How to Clean Beeswax? If you have bees or know someone who does, you may have access to beeswax for crafts or other homemade projects. Here I will show you the 5 easy steps to filter beeswax for all of your DIY projects.
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The best way to clean beeswax is to melt it slowly at a low temperature. The only supplies you will need are a roasting pan, a screened frame, and cheesecloth or paper towels. Add an inch of water to the bottom of the pan so that the melted wax will float when it cools. Once the beeswax cools and hardens, remove it from the pan. Dry and store in a sealed container.
Whether you plan to make some cozy candles or lip balm, or even your own reusable food wraps. Beeswax is great to have on hand for so many DIY projects.
You can buy wax already cleaned and ready to go. But if you’re like me, and you have access to free wax, it may come to you fresh from the hive. Which means it will be dirty. So let’s go clean it up so that your wax will be ready for your next homemade project!
- cake pan or roasting pan ( I used an 11″ x 14″ x 2″ pan)
- metal screen (a splatter screen for frying pans would work well)
- cheesecloth or paper towels
- Pour 1 inch of water into the collection pan.
- Cover the top of the pan with a metal screen and place a piece of cheesecloth or paper towel on top.
- Pile unfiltered beeswax on top of cheesecloth/paper towel.
- Place into oven and heat oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Allow wax to cool and harden before removing from pan.
- Unfiltered wax will have bee parts and other things from the environment. Do not be alarmed if this is left behind after filtering.
- Never leave beeswax in the oven unattended while the oven is on.
- Be careful when handling the pan with melted wax in it. Melted wax can cause a pretty nasty burn.
- Store filtered, hardened wax in a dry, cool place.
How Do You Clean and Store Beeswax?
These simple steps will take you from unfiltered, dirty beeswax to cleaned and ready to use wax. Let’s get started!
First, you will want to gather your supplies. Rendering beeswax is a relatively simple project and does not require a lot of tools. You will need a cake pan or roasting pan. The pan I use is 11 inches wide by 14 inches long by 2 inches tall.
Next, you will want a rack or metal screen of some kind to keep the unfiltered wax up off of the water. On top of the rack, you will place a sheet of cheesecloth or a few sheets of paper towels.
Cleaning beeswax is a breeze once you have your supplies gathered. Only five steps till you have beautiful, squeaky clean wax to use for your homemade projects.
Add 1 inch of water to your pan. The water acts as a barrier to keep it from sticking to the pan. Water also allows the wax to float once it hardens, making it super easy to remove from the pan.
Place your rack / metal screen / or splatter screen over the pan. My husband custom built my filtering frame (see note below), but this pan plus rack is a great alternative!
Line your rack / screen with cheesecloth or paper towels. This step will keep debris found in the unfiltered wax from falling into the melted wax.
Cleaning the Beeswax
Pile the unfiltered wax on top of your cheesecloth or paper towels. I recommend not piling it higher than about 4 inches high. This should prevent it from spilling over the sides and causing a mess (or a fire) in your oven.
As stated before, please never leave beeswax unattended in the oven.
Place pan with rack, barrier, and wax into the oven, and set oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep checking the progress. Add more wax as needed. Continually check the level in the pan to ensure that melted wax does not overflow.
Once wax has completely melted leaving only debris and residue behind, remove pan from oven to cool. Remove cheesecloth or paper towels once they have cooled enough to handle and discard. After the wax has hardened, remove from the pan and place on a towel to dry. I like to break my wax into chunks and store in a large jar with a lid or in containers with lids.
In the process outlined above, I used a specialized filtering frame built by my husband. I may try to convince him to build them to offer to you, but in the mean time, you can get creative with items you may already have.
My best suggestion is to take a rectangular cake pan or roasting pan, place a metal splatter screen on top, and then place cheesecloth over that before adding your unfiltered wax.
In the links above, I have included a pan with a rack that I think will work quite well.
Will Boiling Water Melt Beeswax?
Boiling water will melt beeswax but it is not recommended to melt the wax this way.
Melting your beeswax in boiling water not only affects the color of the beeswax but can be a safety concern as well.
140 degrees to 145 degrees is the temperature at which beeswax will melt. Because water boils at a much higher temperature (212 degrees to be exact) you will not want to melt beeswax in boiling water.
At approximated 185 degrees Fahrenheit, beeswax will become discolored. At 400 degrees Fahrenheit beeswax can explode or catch fire.
Note: Melting beeswax must not be left unattended while in your oven. Also, due to volatility at high temperatures, please do not increase the oven temperature to speed up the process.
This is a slow process that is great for a cold winter day and will give your home the lovely aroma of honey.
Can You Ruin Beeswax?
Beeswax, like honey, never spoils. Kept in a cool place, beeswax has an infinite shelf life.
Over time, your wax may develop a coating that is called bloom. This powder like coat will not hurt the wax or your ability to use the wax. Feel free to leave it on or wipe it off depending on your preference.
As mentioned above, heating your beeswax beyond 185 degrees Fahrenheit will cause the wax to become discolored.
Though the wax will not be ruined, it will change color. Depending on what you plan to use the wax for, it may lose beneficial properties.
Now that you can clean beeswax…
Using this simple process, you can easily filter and clean your beeswax. Once completing this, you will have the ability to make a bunch of different things with your beeswax.
For other fun simple living content, check out Does Water Kefir Need to Be Refrigerated?
So what will you make? I’d love to see! Share below in the comments or on Instagram!
one last thing…
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