How to Render Beeswax with Less Mess

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Beeswax is an incredible byproduct of beekeeping! I kept bees for years before I ever took advantage of the extra wax that I was throwing out and I kick myself often for not learning to render beeswax sooner! 

How to Render Beeswax

The method that I use for rendering beeswax reduces the number of steps from dirty comb to clean golden wax. This simple process melts the wax and filters it at the same time. 

You can also render beeswax in a double boiler and then run it through a filter, but I find that the method in this post is more efficient as it saves time and reduces the mess.

What Comb Can You Use When Rendering Beeswax?

You can use any old comb and wax caps leftover from a honey extraction. Burr comb that is removed from the hives is also great to use. It is fine for the honeycomb and cappings to have dirt, dead bees, and brood embedded. All of this debris will be caught during the rendering process.

Dirt and dead bees left behind on a flour sack towel after rendering beeswax

Ingredients

  • Honeycomb and Wax Cappings
  • Filtered Water

Supplies

**I recommend using equipment and supplies that are dedicated to beeswax rendering as the wax is very difficult to clean off.

Steps for Rendering Beeswax

STEP 1

Fill a stockpot ¾ of the way with filtered water.

STEP 2

Put the dirty honeycomb and wax cappings into a double layer of fine cheesecloth or flour sack towels.

STEP 3

Secure the top of the cheesecloth or flour sack towels with a rubber band and place it into the water. I like to clip the cloth to the top of the stockpot to keep it in one place.

Beeswax melting through a flour sack towel in a stockpot of water

STEP 4

Turn the heat up to a gentle simmer. Wait for the wax to start melting out of the cloth. The melting point for beeswax is 145 degrees F. I use a candy thermometer to see how close the water is and I adjust the heat as needed.

STEP 5

Once the rendered beeswax wax is all melted out, use a pair of tongs to squeeze every last bit of the melted wax out of the cloth. 

Squeezing the remainder of melted beeswax out of the flour sack towel.

STEP 6

Remove from heat and let the clean wax solidify. When it is solid, you can pop the chunk of beeswax right out of the pot. If there are some dirty bits on the bottom, simply scrape them off.  Throw out the dirty water.

Rendered beeswax solidifying on top of water

How to Store Beeswax

Storing beeswax is pretty simple. It can be stored in anything that will keep dust off of it… plastic bags, jars, food containers, storage bins, etc.

You will also want to consider that beeswax melts at 145 degrees F so you don’t want to store it in a place that can reach that temp. Most places in your home and even your garage should be safe. Keep it in a cooler place (below 80 degrees F) if you want it to keep its shape and not get soft.

Beeswax can store indefinitely when kept away from dust and high heat. 

Solidified rendered beeswax

How to Use Rendered Beeswax

Pure beeswax can be melted down in a double boiler to make skin care and beauty products, candles, food wraps, and more! Here are some ideas

Salve

Melt beeswax in infused oil in a double boiler to make an herbal salve.

Beeswax can also be melted and combined with essential oils to make a homemade bag balm for dairy animals (also great for dry skin).

violet leaf salve in a tin

Lotion

Mix melted beeswax with skin safe oils to make an all natural hand & body lotion!

Lip Balm

Beeswax can be used to make a soothing homemade lip balm.

Beeswax Wraps

Use pure home rendered beeswax to make your own beeswax wraps for food! There is no need to pay $2-5 for ONE wrap when you can make your own for a fraction of that price!

Wood / Furniture Polish

Use beeswax to polish wood furniture, wooden utensils, cutting boards, and keepsakes.

Coat Hive Frames

Coat your beehive frames with beeswax to help the bees accept and work with the frames more easily.

Candles

Beeswax can make beautiful natural candles for your home. Here is an easy recipe for homemade beeswax candles.

How to Render Beeswax

How to Render Beeswax

Ingredients

  • Honeycomb and Wax Cappings
  • Filtered Water
  • Cheesecloth or flour sack towel
  • Stockpot
  • Chip Clamp
  • Rubber band
  • Tongs

Instructions

STEP 1

Fill a stockpot ¾ of the way with filtered water.

STEP 2

Put the dirty honeycomb and wax cappings into a double layer of cheesecloth or flour sack towels.

STEP 3

Secure the top of the cheesecloth or flour sack towels with a rubber band and place it into the water. I like to clip the cloth to the top of the stockpot to keep it in one place.

STEP 4

Turn the heat up to a gentle simmer. Wait for the wax to start melting out of the cloth. The melting point for beeswax is 145 degrees F. I use a candy thermometer to see how close the water is and I adjust the heat as needed.

STEP 5

Once the rendered beeswax wax is all melted out, use a pair of tongs to squeeze every last bit out of the cloth. 

STEP 6

Remove from heat and let the wax solidify. When it is solid, you can pop the chunk of beeswax right out of the pot. If there are some dirty bits on the bottom, simply scrape them off. 

Notes

Dirty comb is fine to use.

Store in a spot that will generally be lower than 80 degrees F and where the wax won't be coated in dust.

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Render Beeswax with fewer steps and less mess
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