Minding my Beeswax
I bought some beeswax....awhile ago. As in a year ago. A friend of mine in the honey business was learning how to take care of the beeswax and had lots of extra. Local beeswax? At a good price with no shipping charges? I was in. As it turned out, she had done for the first step in cleaning it, but to get the best quality, cleanest beeswax, it needed a second step. I finally got around to doing it this fall, as I'd run out of my previous stash and all the cleaner pieces I had.
Cleaning beeswax isn't hard, but it does take a lot of waiting. The first step for me was cutting it into smaller chunks to melt it down.
Now I have a couple of bags of beautiful, dark golden beeswax in smaller, more manageable chunks. (The honey scent is incredible, by the way.) So what do I use beeswax for? Several products--lotion sticks, lip balms, and sugar scrubs.
|Yellow jackets that died a waxy death.|
|Wrenching off pieces of beeswax with a butcher knife is a workout like no other.|
|My "double boiler"--a #10 can in an old saucepan|
Melting the beeswax down took awhile in my makeshift double boiler. When melted, the pure beeswax stays on the top while the junk and bugs sink to the bottom. I could then pour out the wax into silicone mold shapes and it wasn't long before I could pop them out.
For clean-up, I found a heat gun to be the handiest thing ever. It was easier to wipe up melted beeswax than scrape it off the counter, floor, and stovetop. I also used it to melt bits of beeswax off the blade and handle of my butcher knife, one of the few pieces of equipment that I've re-used. On the plus side, I think the handle is permanently waterproofed!