Uses for Beeswax

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Bees use beeswax to create the interior structure of their home. But, we humans have come up with some awesome uses for beeswax too. From making candles and craft projects to preserving wooden treasures and even softening your skin and hair – you will find beeswax uses suitable for every facet of your life.

Small blocks of beeswax that can be used for projects.

Join me on this journey through the myriad of ways to use beeswax. Discover the many roles this humble substance beeswax – only made by bees brings to our lives. It is renewable resource with thousands of applications.

Beeswax Uses in the Home

A bit of raw beeswax is a terrible thing to waste. No, seriously – it is a remarkable versatile medium to work with. You can mix it with other waxes or oils – or melt it and shape into new creations. This makes it a perfect substance to use for many home applications.

  • making beeswax candles
  • lubricate wooden drawers
  • sewing aid
  • unstick zippers
  • seal envelopes
  • natural furniture polish
  • beeswax bronze polish
  • DIY air fresheners

Making Beeswax Candles

Once you understand the benefits of beeswax candles in your home – the extra cost won’t be a big deal.

Maybe it’s time to melt some wax and learn how to make beeswax candles yourself. It is not hard to do and you can use many different types of molds and techniques.

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If you don’t have time to make your own, you can still enjoy natural candles, purchase rolled beeswax tapers in a variety of colors.

Or, you can buy a candle kit with everything you need and quickly roll your own candles. This is a great activity for all ages.

chunk of raw wax and candles made from beeswax.

Lubricate Sticky Wooden Drawers

Do you have a problem with sticky drawers? No, seriously. I am of course referring to the pull out drawers of your wooden furniture. 

Take a small block of wax and rub it on the runners of the bottom of the drawer. This should provide enough lubrication to permit the drawer to slide easily.

A Useful Sewing Aid

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.

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! Need a quick gift idea that is sure to be a hit! Create this simple beeswax sewing cake gift bag!

Make Zippers Less Sticky

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 wax to rub along the teeth of the zipper. Works like a charm and it will work for your favorite coat too!

Using 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!

Gently warm a piece of wax and rub it on the sealing edges of the envelope. You can purchase special wax stamps for this purpose too.

picture of wax sealed letter and wax in two small containers.

Making Natural 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 with this beeswax furniture polish recipe. It is quick and easy to make. Make sure your wax is free of dirt etc. before you begin.

DIY Bronze Polish 

Raw beeswax makes a good polish for bronze pieces too. Rub a warm wax bar (you can warm it with a hair dryer), on your bronze items and buff. The wax coating will prevent tarnishing.

DIY Air Fresheners

Do you enjoy fragrant wax melts? Avoid the nasty chemicals present in many commercial varieties. You can make your own all natural beeswax melts using essential oils to freshen up any room.

A variation on melts-combine two renewable waxes together in these scented beeswax and soy tarts. The use of essential oils or fragrance oils opens the door to many possibilities.

These DIY herbal wax sachets are just right to freshen up a small space and so easy to make. They can be very pretty too with the addition of dried flowers.

Using Beeswax in the Kitchen

Beeswax has been used for hundreds of years in canning and preserving food. 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.) More uses:

  • beeswax food wraps
  • natural spoon butter
  • non-stick coating for pans
  • easy grill clean up

Beeswax Food Wraps

Our culture is finally getting the message about our exorbitant use of plastics. Instead of adding to our ever growing landfills, consider making your own reusable beeswax wraps. Reusable food wraps and help save you money and help you produce less waste.

Homemade Spoon Butter

Give your wooden utensils a spa treatment with this recipe for homemade beeswax spoon butter. This “spoon” or wood butter is a great way to protect all the wooden implements in your kitchen. You can use it on cutting boards too.

Natural Non-Stick Coating

A small amount of wax 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

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.

Beeswax Uses in the Shop

A small block of wax will come in handy in your garage or shop. 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. You can do even more:

  • lubricate hand saw teeth
  • apply to end of nails prior to use
  • waterproof shoes or boots
  • polish and protect leather
  • make natural fire starters for stoves etc.

Apply Beeswax to Hand Saw Teeth

When using a hand saw in new wood, any carpenter will appreciate having a little wax 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.)

Using Beeswax on Nails

Another common way to use beeswax in carpentry is to ease the application of nails or screws. When nailing into a piece of hardwood, just a bit of soap or beeswax on the tip helps the nail glide into place.

Waterproofing

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 wax may be the answer and help you get a few more steps out of those boots. Use beeswax for waterproofing for old hiking boots and keep your toes dry.

Beeswax Polish for Leather Goods

Use beeswax on leather items. It is a great cleaner and will soften the leather surface and help prevent cracking. I have used it on horse bridles, saddles, furniture and a purse!

DIY Natural Fire Starters

If you enjoy backpacking or camping, you can easily make simple light-weight fire starters. Brush melted wax 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 – anywhere.

Need a quick way to start your campfire? Try these homemade beeswax fire starters – you can even give them as a gift as the pine cones are so cute!

Materials used to make beeswax lip balm and beauty items.

Beeswax for Health & Beauty

The natural properties of beeswax make it such a great ingredient for cosmetics and beauty recipes. Using beeswax for skin care is nothing new as it has been used as such for centuries. In fact, you can make your own DIY face moisturizing cream with honey and beeswax and many more projects.

  • make beeswax lip balm
  • balm for cracked heels
  • homemade body butter
  • make natural salves with beeswax
  • DIY hair care ideas
  • sooth itchy bug bites
  • protect dog paw pads naturally

Making Beeswax Lip Balm

Honestly, it is so easy to make beeswax lip balm, everyone should be doing it. Just add 2 other ingredients to achieve the perfect consistency and your lips will be smacking with joy.

When I create lip balm, I normally add Palm Oil and Sweet Almond Oil. 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 lip balm a buzz.

Three different applications of beeswax uses, food wraps, moisturizer and salve.

Soothing Cracked Heels

Human skin and beeswax recipes are a match made in heaven. The moisturizing properties of this natural wax help sooth itchy, dry skin and promote healing.

Make your own beeswax balm and soothe those cracked heels-especially in Winter. You can add some magnesium flakes if you wish (optional). Rub the cream on your heels at night and put on a pair of socks.

Body Butter Recipe

Ready to treat yourself to a special all natural moisturizing experience. Here it is – the only body butter recipe with beeswax you will ever need. This lavender scented recipe produces a luxurious whipped body butter.

However, if you like the lighter feel of homemade lotion, make your own beeswax lotion. It is exactly what you need when your skin wants some extra attention.

And, for a portable moisturizer that is fun to use, you can try these DIY beeswax lotion bars. They are adorable when made in the bee theme silicone molds.

Once you have a bit of crafting experience, you may wish to try your first homemade soaps? Here are some great ideas to get started – easy beeswax soap recipes.

And, for one of the most versatile recipes around – use a bit of beeswax and olive oil to make your own petroleum jelly – without the crude oil byproducts!

Various health and beauty uses for beeswax burn sale and calendula salve image.

Natural Salve Recipes

Beeswax is used as a major ingredient in many salves, creams and ointments. From promoting healing for burns to preventing infections, you can create a natural soothing product.

This easy DIY honey burn salve is a breeze to make and nice to have on hand for minor burns and scrapes. Containing aloe it is very soothing. Another great herbal salve to make is calendula salve using beeswax and infused calendula oil.

Looking for a natural product that may help achy joints and sprains? Herbalist recommend dandelion salve made with beeswax and infused oil. It is so easy to make and inexpensive too! Finally a use for all those little yellow flowers in the yard.

Another “weed” from the backyard that can be used for homemade salves is plantain. Both broadleaf and narrowleaf plantain can be used to make a healing beeswax plantain salve.

If the cold and flu season just around the corner? Don’t forget to have some natural beeswax vapor rub on hand. It works well to ease your complaints and you can pronounce every ingredient on the label!

Using Beeswax for Hair Care

The use of beeswax for your hair will of course depend on the type of hair that you have and your preferred style. For those seeking a natural product, 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.

DIY Beeswax Bug Bite Stick

I love being outside but unfortunately the bugs love me. Create your own beeswax DIY bug bite releif stick, this special mixture of beeswax, oils and essential oils that calm irritated skin .

Homemade Dog Paw Balm

We are not the only ones that can benefit from a little balm on our feet. This homemade recipe for dog paw balm uses beeswax and other natural ingredients. This is a great way to help Rover make it through the Winter season in comfort.

Hobby & Artistic Uses

The versatility of beeswax is admirable when used for practical purposes, but it is also useful in hobby and artistic projects. Some examples are:

  • coating reeds of woodwind instruments
  • protecting a tambourine
  • use beeswax in plant propogation
  • wax your skis
  • beeswax used for artistic expression
  • make natural crayons
  • create waterproof matches
  • fly fishing ideas
  • lubrication for archery bow strings

Coating Reeds of Woodwind Instruments

If you or someone you know enjoys playing woodwind instruments, beeswax deserves a place in your equipment bag. A thin coat of beeswax on the reeds will ensure a good, tight fit.

Protecting and Improving Your Tambourine

Do you play the tambourine? A light coating of wax on the surface of your tambourine allows fingers to roll off better. This gives you a chance for a better performance and protects your instrument.

Plant Propagation

For those of you who enjoy developing new plants, beeswax can be a valuable tool. Often used for grafting, beeswax is the perfect medium for holding 2 parts of plant material together. It is all natural and non-toxic.

Give Your Snow Skis More Glide

If snow skiing is your passion, a light coat of beeswax applied to the bottom of your skis will help you glide down the hill faster. I am not responsible if you go too fast and hit a tree – you have been warned.

Encaustic and Batik Art

It is used to create many varieties of art projects. Express yourself using wax on silk painting or other batik styles.  You are only limited by your creativity.

Natural Wax Crayons

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, buy natural crayons or make your own beeswax crayons.

Creating Your Own Waterproof Matches

Nothing is more frustrating than a wet match. Waterproof matches are wonderful but rather expensive. Then next time you plan a camping trip, try this beeswax hack to make your own waxed stick matches.

Melt a bit of beeswax and dip the head of the match in the hot wax. Let it cool a few seconds them pinch the warm wax near the head to seal. When you are ready to use the match just pop off the top portion of wax.

Enhancing Your Fly Fishing

Many anglers know the secret of using beeswax in pursuit of the big catch. A light coating of beeswax applied to your fishing line, helps keep the line afloat on top of the water.

Reducing Friction on Archery Bow Strings

If you are a budding archer and do not wish to use synthetic bow string wax, consider a little of this natural wax. Using beeswax on your bow strings can help reduce friction and may prolong their life.

Beeswax for Craft Projects

While this natural product from the bees can do some serious work, it has a fun side too. There are many creative beeswax uses involving home decor and seasonal decoration. Here are a few:

  • beeswax leaves
  • DIY Christmas ornaments from beeswax
  • make beeswax lanterns or luminaires
  • many uses in cosmetic industry

Preserving Leaves in Beeswax

Need a way to brighten up the indoors? Preserving leaves in beeswax is an easy craft that the whole family can participate in with a little supervision (you do have to melt wax).

This is a great way to preserve Fall for a bit longer and maybe get in a leaf identity lesson at the same time.

Making Beeswax Christmas Ornament

Christmas ornaments and tree decorations have been created using natural products for hundreds of years. In the past tin molds were used, today it is really easy to make your own beeswax Christmas ornaments with clay cookie molds.

And, if you want more of a folk-art look check out the Blackened Beeswax Christmas Ornaments. You can control the amount of color you want to add.

Handmade Luminaires

Another great holiday tradition is the use of DIY luminaires. You can create beautiful handmade beeswax luminaires or lanterns to create soft lighting for the dinner table or other event.

Uses in the Cosmetic Industry

Widely used in cosmetic products such as eye makeup and lipstick, the flexibility of beeswax lends well to many commercial products. However, many of us love to create handmade lotions and potions. Beeswax Alchemy is one of my favorite books. It has many natural wax recipes to try.

Choosing Beeswax

Buying from a local beekeeper is the least expensive way to obtain beeswax. However, raw beeswax must be cleaned before it is used. The color of natural beeswax varies a bit – yellow beeswax is most commonly used for crafting.

Large blocks of wax are the most economical option. The 1 oz net weight bars are good for smaller projects and beeswax pellets have become more common.

Safety & Storage

And easy medium to work with beeswax has a relatively low melting point of 143° F – 147° F (62° C-64° C). It becomes pliable and easy to bend and form at 90° F-95° F (32° C-35° C).

This makes it possible to make things without special equipment and it is safer to work with than some products. It is flammable when overheated. Heat your wax only enough to liquify it and never leave it unattended.

One of the beauties of this natural wax is that it never spoils. Store it in a place that does not experience hot temperatures and it will be there for you to use whenever you are ready.

Protect counters to prevent drips. But, when they happen, safely remove beeswax from the surfaces right away.

FAQs

What is beeswax?

Beeswax is mixture of esters, Creotic Acid, hydrocarbins, water, alcohol, minerals, pigments and who knows what else.

How much honey must bees consume to make wax?

The numbers given for honey vs wax production can vary. But, the general consensus is that bees consume 7#-9# of honey to produce 1# of beeswax.

Can beeswax be eaten?

Yes, beeswax is edible and can be consumed by humans. However, the nutrition value is debatable. Most resources say that beeswax is not digestible and passes through the body as roughage.

Why is beeswax not vegan?

Beeswax is not considered vegan by many followers of the discipline. They feel that the bees are exploited in the process of beekeeping and producing wax. They same holds true for honey not being vegan for most followers.

How much should you pay for a pound of beeswax?

The cost of a pound of beeswax varies from one location to another. Lighter colored wax is often more expensive than the dark varieties. Prices often range from $12 – $20 per pound for clean wax.

Is beeswax healthy?

It is known to have antifungal and antibacterial properties! Beeswax may help prevent the growth of yeasts and fungi. This makes it a popular ingredient in salves and moisturizers.

How do we get beeswax?

How do we get wax? When beekeepers harvest honey, surplus wax is left over from the extraction process. It is melted into blocks and stored to be used later.

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the ways to use beeswax in your home, shop, garden or hobbies. There are so many things you can do with a little of this gift from the hive. Don’t let your experiment stop here – give it a try. Now what can you make?

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