If you've used any type of salve, soap bar, or natural candle, you've likely used beeswax. It's a common ingredient in cosmetics for its anti-inflammatory benefits. But if you look into beeswax, you'll realize that it's well known in the woodworking and crafting communities. This by-product of honey can preserve food, strengthen metal tools, and even start fires...if you know how to use it. Do you know how to use beeswax to improve your life and home?
Beeswax has a natural luster that gives it a shiny, warm-colored coat. That makes it an ideal polish for wood, metal, or concrete. Melt the beeswax and dip a chamois cloth into it. Then, go to town on your wood or metal.
The beeswax will also seal the wood, preventing both moisture and damage from ruining it. Plus, it's all-natural. You won't have to worry about suffocating the room with polishing sprays and chemicals. And it's far cheaper!
Protect Your Tools From Rusting
Give your tools a protective layer to keep them from rusting. By melting beeswax with linseed oil and mineral spirits, you can create a mixture that protects hammers, pans, and nails. Apply the warm paste to your tool with a washcloth and allow it to dry.
Beeswax can also seal wooden handles. To prevent damage on the handle, apply melted beeswax to the wood. The layer should thin enough that you won't feel it, but it'll guard against weather and bugs.
Preserve Your Food With Natural Wraps
If you're worried about plastic wrap contaminating your food, you're not the only one. That's why crafters have sought a more natural alternative. By coating some fabric in beeswax, you create a food-safe wrap to prolong your food's shelf life.
To start, cut some fabric into the sizes you want. Heat your oven to 200°F and lay some beeswax over the cloth on a pan. Stick it in the oven for five to ten minutes. After it hardens, do the other side.
Protect Your Cheese
Have you ever wondered what the casing of cheese wheels is made out of? It's wax. If you want to preserve homemade cheese snacks, you can create this coating out of beeswax. This works best for hard cheeses such as gouda and cheddar.
Wait until the cheese has developed a hard outer layer. Then, heat the beeswax with olive oil and dip the cheese into it quickly. If you leave it in for too long, the cheese will melt. Allow the wax to dry, and you're done!
Beeswax Becomes A Lubricant
Beeswax doesn't just protect tools from the weather. Since it's so oily, beeswax can lubricate metal parts of machinery or tools. Doing so will prevent creaking and help you slide the tool into place more easily.
You'll have to melt beeswax before applying it to your tool. Rub some on with a washcloth and wait for it to dry before using the tool. The beeswax will prevent tarnishing and preserve the metal's shininess. What can't it do?
Use Beeswax As A Fire Starter
Did you know that beeswax is flammable? A substantial amount of wax can burn for around 15 minutes. Since beeswax is odorless and toxin-free, it's an ideal fire starter to throw into an indoor fireplace.
Stick some beeswax into an empty egg carton for an easy fire-starter. You can also dip (clean) pine cones in beeswax and use those for a nice smell. After the fire burns, you can use the resulting ashes as plant fertilizer.
Make Your Own Crayons
Crayons are made from wax and dye. If you own some beeswax, you can create homemade crayons. You can also transform standard crayons into fun shapes for your kids! All you need are beeswax, soap, and food dye.
Heat the beeswax and soap to melt them, and stir in the food dye. Once the mixture has hardened, it will be ready for drawing. Before then, shape the wax by using stencils or aluminum foil. Let them dry for around four hours before handling.
Strengthen A Wooden Cutting Board
Natural beeswax is food-safe and often used in candies and chocolates. That's why it's safe to use some on a wooden cutting board. If you want your cutting board to last a while, coat it with a beeswax finish.
All you need is a jar of beeswax and a clean cloth or paper towel. Rub a thin layer into your cutting board. Once it's dry, buff it with a rag to shine it. Your board will last longer and look better.
Wax Your Thread
If you're making leatherwork or jewelry, a standard thread won't cut it. You'll need stronger thread that can hold better and keep the knots in place. To achieve this, wax your thread using beeswax.
All you need to is rub your thread against a ball of beeswax. Pull the thread through gently to get it coated. After you've repeated this four or five times, covering each side, your thread should be coated. It's easy and can be a life-saver during your crafting!
Grease Baking Sheets
If you're out of butter or cooking oil, grab the beeswax. This wax is edible and safe for baking, often being used in chocolates and candies. It's as easy as...well, rubbing beeswax over your baking sheet.
If you warm your baking sheet slightly before applying, the beeswax will go on easier. Don't worry if it hardens; it'll melt again in the oven. After baking, the beeswax will cool along with the pan, and it'll be easy to remove.
Shoe-shining polish is expensive, isn't it? Then use beeswax instead. Because beeswax has a high melting point, it's durable enough to not melt off of shoes. Applying to leather will keep your shoes durable and shiny.
There is one downside to using beeswax here. It does not soften the leather. If you are looking to harden your leather, use beeswax. Apply it gently with a soft, clean cloth, and let it dry.
Seal And Polish Granite Countertops
Those who have granite counters likely know that they're different from tile counters. Granite is naturally porous, soaking up everything from water to soap. To seal the granite and give it a muted shine, buy some beeswax.
Pour warm beeswax onto a clean cloth and rub it onto the counter. Once the wax has hardened, wipe off the excess. The beeswax should waterproof and seal the granite. Some say that beeswax makes granite look more matte, while others say that it makes it look shinier.
Homemade Scented Candles
If you're a candle lover, you'll want to listen up. Beeswax is the main ingredient for creating candles. If you own some dried herbs or other oils, you can make a scented candle.
Here are the basics: grab a container and stick a candle wick to the bottom. In a pot, melt beeswax with your desired oils (only a few drops of essential oils will do). Before the mixture dries, pour it into the container with the wick. Viola!
Purify The Air
When indoor spaces lack circulation, they often contain more chemicals and toxins than the outdoor air. That's why air purifiers sell for a lot of money. Unfortunately, many candles are made from petroleum-derived paraffin wax that contributes to dirty air. Purify your indoor air with beeswax.
Since beeswax candles don't contain chemicals or toxins, they're safe for those with asthma and allergies. They also last longer than a standard paraffin candle. Buy or make beeswax candles to keep your home's air clean.
Prevent Wood From Splintering
Have you ever hammered a nail and watched the wood splinter? It's not a pretty sight. But you can prevent splintering by coating your screws and nails in beeswax. The wax acts as a lubricant that will slip into the wood more easily.
Get a hardened block of beeswax, and stick your nails or screws into it a couple of times. Make sure the wax isn't dyed; otherwise, you may stain the wood. Once the nail is coated, it's ready to use.
Create An Envelope Seal
Formal invitations for weddings and reunions may benefit from a fancy envelope. And what better way to decorate the envelope than a wax seal? If you want to make a wax seal, all you need is beeswax. You can include a stamp and food dye for the appearance.
If you want to color your seal, heat the beeswax with food coloring. Drip it onto your envelope with a spoon, then press in your stamp. It'll look professional once it dries!
Mold Ear Plugs
Are you going to a loud concert soon? You'll need earplugs--and you can make them yourself. Beeswax earplugs are waterproof and will mold to fit your ears, unlike foam or silicone ones that can hurt over time.
All you need is solid beeswax to shape and mold into your ear. Since beeswax can fit into your ears well, it may block out sounds efficiently. Don't use it more than once to prevent the spread of bacteria.
Clean And Patinate Bronze Items
Since beeswax guards against water and corrosion, it works for most metals. One of these is bronze, and beeswax gives bronze a unique patina (sheen). You can also apply beeswax to seal bronze jewelry, statues, or dishware.
You can either rub room-temperature beeswax onto the item or slightly warm the beeswax for a thinner coat. After you apply it, the bronze object will look lustrous--just like new! Beeswax works especially well on outdoor bronze items such as statues and pots.
Silence Squeaking Hinges
Do you have a window or door that seems to screech whenever you move it? If so, beeswax may be your best remedy. As a lubricant, beeswax protects the hinges and keeps them smooth and quiet.
You can try rubbing beeswax straight onto the hinge, but most likely, you'll need to remove the hinge pin. Take it out, rub it in solid beeswax a couple of times, and then reinstall it. The door or window should stop squeaking.
Mold Your Own Soap
In soap bars, wax keeps all the oils together. So it's no wonder that beeswax can help you mold homemade soap. But in making soap, beeswax comprises only 2% of the recipe. The rest include oils, water, lye, and possibly fragrance.
The ingredients for your soap will depend on the recipe, so find a reliable one. In general, you'll melt the beeswax with the oil, and add lye to water separately. Then you'll combine all and pour it into a mold to harden.