Do you have old comb, wax cappings and lots of little pieces of dirty, sticky wax sitting around? This is how I clean, otherwise called render, my beeswax so that I have a nice, solid chunk of wax ready for candles, lotions and other crafts.
This is a series of 3 videos that are short and use materials you can find in your house and thrift store.
Turning your honeycomb and wax cappings into a solid chunk of wax.
This process doesn't require you to spend hundreds of dollars on equipment. All you need is:
- slow cooker
- large glass or metal container with a handle (4cup measuring cup works well)
- cheesecloth (only needed if you have larva or are melting dark brood comb)
- large rubberband/elastic headband (only needed if using cheesecloth)
Watch the video above to see my process step-by-step. It's pretty easy to do, it just takes time to let everything heat up.
I strongly discourage people from melting their wax inside their home. It's not great for the air quality in your home, it is hazardous as beeswax is flammable (hence why we use it for candles), and it makes a mess! You can use hot water to clean wax, but it still leaves a slight residue that is very difficult to get rid of. You'll also notice little tacky specks on wax on the floor that are also not easy to get rid of.
How to Heavily Filter Your Beeswax to Remove Dirt, Pollen, Propolis and Other Sediment
This is the step that not all beekeepers do. It involves using a thick filter to really get rid of those teeny pieces of stuff in your beeswax. This is when your wax gets considerably lighter in color. This is often good enough for me when cleaning my wax for storage. I don't do the final step until I'm ready to sell or use the wax for something.
The good news is that you don't have to spend a lot of money on a filter. You can purchase a maple syrup filter online for $20 or you can use an old sweatshirt. The maple syrup filter removes even finer pieces of dirt, but the sweatshirt works well too.
The Cleanest Wax You'll Ever See
This is the final step in the process. I take a block of fairly clean wax and further clean it using a cotton t-shirt. After this step, the wax is ready for candles, crafts and body products or for sale.
You can do this process as many times as you think it's necessary. Some people will do this 2-3 times before their wax is completely clean. I usually do this step just once before storage in a clean, container safe from insects and then one more time before pouring into candle molds or putting into body products
If you are a beginner beekeeper or looking into becoming a beekeeper, keep in mind that this is not a process you need to learn about right now. I would consider this "advanced beekeeping" simply because it's something people who have been keeping bees for a few years will try.
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