Recently I was on the hunt for some local beeswax. Believe it or not, it’s not that easy to find in the middle of winter in northern Minnesota. But I managed. This is what I got.
Looks like great chapstick right? Maybe not, but when it looks like this it’s usually free; cost-wise anyway, labor, not so much.
To clean the beeswax I have a designated wax pot. You can use any pot but I have the hardest time getting it wax free when I’m done. So I do the best I can and call it good. Using my trusty hammer I smashed the wax into chunks so it would fit in the pot.
I then set the pot in front of my woodstove to let the wax melt. Because the chunks were so big, they melted slowly. If the heat it too high it can scorch the wax.
Once everything is completely melted I pour the wax through a flour sack towel into an ice cream bucket. I use the oldest, thinnest most stained towel I have. When you are done straining the wax the only thing you can do with the towel is save the corners for dust rags or cleaning cast iron and throw the waxed part.
Once the hot strained wax is in the bucket I ladle it into molds. You can let it harden in the bucket rather than molds. I like having it in smaller chunks, it’s easier to work with than a big block. I didn’t take pictures of these couple steps with good reason: Camera’s and hot wax don’t mix well and the first time I ever tried this I unintentionally waxed my mother’s kitchen floor. Neither of us were too pleased with that. That’s why I don’t fiddle with anything extra when working with wax. There is a burn factor too. I guess I don’t think too much of it; if I had a nickel for every time I was burned in the kitchen I could retire! But be careful, hot wax hurts.
After all the pan ruining, towel ruining, hot wax mess, you end up with this.
For a great wood polish that is used on purpose here’s what I make and use.
4 oz. Beeswax
16 oz. Olive Oil
2 tsp. Citrus Essential Oil
Melt the wax. Add the oils. Stir until everything is well combined. Pour into wide mouth pint jars and allow to harden.
To use the polish rub a very small amount of a clean, soft rag and then rub onto the wood. With another clean, soft, rag buff lightly.