Beeswax: 7 Easy Uses of Beeswax at Home
If you are one of the increasing number of people who wants to eliminate toxins and plastics in your home, then a great place to start is with beeswax.
This remarkable natural product has a myriad of uses. We have selected our top seven most practical.
Firstly, what is beeswax?
Beeswax is a unique substance secreted by special glands on a honeybee’s abdomen. The bees store this incredible building material as tiny flakes. When they are ready to build or repair their hives, they chew the wax to make it soft enough to mould.
Beeswax has special properties which have benefited humans since ancient times:
- It’s naturally free of nasty chemicals and toxins
- It’s entirely natural and edible
- It has built in anti-bacterial properties
- It is anti-inflammatory – helps to soothe irritated skin
- It contains vitamin A – which helps wounds heal, protects against the sun and reduces wrinkles
- It’s a great emulsifier, and mixes readily with oils
- It’s water-repellent
- It has a high melting point of 62 to 64 °C (144 to 147 °F)
And the great news is that choosing this safe and sustainable product does not harm the bees, so long as you source your beeswax from ethical beekeepers. It comes in beautiful natural colours, depending on the pollen sources, and can be bright yellow, creamy white or brown.
1. Beeswax candles
The most obvious use for beeswax is to make candles, as humans have done throughout history. Beeswax candles have huge benefits in your home when compared with normal paraffin candles. Since paraffin comes from petroleum, it is full of nasty chemicals, sending benzene, toluene and soot into the air. What’s more, some manufacturers add synthetic colours and perfumes to make these candles more appealing. The result can be a product that is pretty toxic to human health.
Beeswax candles have none of these additives. Since beeswax is made in the hive, their natural honey fragrance comes from the lingering scent of honey. These candles are even reported to help people with asthma or allergies because they produce negative ions which remove allergens from the air.
Beeswax candles also burn more slowly than paraffin candles so they last much longer.
You can save money by making your own candles. It is a very easy process. You simply need beeswax from an ethical producer, coconut oil (optional), something to serve as a wick (you can buy purpose-made ones if you wish), and those jars you’ve hung onto because they were just too pretty to throw out. These candles make great gifts for friends, especially if you add in a few drops of their favourite essential oil for a personal touch.
2. Furniture polish
Beeswax is the perfect solution for replenishing wooden furniture and giving it a protective glow.
Making your own furniture polish is as easy as heating the below ingredients gently together in a saucepan before pouring into jars.
- 150g (2/3 cup) beeswax
- 600g (3 cups) olive oil
- 10 drops Essential oil (optional)
It’s that simple!
3. Lubricate wooden drawers
Beeswax can be rubbed directly on the runners of sticking drawers to help them glide. It is also great for lubricating wooden windows and doors.
4. Rust prevention for garden tools
Next time you clean up your garden tools, try rubbing them down with beeswax. It will create a protective barrier and help prevent rust.
The water repellent qualities of beeswax make it great for waterproofing shoes or other cloth items. Just melt the wax in a saucepan, brush it on with an old paintbrush, then use a hairdryer to gently melt and finish the job. Remember that beeswax is sticky and stains are hard to get out, so use old pans and utensils and wear your old clothes!
6. Beeswax wraps
Beeswax wraps are a brilliant way to reduce or eliminate your use of cling film which we know is so bad for our health and the environment. You can buy these wraps ready made, from an ethical producer, or even have a go at making your own.
If you make your own you can enjoy shopping for that perfect cotton print or use any scraps you have saved from previous projects.
7. Skin care and natural cosmetic products
Beeswax has been an important ingredient in cosmetics since ancient times.
Many people are choosing ethical and natural products, or making their own at home using all-natural ingredients such as coconut oil, almond oil, shea butter, healing herbs and essential oils. Beeswax is the base ingredient for many of these recipes, and with good reason. It doesn’t just help thicken and emulsify, it has extraordinary properties that scientists are only just starting to appreciate. It adds its own unique moisturising, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory benefits to lotions, balm and salves. Used instead of harmful petroleum jelly, it provides a protective barrier that also lets the skin breathe.
Beeswax truly is an extraordinary natural product.