Uses for Beeswax In & Around the Home
Humm… the smell of pure beeswax… it’s really something special. Not only is beeswax important to honey bees, there are many uses for beeswax in our everyday lives.
How do We Get Beeswax to Use?
Beeswax is produced by honey bees and used to create honeycomb. Honeycomb is the structure of the beehive. Each hive contains several sheets of beeswax comb.
When beekeepers harvest honey, surplus beeswax is left over from the extraction process. This extra beeswax is not thrown away. It is melted into blocks and stored to be used later.
The honey bee colony values beeswax as the foundation of their home. But, we have some interesting uses for beeswax as well. In fact, selling beeswax can be a nice little sideline income for a beekeeper.
The Appeal of Using Beeswax
Have you ever held a piece of natural beeswax? It almost feels magical and smells great! Beeswax is used in its raw form for many projects.
But it can be mixed with other ingredients to create products that add value to our lives. Beeswax plays a role in our health care, beauty, home life, in the work shop and more.
There are so many uses for raw beeswax. And, it goes way beyond making beeswax candles– but its pretty neat for that too!
I love to use beeswax in my lotions and potions. Beeswax Alchemy is one of my favorite books. I have made many of the beeswax recipes inside.
It is unlikely that I will ever make every thing inside- because this book is so jam packed with information. My projects don’t always turn out perfect but they are a lot of fun.
It is very rewarding to take natural raw materials like beeswax and use it to a useful item for your home. When you do, you know what is in it – and more importantly – what is not!
Beeswax – A Limited Supply
Honey bees are the only bees that make beeswax. And it takes a lot of work by a lot of bees to produce enough wax for the colony.
Young worker bees produce wax from glands on the underside of their abdomen. The wax is chewed and manipulated into thousands of hexagon shaped cells.
Wax production requires a lot of effort and resource use. The honey bee colony does not waste beeswax and neither should we. This is especially true there are so many fun uses for beeswax.
Why Is Beeswax So Useful?
Beeswax is a material that lends itself well to crafting and being mixed with other substances. It is a mixture of esters, Creotic Acid, hydrocarbins, water, alcohol, minerals, pigments and who knows what else.
It has a melting point of 143° F – 147° F (62° C-64° C). This is a relatively low melting point. It makes our use of beeswax possible without special equipment and is safer to work with than some products.
Pure beeswax becomes pliable and easy to bend and form at 90° F-95° F (32° C-35° C). This means that it is a very versatile compound . And if you mess up your recipe – you can usually remelt and try again!
Uses for Beeswax in The Home
Making Beeswax Candles
Beeswax candles are a wonderful addition to any home. Candles made of beeswax have been used for centuries. They are still practical and useful today.
You can purchase pure beeswax candles for use in your home. But you don’t have to rely on purchased candles.
If you are feeling just a bit crafty – you can do it yourself. Don’t know how to make beeswax candles?
It’s easy. You do not have to be a crafting genius to be a successful candle maker. With some basic safety precautions to avoid burns, it’s a fun project to do with the kids.
An even easier way to use beeswax for candles is with rolled sheets of beeswax. You can purchase rolled beeswax tapers in a variety of colors. They are very pretty. Or, you can buy a beeswax candle kit and roll your own candles.
For a heavier longer lasting beeswax candle, beeswax is melted and poured into molds to cool. This type of candle is more solid and burns much longer.
Do your research regarding the proper ways to melt beeswax and choosing the best size wick. These details will make your beeswax project a success.
Sticky Wooden Drawers – A Great Use for Beeswax
Do you have a problem with sticky drawers? No, seriously. I am of course referring to the pull out drawers of your wooden furniture. Beeswax is the answer.
Take a small block ( piece of beeswax) and rub it on the runners of the bottom of the drawer. This should provide enough lubrication to permit the drawer to slide easily.
Uses for Beeswax in Sewing
Many seamstresses know the secret of using beeswax for easier sewing. I wouldn’t consider myself a seamstress. But, everyone needs to sew on a button or 2 at some point in their lives. You only need a small block of pure beeswax.
Cut your thread to the length needed. Wrap the thread around the block of wax and firmly slide it along the wax.
Push down with your finger if needed and you should have a light coat of wax on your thread. Waxed thread is easier to work with and less likely to knot!
Zippers are Less Sticky With Beeswax
Do you have a favorite coat with a zipper problem? Sticky zippers can be so annoying. One of my beekeeper suits is prone to having a difficult zipper.
When this happens, I use a small piece of beeswax to rub along the teeth of the zipper. Works like a charm and it will work for your favorite coat too!
You Can Use Beeswax to Seal Envelopes
Due to its adhesive properties, beeswax can be used to seal envelopes. This sounds like such a neat idea to do – especially at Christmas time. The mail would smell very good!
Use Beeswax to Make Furniture Polish
Creating a furniture polish has been one of the most popular uses for beeswax for hundreds of years. You can make your own beeswax furniture polish.
I melt mine and strain it through a piece of nylon. You do not need to heat this mixture. Once the ingredients are combined in a glass jar, mix well and let it sit for a day or two.
After, it thickens you have a great natural furniture polish. Be sure to buff it out within 10 minutes for a nice shine. And always test any product on a small out of site spot first!
Beeswax Bronze Polish
Raw beeswax makes a good polish for bronze pieces too. Rub a warm beeswax bar (you can warm it with a hair dryer), on your bronze items and buff. The wax coating will prevent tarnishing.
Using Beeswax in the Kitchen
Canning – A Traditional Use for Beeswax
Beeswax has been used for hundreds of year in canning and preserving food. Though not as popular today, it was once used to prevent spoilage of jam or jelly.
Once the jam was finished, a thick coat of wax was applied directly over the food. I still do this if I have a 1/2 jar of jam and don’t want to bother with the lid.
(I must admit that I also put it in the refrigerator because I am not as fearless as Grandma was in her day.)
Make Your Own Beeswax Food Wraps
Our culture is finally getting the message about our exorbitant use of plastics. All this plastic has to go somewhere once we are finished.
Instead of adding to our ever growing landfills, consider making your own reusable beeswax wraps. They are all natural and can be used without worry as they contain no toxic chemicals. Here are directions for making your own.
Using Beeswax For Non-Stick Coating
A small amount of beeswax can be rubbed inside your favorite frying pan or sauce pan. The pan should be slightly warm to aid in wax transfer. Buff gently and you will have an all natural non stick surface for cooking.
Easier Grill Clean Up with Beeswax Preparation
Do you love to grill? I do. But, I sure don’t like having to clean up a messy grill afterwards. Use warm beeswax for a quick rub on your grilling rack (before using it). A light coat of wax here works to avoid a messy buildup of food residue. Do not do this with the grill fired up – beeswax does have a flash point.
Uses for Beeswax in the Shop
You don’t have to limit your use of beeswax to candles and inside projects. A small block of beeswax will come in handy in your garage or shop. In fact, I have sold many small blocks of beeswax to folks who give them as small gifts!
Use Beeswax to Make Saws Work Better
When using a hand saw in new wood, any carpenter will appreciate having a little beeswax on hand.
By rubbing the wax on the teeth of the saw, it will cut through the wood much easier. (This is the same principle as the sticky drawer problem we talked about earlier.)
Beeswax and Woodworking
We keep a small block of wax in our shop near the wood screws. Trying to insert a wood screw into a hard piece of old wood can be difficult even with an electric drill driver. Rubbing the tip of the screw over the wax block makes the job a lot easier.
Waterproofing with Beeswax
One of the often overlooked uses for beeswax is as a water-proofer. Do you have an older pair of work boots? Maybe they still have a little use in them but they leak in rainy weather? I hate wet feet!
Melted beeswax may be the answer and help you get a few more steps out of those boots. Melt beeswax and brush a light coat over the surface of the leather boots. You can apply extra to the seams and other troublesome areas.
After applying wax to both boots, you can take a hair dryer (set on hot) or hot air gun and remelt the wax to improve adhesion. The secret here is a light coat of wax applied to the leather.
Using Beeswax for Fire Starters
If you enjoy backpacking or camping, you can use beeswax to make light-weight fire starters. Brush melted beeswax onto small squares of cardboard. Let cool and pack. These are easy to carry, don’t take up much space and will help you start your next fire.
Health & Beauty Uses for Beeswax
Let’s make beeswax lip balm.
Okay, it’s not only beeswax. You can imagine that dragging a block of wax across your lips wont work.
Still, the beeswax plays an important part in our recipe. It protects and moisturizes your skin.
Then you can pour the warm liquid into lip balm tubes or pots! You can add a few drops of peppermint essential oil if you wish to give your beeswax lip balm a buzz.
Would you love to have beeswax lip balm but don’t have time to make it? I periodically have some available in my Etsy store. (Click here to check).
Use Beeswax for Cracked Heels
You can add some magnesium flakes if you wish (optional). Once the cream has set, it should be stored in the frig. Rub the beeswax cream on your heels at night and put on a pair of socks.
Check out this post for a great recipe: Making Your Own Beeswax Balm
Beeswax Body Butter
Slowly stir and combine ingredients . (If you find this mixture to soft you can add more beeswax.)
Add ½ cup of Magnesium Oil to the mixture and let sit until it cools a bit. (Optional) Then add 24 drops of Lavender Essential Oil (or other) and stir briskly or whip. You will love it and it makes a great homemade gift too!
And check out my friend Tracy over at Our Simple Homestead for her Beeswax Hand Lotion Recipe.
Hair Care with Beeswax
A mixture of 1/2 beeswax and 1/2 coconut oil is often used as a hair dressing. It makes a great beard balm for the guys and can be used to condition dreadlocks.
Beeswax for Ouchies!
Beeswax is used as a major ingredient in many salves, creams and ointments. From promoting healing for burns to preventing infections, you can use beeswax to create a natural healing product. This is a great recipe to try for healing.
Using Beeswax for Hobbies
Beeswax for Woodwind Instruments
If you or someone you know enjoys playing woodwind instruments, beeswax deserves a place in your equipment bag. A thin coat of wax on the reeds will ensure a good, tight fit.
Protect and Improve Your Tambourine
Do you play the tambourine? A light coating of wax on the surface allows fingers to roll off better. This gives you a chance for a better performance and protects your instrument.
Artistic Beeswax Uses
Beeswax is used to create many varieties of art and home decor. Express yourself using wax on silk painting or other batik styles. You are only limited by your creativity.
Yes, I said crayons. As a child I loved to smell my crayons – who knows what I was breathing in. If you want to give your children or grandchildren a more natural approach, use beeswax crayons.
Using Beeswax for Plant Propagation
Gardening is a great hobby. For those of you who enjoy developing new plants, beeswax can be a valuable tool. Beeswax is often used for grafting. It is the perfect medium for holding 2 parts of plant material together. It is all natural and non-toxic.
Awesome Uses for Beeswax
- making beeswax candles
- sliding sticky drawers
- as a sewing aid
- smooth running zipper
- sealing envelopes
- make your own furniture polish
- prevent bronze tarnishing
- use in canning to seal jars
- make natural food wraps
- a natural non-stick pan coating
- easier grill clean up
- makes shop hand saws work smoother
- lubricate wood screws and nails
- traditional water proofer
- fun fire starters
- make you own beeswax lip balm
- ease cracked heels
- make a luxurious body butter
- coat reeds of woodwind instruments
- protect surface of tambourines
- batik art
- silk painting
- make natural beeswax crayons
- use for plant grafting
- it just smells good – just kidding – many, many more….
Don’t Stop Now – Use That Beeswax
These are just a few of the uses for beeswax that you can take advantage of for your home, shop, garden or hobbies. You can often buy beeswax from a local beekeeper.
I occasionally have some raw beeswax in my Etsy store. Be careful when purchasing beeswax online, be sure to purchase only pure beeswax.
Now go out there and create something wonderful with beeswax. And if you find another awesome use for beeswax – please let me know!