Beeswax is a natural substance created by bees in their hives. Bees build honeycombs from wax to store honey they create. Beekeepers remove wax honeycombs from bee hives and extract honey. After the honey is extracted, the beeswax is cleaned and processed for further use. Here are some practical uses for beeswax:
- Accordion Sealer: Rub beeswax around the edges of accordion brads that attach the bellows to create an air-tight seal.
- Bagpipe Helper: Coat the hemp on bagpipe joints and tuning slides with beeswax. This treatment helps keep the hemp flexible and reduces unintended slide movement.
- Baking Tool: Use a small amount of beeswax instead of shortening or other lubricants on baking molds to make it easier to remove the final product. Beeswax also may tend to give baked products a distinctive, crunchy crust.
- Balm Ingredient: Use beeswax to thicken herbal oils to convert them to ointments and balms. Many commercial products use beeswax in their balms and lotions.
- Basket Component: For many years, fine basket makers have applied a thin coat of melted beeswax to the surface of their baskets. Brush a small amount of melted beeswax inside and outside the basket, place the basket in the oven (low heat) on a piece of tin foil, and allow the wax to work its way into the seams of the basket. This procedure is especially helpful for making pine needle baskets.
- Beeswax Candles: Create smokeless candles that can be molded or sculptured into various shapes and sizes. Beeswax candles are virtually dripless and give off a pleasant honey aroma as they burn.
- Bolt Protector: Dip the treads of a bolt in melted beeswax to keep the nut from rusting onto the threads.
- Bowstring Preservative: Rub beeswax into a bowstring to provide a natural lubricant between the fibers of the bowstring. This will help protect the bowstring from environmental contaminants and reduce wear of the fibers as the bowstring is flexed to shoot arrows.
- Bullet Casting Flux: Use beeswax as a flux with molten lead to help remove impurities.
- Candy Additive: Many high-end candies include beeswax for various reasons. Jelly Belly jelly beans and Haribo Gold Gummy Bears coat their candy with beeswax to help lock in the flavor.
- Concrete Counter Polish: Apply a small amount of wax to a chamois cloth and rub into polished concrete counter tops. This will help give the countertop a subtle natural-looking luster. Repeat as necessary, to achieve the desired look.
- Cosmetics Additive: Many cosmetic makers add beeswax to their products. It helps with several methods to treat various skin concerns.
- Cutting Board Conditioner: Add a small amount of beeswax to mineral oil (about half-teaspoon wax to one cup oil). Heat the substance or put in microwave until the wax melts. Rub into the cutting board with a soft cloth. Repeat the process occasionally, to help preserve the wooden cutting board.
- Drawer Lubricant: Keep wooden drawers from sticking by rubbing some beeswax on the places where wood touches wood.
- Hoof Healer: A melted mixture of beeswax and honey makes an excellent home remedy for cracked hoofs on horses and other animals. Ensure hoof and crack surfaces are clean, then apply liberal amounts of the natural healing compound.
- Leather Waterproofing: Warm a mixture of equal parts beeswax, tallow, and neetsfoot oil until all is melted. Blend well and apply to leather with a rag while the mixture is warm. It works well for work boots and gloves, but may discolor decorative leather. Test a small area first to ensure you like the results.
- Metal Preservative: Mix melted beeswax into turpentine. Paint the mixture on exposed metal, such as bronze or copper, to help prevent oxidation. After the mixture dries on the metal, buff it with an old towel until you have a hard, thin coat. Repeat, as necessary.
- Rope Saver: Dip string in melted beeswax, then wrap the waxed string tightly around the end of a rope at least ten times to keep the ends from fraying. Tie the string and trim loose ends.
- Screw Lubricant: Rub screw threads with beeswax to make it easier for the screw to go into wood. This treatment may also help prevent corrosion.
- Window Lubricant: Rub a thin layer of beeswax on window sashes to help wooden windows open and close more smoothly.
- Wood Wax: Melt beeswax and mix with equal parts linseed oil and turpentine to make an excellent wax for indoor exposed wood (like exposed ceiling beams) that needs to be preserved, but does not get much wear.
- Wrought Iron Covering: Use beeswax polish to add a beautiful sheen and rust protectant to ironwork. Make your own iron polish by combining equal amounts of mineral spirits and linseed oil with beeswax. Heat the mixture and add enough beeswax until your creation has the consistency of motor oil. Rub to cover all exposed areas and buff off the excess for best results.