This article is shared with permission from our friends at naturallivingideas.com.
How to Make Candles, Pain Relief Cream, Crayons and 16 Other Items With Beeswax
If you’re like us and you love all things green and growing, then you probably already know just how much we owe to the tiny marvel that is the honey bee. These perpetually busy little insects truly are one of nature’s greatest gifts to humankind, not just for their honey and all of the mighty health benefits carried within it, but also for beeswax.
Beeswax – the natural substance which bees create and use to build the comb structures inside their hives – is well-known as an ingredient in natural lip balms and candles. However, its uses go far beyond that. Here are 20 creative things to make with beeswax plus some tips for how to work with this incredible natural ingredient!
20 Uses for Beeswax
1. Lip Balm
No doubt you’ve seen these lovelies at your local natural health store. If you’ve never tried beeswax lip balm, you really don’t know what you’re missing. One of the biggest problems with petroleum-based balms is that they taste terrible. Another is the fact that they don’t soak into your skin so you’re constantly having to reapply.
Beeswax lip balm eliminates both of these issues. It tastes good (or at least not bad), sticks to your skin like tree sap and it’s resistant to human saliva so you won’t have to reapply it every time you lick your lips.
Check out this excellent how-to by Everyday Roots to get the step-by-step for making your own homemade beeswax lip balm.
2. Moisturizing Body Bar
Beeswax makes the perfect base for creating your own all-natural moisturizing body bars. Check out this great guide by Common Sense Homesteading to learn all about it. Or if you’d like to try them out before you undertake the project of making your own, you can pick up a pre-made beeswax lotion bar here.
3. Natural Makeup
Most store-bought makeup is full of synthetic chemicals that may make you look good, but which are also damaging to your skin. Instead, learn how to create your own natural lip stick, foundation, mascara and more using beeswax and other natural ingredients with these 8 Homemade Makeup Tutorials!
4. Beard & Mustache Wax
Here’s one for the guys. Turn your facial hair into a classy all-natural fashion statement with beeswax beard and mustache wax. Bearsapp.com offers an excellent step-by-step guide here. Or borrow the secrets of the Amish (because let’s face it, they have notoriously epic facial hair!) Pick up a tin of Honest Amish natural beeswax beard wax to give it a try and see how you like it before making your own.
5. Dreadlock & Braid Wax
Condition and strengthen braids and dreadlocks with all-natural beeswax using this guide by ehow.com. You can also pick up pre-made locking wax from this page on Amazon.
6. Anti-Itch Cream
Beeswax is great for your skin, it’s no secret. If you have chronically dry skin, eczema or other irritating skin conditions, try making your own all-natural homemade beeswax anti-itch cream by following this easy how-to guide by Live Simply.
7. Pain Relief Salve
Use natural beeswax as the base for your next batch of homemade pain relief salve. Real Food Outlaws offers an excellent tutorial to show you how its done.
8. Substitute for Plastic Wrap
One of the more interesting and little-known uses for beeswax – you can use it to create and all-natural substitute for plastic wrap. Check out this guide by DIY Natural to learn more.
9. Wood Utensil & Bowl Conditioner
Coat your wooden utensils, bowls and other wooden kitchen items with beeswax to preserve and protect them from heat and to prevent them from drying and cracking. Oak Tree Arts offers a great how-to here.
You can also purchase pre-made natural beeswax wood conditioner from this page on Amazon.
10. Furniture Polish
Just as with wooden utensils and the like, beeswax can also be used to protect wooden furniture throughout your home. Read up on how to make all-natural homemade furniture polish using beeswax with this great guide by Lovely Greens.
Alternately, you can purchase natural beeswax furniture polish here.
11. Homemade Candles
Homemade beeswax candles burn longer and cleaner than most store-bought candles and are exponentially better for your health. Learn how to make your own with this excellent and very detailed guide by DIY Natural.
When making beeswax candles, you’ll want to use silicone molds as the wax will not adhere to them. There are literally thousands of styles of silicone molds to choose from! You can find an immense selection here on Amazon.
Also remember that beeswax burns hotter and longer than other types of wax so you’ll want to bee choosey with your wicks. Cotton square-braided wick is generally recognized as the best (you can find them here).
As for the size of your wick, this will be determined by the diameter of your candles. For help in the sizing department, I recommend asking your wick supplier for advice as they will (usually) know their products well enough to provide the best advice. Otherwise, Busy Bee Candle Supply offers a general wick sizing chart on their website here.
12. Envelope Sealant
As you may already know, melted beeswax has been used throughout history to seal letters and scrolls by applying a dollop of wax to the edges of the parchment and letting it harden. These wax seals were also typically stamped with the sender’s personal seal as a sort of official signature.
Jazz up your own letters and invitations by doing the same. Simply melt the end of a stick of beeswax, apply to the closed edge of an envelope and let it harden to seal it with style. You can even pick up a wax seal stamp to personalize your correspondence just like they did in the day of old!
13. Non-Toxic Crayons
Forget store-bought crayons with all of their artificial colors and ingredients. Instead, make your own homemade crayons using beeswax and natural pigments by following this guide by Wee Folk Art. (For busy parents who simply don’t have the time to undertake such a project, you can also pick up a pack of natural non-toxic beeswax crayons here.)
14. Zipper Lubricant
Apply a light coating of beeswax to zippers in order to un-stick them or to keep them lubricated and prevent sticking altogether.
15. Sewing Thread Strengthener
Strengthen your sewing thread and prevent frays by applying a light coating of beeswax along the length of it before you start stitching.
16. Iron Cleaner
Remove mineral build-up and other contaminants by rubbing a little beeswax onto the business end of your clothes iron. (This works for hair straightening irons, too!)
17. Window, Door & Drawer Lubricant
If you have a stubborn or squeaky window, door or drawer, trying coating the hinges and slides with a little beeswax to lubricate them and remove any built-up dirt or rust.
18. Screw / Nail Lubricant
Coat screws and nails with a small amount of beeswax before using them. Lubricated screws and nails go in easier and straighter and will make your next home improvement project just a little bit easier!
19. Hand Tool Protectant
Protect the metal part on your hand tools from rust and prevent wooden pieces from drying by cleaning and coating them with beeswax to extend their life. (This will help to prevent splinters, too!)
Tips For Working With Beeswax
Working with beeswax can be a fun and rewarding experience, as well as provide safe and all-natural alternatives to otherwise toxin-filled products which we use every day! Here are some tips for working with beeswax to help you get the most out of all of your DIY beeswax projects!
Types of Beeswax
You may have already noticed that natural beeswax comes in a wide variety of different colors. Part of this variation is due to the length of time wax spends inside the hive or even from what area of the hive the wax was harvested. However, if you’re wax has a greyish-brown tint to it, it is likely that the product has been minimally filtered and still contains some impurities.
Brighter yellow waxes on the other hand have probably been filtered two or three times. (These are usually slightly more expensive than the brownish less filtered varieties.) If your beeswax is white, that means either all of the pollen has been removed through filtering or the wax has been bleached to remove the yellow color of the pollen.
Protecting Work Surfaces
Before you start melting or otherwise working with beeswax, cover your surfaces. Butcher paper works well for countertops. To protect the floor, lay down newspaper or a painter’s tarp. Also, remember that any tools which come into contact with the wax will likely be permanently coated with it. For this reason, you’ll want to designate items which are specifically for working with beeswax and nothing else.
Mind the Temperature
When heating beeswax, you will want to do so in a double boiler in order to prevent the wax from burning. Also, melt your beeswax slowly and avoid ‘over-cooking’ it to prevent damaging or discoloring the wax. Also be sure to wear gloves when pouring molten wax as it is very hard to wash off of skin and can result in serious burns.
Where To Find Beeswax
You can pick up beeswax from local bee farmers in your area. If you can’t find a local supplier, you can also grab a bag of natural beeswax pellets here or try these hand poured beeswax bars for all of your DIY beeswax crafting needs!
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Natural Living Ideas shares some of the best ideas for living a healthier, happier, greener life using the gifts Mother Nature has to offer.
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