Beeswax is a natural wax that is produced by worker honey bees. It is used by the colony to create a home. But, we humans have come up with some unusual uses for beeswax to make our lives easier. Why would you want to use wax from bees? Well, first of all, it smells heavenly – and it is really a special substance with hundreds (if not thousands) of uses.
Beeswax Uses in and Around the Home
This natural wax is produced by worker bees. These female honey bees have special glands on their abdomen that secrete wax. Small pieces of wax are shaped together into the many sheets of honeycomb located inside the hive.
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Here the bees live, raise young and store honey for Winter. In the right conditions, bees do a very good job of producing a lot of wax.
This product from the hive is valuable. In fact, selling the excess can be a nice little sideline business income for a beekeeper. In some regions, a beekeeper may produce more income from selling wax than with honey sales.
The color of natural wax varies a bit from almost white to dark brown. Yellow beeswax is most commonly used for crafting. Though white beeswax is good for cosmetics and some similar products.
Buying from a local beekeeper is the least expensive way to obtain beeswax. However, raw beeswax must be cleaned before it is used. Left over bits of honey, propolis, dust and dirt will be present in raw wax. This is not suitable for many projects.
It has a relatively low melting point of 143° F – 147° F (62° C-64° C). This makes it possible to make things without special equipment and it is safer to work with than some products.
It 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 re-melt and try again!
Blocks or Pellets
You can purchase beeswax in various forms. Large blocks of wax is the most economical option. A 1 pound block of beeswax is a popular choice – as well as the 1 oz net weight bars for smaller projects.
For crafters making small projects, beeswax pellets have become more common. These small amounts of wax are easier to measure and melt. No harm in using them as long as they are pure beeswax.
Common Uses for Beeswax
There are literally thousands of ways it is used in manufacturing, crafts, healthcare, industrial applications, etc, etc. These are just a few that you can take advantage of in your home.
- making natural wax candles
- easy sliding wooden drawers
- as a sewing aid
- makes zippers zip
- sealing envelopes with wax
- make your own furniture polish
- prevent bronze tarnishing
- natural scented wax melts
- make herbal wax sachets
- use it in canning to seal jars
- beeswax for leather care
- make natural food wraps
- spoon butter
- a natural non-stick pan coating
- easier grill clean up
- makes shop hand saws work smoother
- lubricate wood screws and nails
- traditional water proofer
- use it to make fire starters
- make your own lip balm
- face moisturizing cream
- ease cracked heels
- homemade dog paw balm for Rover
- make a luxurious body butter
- homemade lotion with beeswax
- use in soap recipes
- use to make homemade petroleum jelly
- great for hair care or beard balms
- honey burn salve
- create your own herbal salves
- use essential oils to make natural vapor rub
- make bug bite sticks
- coat reeds of woodwind instruments
- protect surface of tambourines
- batik art
- used to make natural non-toxic crayons
- use for plant grafting
- waxing your snow skis
- waterproof matches
- improve fly fishing technique
- it reduces friction on bow strings
- great for preserving leaves
- make traditional Christmas ornaments
- create traditional wax luminaires
- many more applications in the cosmetic industry
Beeswax Uses in The Home
Many years ago it was even used in the process of canning jams and jelly. And, you could still do so today if you needed to.
Making Beeswax Candles
Once you understand the benefits of using natural wax candles in your home. You won’t mind the cost so much. Yes, they cost a bit more than conventional candles but have a lot to offer.
Maybe it’s time to melt some wax and learn how to make beeswax candles. It is not hard to do and you can use many different types of molds and techniques.
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 and quickly roll your own candles. This is a great activity for all ages.
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.
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 Wax 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.
Make Your Own Natural Furniture Polish
Creating a furniture polish has been one of the most popular uses for natural wax for hundreds of years. You can make your own with this beeswax furniture polish recipe. It is quick and easy to make.
Another traditional recipe involves mixing equal parts of turpentine, boiled linseed oil and melted beeswax. Make sure your wax is free of dirt etc.
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
Avoid the nasty chemicals present in many commercial wax melts. You can make your own all natural beeswax melts using a variety of essential oils.
Another variation on melt-combine to renewable waxes together in these Scented Beeswax and Soy Tarts. The use of essential oils or fragrance oils opens the door to many possibilities.
Another great use for a small amount of extra wax is creating natural air fresheners. 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.
Beeswax Polish for Leather Goods
Though not the best choice for furniture, use beeswax on other leather items. It is a great cleaner and will soften the leather surface and help prevent cracking.
Beeswax in the Kitchen
Beeswax has been used for hundreds of years 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.)
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. Reusable food wraps and help save you money and help you produce less wastes.
Homemade Spoon Butter or Wood Butter
Give your wooden utensils a spa treatment with this recipe for homemade spoon butter. This “spoon” or wood butter is a great way to protect all the wooden implements in your kitchen.
A 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
Do you love to grill? I do. But, I sure don’t like having to clean up a messy grill afterwards. This can be a special problem when we are making our Honey Glazed Grilled Pineapple.
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.
Using Beeswax in the Shop
A small block of wax will come in handy in your garage or shop. In fact, I have sold many small blocks of wax to folks who give them as small gifts!
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.
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.)
Carpenters Use Beeswax on Nails and Screws
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.
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 old hiking boots and keep your toes dry.
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.
Need a quick way to start your campfire? Try these homemade fire starters – you can even give them as a gift as the pine cones are so cute!
Health & Beauty
The natural properties of beeswax make it such a great ingredient for cosmetics and beauty recipes. And, you will find it on the ingredient list of many of your favorite products.
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.
Let’s Make Lip Balm
Okay, it’s not just wax. You can imagine that dragging a block of wax across your lips wont work. But, this natural wax has some serious soothing properties. It protects and moisturizes your skin.
Honestly, it is so easy to Make Beeswax Lip Balm, everyone should be doing it. Just add 2 other ingredients 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.
Soothe 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.
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 made it through the Winter season in comfort.
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 Recipe.
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!
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 hair 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.
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. This is a great natural all purpose salve.
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 create a healing 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!
DIY Beeswax Bug Bite Stick
I love being outside but unfortunately the bugs love me. Create your own Beeswax Bug Bite Stick, this special mixture of beeswax, oils and essential oils that calm irritated skin .
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.
Protect and Improve 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.
Artistic Uses for Beeswax
It 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.
Natural Wax Crayons
Yes, I said crayons. As a child I loved to smell my crayons – who knows what I was breathing in.
Gardening is a great hobby. 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.
Create 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.
Enhance 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.
Reduce 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 made by bees can do some serious work, it has a fun side too. There are many creative beeswax uses involving home decor and seasonal decoration.
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.
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.
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
Beyond those of us who love to create homemade products, the cosmetic industry is a major user of wax. Many beauty products make use of the wonderful properties in this wax.
Widely used in cosmetic products such as eye makeup and lipstick, the flexibility of beeswax lends well to many commercial products.
Many people love to create handmade lotions and potions. Beeswax Alchemy is one of my favorite books. It has many natural wax recipes to try.
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.
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?
FAQs and Facts About Beeswax
Beeswax is mixture of esters, Creotic Acid, hydrocarbins, water, alcohol, minerals, pigments and who knows what else.
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.
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.
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 allowed.
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.
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 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.