck me as living up to their promises. Tearing off a slice was always an exercise in futility, as it would stretttttch… strettttch… and then explode outward into wadded up ball. You’d have better luck trying to retrieve a flea from a black hole than to untangle what really should have been billed as Gordian Knot Wrap.

    For microwaving, I’m a wax paper man, m’self. (To get the full effect of that last sentence, give it a little drawl and pronounce your esses with a “sh”.)

  10. Carol

    Nothing will drive me to tears quicker than trying to get the stupid Saran wrap out of the box without twisting it into a large rope.

  11. martin g

    Unless I missed it, no one’s yet offered an explanation. Here’s one possibility.

    PVC and PVDC films have come in for some criticism lately because of the chance that they might contain some ‘unpolymerized’ residues ( which are considered carcinogenic ) . . . might not be such a good idea if they came into contact with food.

    If it was possible to manufacture the plastics and be certain that every single last molecule had polymerized properly, all would be well. But that can’t be done at present.

    To get round the problem ( and score some PR points ), many companies have started selling ‘non-pvc’ wraps. They tend to be made from cousins of polythene , which, in theory at least, are far less toxic.

    The problem is, the new varieties don’t stick half as well as the original stuff.

    So the trade-off seems to be – ‘nice’n’sticky’ or ‘might cause cancer’.

    Maybe you’re using the new varieties ?

    p.s. PVC items also commonly contain plasticiser residues like ‘phthalates’ which can mimic animal hormones – not good.

  12. Franz

    Cling wrap can be made of PVC wich has to contain a lot of softeners, or PE. PVC wrap is not legal for fatty food, and not recommended for anything in Europe and elsewhere. So most cling wrap nowadays is made of less toxic PE, that does not stick as well.

  13. Art

    Yes, I have noticed Saran Wrap to be inferior to what it used to be. It seems to be thinner, more difficult to tear off the box, not as strong (I poke my finger through it often)and much more difficult to handle. It tangles much more than it used to. I wind up throwing away a lot that got stuck to itself in an unyielding wad.

    I finally got tired of this new stuff and called their toll free number on the box. I talked to a nice lady about my observations. I asked if they had changed the formula. She would not comment. She asked me a lot of questions and whether I would try another product and eventually sent me a coupon for $2.50 on my next purchase of Saran Wrap.


  14. Phil

    Press’n Seal may have an additional benefit not shared with Saran or other earlier cling wraps, that may help save the world: prevention of HIV and other STDs (especially herpes). It is known that herpes, HPV, scabies, and some other STDs may be transmitted between skin areas for which condoms do not provide a barrier, such as the labia, scrotum, etc. Since Press’n Seal can stick lightly to human skin, it can help extend the protected area beyond what a condom can cover. The male can cut a small hole in a big square of the wrap, insert a condom-clad penis through the hole, and press the wrap against the entire groin area. Presto: a much more extensive and safer barrier.

    steve Reply:

    have you tried this

  15. greg

    I agree. Just bought the newest Glad Cling wrap and it does everything but cling. I would say it sucks, but that would imply that it sticks to something, in which case is doesn’t.

  16. Pete

    Bought one box that did not cling (store brand) took it back and exchanged it for glad wrap which did not cling.

    Think that I will switch to tupperware or sealable plastic bags.

    For microwaving, I use tortillas to cover the bowl. The sizes seem to fit perfectly and when you are done microwaving you have a tasty tortilla to eat as well.

    Best wishes,


  17. Dying of laughter

    Phil gave me a heart attack. Has anybody seen those lifesize sculptures of people and animals made with saran wrap and clear tape? Awesome. But I wonder if the sculptor is in prison for suffocating all those poor helpless children and puppies.

  18. Just Passing Through

    No one seems to have answered this so far so I thought I’d put in my two cents worth. I recently asked myself this questions (does anyone else realize that we don’t ask ourselves why things work as long as they just work?).

    I went to my oracle (google) which sent me to my second oracle (wikipedia) and found out that martin g is right. PVdC was thought to pass on chemicals to some foods so many manufacturers now use an alternative known as low density polyethylene (LDPE) which is thought to be safe but not a sticky.

    Here’s the link and happy wrapping!

  19. tinfoil

    whats wrong with using tinfoil…and… microwaves are really bad anyways they did a test where they watered two plants one with microwaved water.. one with normal water, the one with microwaved water died..also…microwaving takes the nutrients out of food…why would anybody microwave plastic over top of their food? i can guarantee the “new, safer” plastic wrap isnt any safer…. i say put ur plate of leftovers in the oven on low to heat it up a lil and scrap the microwave

  20. Eric the truth

    They changed the plastic due to microwave heat leaching some cancer chemicals.

    The clingy version only sold to butchers. Stuff they use to wrap meats/fish.

    It’s still stupid they don’t sell it.

    Use the clingy version for cold stuff. Not microwaving.

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