Parchment Paper vs Wax Paper: Are They The Same?

Parchment Paper vs Wax Paper Thumbnail

Are you planning on baking and wondering can I substitute wax paper for parchment paper? Can I bake with wax paper?

These are frequently asked questions in the baking community. Many people want to swap one for the other.

However, although both items are common in most kitchens, and while they appear to be very similar, they serve very different functions.

You should be aware of these distinctions or you will end up with a mess! Continue reading to learn more about these differences and get one step closer to becoming a pro baker.

Parchment paper vs wax paper – their similarities and differences in infographics:

Parchment Paper vs Wax Paper Info-graphic

Parchment Paper vs Wax Paper: Similarities and Differences

Parchment paper and wax paper are not the same thing; they are made of different materials and have different properties. Some of the similarities and differences between these two papers are as follows:

Bleached vs Unbleached

Both are available in bleached and unbleached varieties. The unbleached version is brown, while the bleached version is white. Wax paper cannot be recycled and cannot be composted because of its wax coating. Although parchment paper cannot be recycled, it can be composted.

Eco-friendly & Healthy

Both papers have the potential to be toxic or non-toxic. The bleached one, which has been treated with chlorine, is toxic, whereas the unbleached one is not. Both papers can be eco-friendly if you use the right one, which is unbleached and has an FDA-approved silicone coating for parchment paper.


Overall, parchment paper is more expensive than wax paper. Typically, you can get 75 square feet of wax paper for less than 2 dollars, whereas 60 square feet of parchment paper can cost up to 4 to 5 dollars.

Here’s a table that you can compare side by side between wax paper and parchment paper:

FeaturesParchment PaperWax Paper
MaterialPaper pulpPaper
Grease ResistantYesNo
Heat ResistantYesNo
PriceMore expensiveLess Expensive
Bleach & UnbleachedYesYes
Main Using PurposesBaking, cooking, and also other
uses of wax paper
Wrapping foods,
covering countertops

Wax Paper

Wax paper is paper that has been coated with either paraffin wax or organic wax. A thin layer of wax coats both sides. Because of the wax coating, it is nonstick, greaseproof, waterproof, and moisture-resistant, making it an excellent kitchen tool.

Wax paper and parchment paper can be used interchangeably in some ways. The advantage of wax paper is that it is less expensive than parchment paper and is widely available in stores. However, unlike parchment paper, wax paper is not heat resistant, and the wax can melt or catch fire in high temperatures.

As a result, wax paper should not be used in the oven when baking. It is also not recommended to use wax paper to line baking sheets or pans that will be used at high temperatures in the oven.

Given that wax paper is unsuitable for high-temperature baking, let’s look at some other uses for wax paper.

What is wax paper used for?

Here are some tasks where wax paper is more commonly used:

Rolling dough

You can roll out the dough on wax paper without using any additional flour. You can sandwich the dough between two sheets of wax paper. And then begin rolling with a rolling pin. The rolling pin does not need to be floured. This prevents sticking and adding extra flour to the dough, which can make the crust dry.

Cake decorating

When decorating a cake, you can use wax paper. You will need a wax paper sheet for this, as well as the ability to design or write directly on the wax paper. After that, freeze it for a few minutes before gently peeling off the design or letter and placing it on your cake.

Protecting countertops

When transferring food from one bowl to another or performing tasks that could damage your countertops, use wax paper. Simply cover your countertops with wax paper to keep them clean and free of spilt food.


You can place your items on wax paper sheets and cover them completely with wax paper. You can also keep it in a cold freezer.


Wax paper can be used to warp foods like sandwiches. Reusable beeswax wraps are an excellent choice for these tasks.

Lining cabinets

Wax paper can be used to line cabinet shelves. It will collect dust that falls on it, and you can replace the paper after a long time without having to scrub them clean..


You can keep your kitchen clean by using wax paper to remove water spots and fingerprints from your faucet and other fixtures.

Parchment Paper

Parchment paper is a type of silicone-coated paper. It has been chemically treated and has undergone a process known as parchmentizing. The paper has been exposed to sulphuric acid during this process. Because of the silicone coating, this paper is greaseproof, waterproof, moisture-proof, and heatproof. It is nonstick and suitable for high heat due to the silicone coating. Parchment paper can fulfill all of your baking paper needs. Let’s have a look at its many uses.

What is parchment paper used for?

Parchment paper is used for a plethora of purposes because you can come up with and invent many new ways to put it to use for your own purposes. Here are some examples of important and widely used methods:

Lining baking pans For those who dislike greasy bakeries or cakes, the greasy layer could be replaced with a parchment paper layer. Parchment paper is usually sold in pre-cut sizes to make it easier to fit the pan. Even better, you can re-use the parchment paper for another batch.

Layering for sticky stuff

Whether you’re making cookies or candies, parchment paper can act as a barrier to keep your creations from sticking together. Simply place a sheet of parchment paper between the two.

Piping bag

Can’t seem to find a standard piping bag nearby? Why not make one out of your parchment paper?

Just like a piping bag, it will keep the liquid ingredients in place without leaking or burning.

Easy workspace

If you’re looking for a good workspace cover, parchment paper is a better option. Simply place a sheet of paper on the counter and you’ll have a good work surface to help you make whatever dish you want.

Steaming food

Have you ever thought about steaming fish or chicken in a parchment pouch?

Parchment paper provides a great deal of flexibility in terms of creating an anti-leaking pouch, allowing you to easily add your meat and ingredients. The design of the paper packet can depend on the portion, ingredients, amongst other things you choose.

The aim here is to steam the ingredients by using their own moisture. Since all of the ingredients are placed inside the paper, there is a lot less mess to clean up afterwards!

Parchment paper is also used for cooking en papillote. It’s a cooking technique, where the food is put into a folded pouch or parcel and then baked. Learn more about en papillote on Wikipedia.

If you don’t want to bother with that,  you can find parchment cooking bags or roasting bags on Amazon or in department stores. The packet is usually sized in single-serve portions, making it easier to measure out the meal for everyone in your family.

Distribute marination

You might want to marinate your meat but can’t find a suitable shaker in your kitchen. It could be swapped out for parchment paper. You get the idea, I’m sure. All you have to do is shape the paper the way you want it, then add your meat and the spices and other ingredients. You’re then good to go with a quick shake.

Make cookie sheets grease-free

If you’ve ever struggled to remove grease from cookie sheets, parchment paper is a great substitute.

It will save you time and money because there will be no need to grease the cookie sheets with butter. Not to mention that once the cookies are done, all you have to do is slide them off the paper.


Can you use wax paper instead of parchment paper?

You can use wax paper and parchment paper interchangeably if you are not your tasks do not have heating process. Wax paper can burn or melt at high temperatures. It is better to use it in non-heating tasks.

Can I substitute wax paper for parchment paper when baking?

No, never substitute wax paper for parchment paper when baking. Wax paper has a wax coating that melts in the oven due to the heat, and the wax can also stick to your foods.

What can I use instead of parchment paper?

To substitute parchment paper, you can use a variety of products for various tasks. Check out this post for parchment paper alternatives.

What can I use instead of wax paper?

There are some products that can be used in place of wax paper. For a wax paper substitute, see this post.


That’s all there is to it! It may be tempting to consider both papers to be the same, but keep in mind that, despite their similarities in appearance and some of their functions, there are significant differences between them both that can make a significant difference in the quality of your cooking, as well as your health and safety!

What do you think about our parchment paper vs wax paper comparison? And which one do you like to use most? Let us know in the comments section below.

4 thoughts on “Parchment Paper vs Wax Paper: Are They The Same?”

  1. Hi, I think you have the info flipped in the last box and I think you mean Wrapping foods not Warping foods

    Main Using Purposes Warping foods, covering countertops Baking, cooking, also other uses of wax paper

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