30 Smart Uses for Beeswax at Home: Creative Ideas
Beeswax is a by-product of the honey collection process, but this natural wax has some incredible properties that make it useful in its own right. Historically, beeswax was used by Vikings for metalworking, ancient Egyptians in the mummification process, and by the ancient Chinese as a healing agent and also for its beauty enhancement properties. While it is most commonly seen today in sweet-smelling and slow-burning candles, beeswax has many potential uses.
Below, you will find ways you can use this natural material in and around your home.
The 30 Creative Uses for Beeswax at Home
Crafty Beeswax Uses
1. Candle Making
Candles are probably the most common commercial use for beeswax, and where you see any selection of candles for sale, you will likely see at least one that includes beeswax. Unless you have your own supply of naturally gathered beeswax at home, making your own candles probably won’t save you much money, but it does give the satisfaction of crafting the candles yourself and allows you to choose your own scent and add your own ingredients.
2. Make Crayons
Making crayons out of beeswax is a great way to get the kids involved in a fairly simple project, and it will leave them with naturally colored crayons for their art projects. Nature can provide a great variety of natural pigments to add color to the crayons. Alternatively, add a couple of drops of food coloring to achieve the hue you want.
3. Make Wax-Coated Thread
When working with stiff material, especially leather, thread has a tendency to fray and eventually break. One way to prevent this from happening is to use a coated thread. Rather than buying coated thread, have a block of beeswax on hand and drag the thread through the wax before using it. It will help prevent fraying and the thread will run more smoothly.
4. Make Wax Seals
Envelope seals were once used as a means of sealing scrolls to show that they had not been read or tampered with. If the seal was broken, it meant the messenger had read and potentially tampered with the message. It also helped seal scrolls to prevent the message from being destroyed. While we have self-sealing envelopes today, you can still use beeswax to make your own wax seal and create a stamp out of carved wood or even potato to make a unique seal.
5. Make Beeswax Models
Modeling clay is a great crafting material, and you can make your own modeling clay by combining beeswax, lanolin, and olive oil. Add natural pigment or a little food coloring to achieve the color you want.
6. Stop Squeaking and Creaking
Wood is a great material for cabinetry and furniture making because it is easy to work with and can be turned into virtually any shape. But it does have a tendency to warp and become misshapen over time. When this happens, wooden window frames can stick, and wooden furniture can start to creak and squeak. Beeswax is a good, natural lubricant, and by rubbing it on wood joints and areas where pieces of wood meet, you can prevent these natural noises.
7. Polish Furniture
This isn’t the only way that beeswax can benefit wooden furniture, and you may have seen beeswax furniture polish in stores. Mix wax with olive oil and grapefruit seed extract to make a natural furniture polish that will buff up wooden finishes and protect the wood underneath.
8. Shine Bronze
Bronze is a beautiful material, but it is easily tarnished through oxidation, which occurs when the bronze comes into contact with moist air. A mixture of beeswax and turpentine can make a highly effective solution for coating and protecting any bronze ornaments you have in your home.
9. Care for Chopping Boards
Good quality wooden chopping boards can last a lifetime but need regular care and treatment. This can come in the form of an oil that needs to be wiped on the board and allowed to soak in, or you can use a generous coating of beeswax to protect the wood and prolong the life of a favorite chopping board.
10. Care for Wooden Utensils
Similarly, wooden utensils also need looking after. Wooden spoons and other wooden utensils are plunged into hot water and then cold, and this change in temperature, as well as the repeated soaking of the material, can cause it to split, crack, and become discolored. Use a beeswax coating to protect the utensils.
11. Prevent Rust
Oxidation isn’t just a problem for bronze, it can occur to most metals, and once metal becomes rusted it is only a matter of time before the problem gets worse and the item potentially becomes irreparably damaged. Treat your garden tools and even your metal outdoor furniture with beeswax to help prevent rusting.
12. Coat Nails
Hammering nails into wood can cause the wood to split, and this can cause a weakening of the wooden material. Before hammering the nails, coat them in beeswax to reduce friction and ensure that they slide more easily into the wood grain, reducing the chances of splitting and splintering.
13. Polish Countertops
Beeswax can be used to both polish and protect a wide range of materials. It is effective on wood and metal, but it also works on concrete and granite. If you have countertops made from these materials, applying beeswax can give an old countertop a new lease of life and protect it from damage.
In The Kitchen
14. Make Reusable Food Wrap
Disposable plastic wrap might be convenient, but it is damaging to the planet, and beeswax wraps offer a surprisingly effective alternative. As you hold the wrap, the warmth of your hands melts the wax, and it then forms a seal around whatever you are wrapping. Once in the fridge, the seal is strengthened and it prevents air from getting in. And, because you can reuse the wraps, which are made by coating natural cotton in a beeswax solution, it is much better for the environment.
15. Grease Baking Pans
Baking pans need greasing before use. It helps ensure that food doesn’t stick, making it easier to remove your baked goods and protecting the baking pan itself. Use beeswax instead of butter or grease, and after a few times, you will find that the wax creates a coating, so you won’t have to grease it every time.
16. Season Cast Iron Pots
Cast iron pots look great, feel good, and they offer a unique cooking experience, but they do require regular care and maintenance. Rather than using oils or other materials, you can rub beeswax on your cast iron pots. It’s easier to coat the pot and it gives a pleasant scent when you use the pan.
17. Bake Canneles
Canneles are a French baked delicacy that originates from Bordeaux and are cooked in specially fluted, shaped molds. Traditionally, the molds would be coated in beeswax to prevent sticking and to add a unique flavor to the crunchy outside of these pastries. It only takes a little more effort than using a baking spray, too.
18. Seal Cheese
A wax seal can help protect cheese while retaining moisture as the cheese ages and matures. If you make your own cheese and don’t want to use the paraffin wax that is traditionally used in this preservation technique, you can make a beeswax seal that is effective and natural.
19. Beeswax Fire Starters
Whether you have a wood-burning stove, a natural fire, or you enjoy getting outside and cooking on the grill, fire starters are likely a regular part of your life. By melting beeswax around pinecones, you can create fire starters that are highly effective and add a great smell to the start of your fire.
In The Wardrobe
20. Waterproof Shoes
Waterproofing shoes means that you don’t have to wear rubber boots or put up with damp feet when the weather is mild but the floor is damp. It also means that your canvas shoes and walking boots will last longer than a few months. You do need to reapply the waterproofing, typically every year, but you will prolong the life of your favorite footwear.
21. Shoe Polish
By combining beeswax with olive oil and some pigment, if you want a colored finish, you can create your own shoe polish. The polish will not only buff up leather, but it will also provide and enhance waterproofing and protective properties of the material that it covers, and it doesn’t use any chemicals.
22. Free Your Zippers
We already know that beeswax makes a great lubricant that works well on wood. It can also be used to lubricate metal, and one potential use for this piece of knowledge is to unstick stuck zippers. Rub the beeswax on the teeth of the zipper and try to get a little in the zipper itself and then gently work the zipper back and forth until it moves.
23. Batik Your Clothes
Batiking means applying wax to a surface like cloth and then color washing the material. The color won’t stick to the area where the wax is applied but will stick to the rest of the material, effectively letting you create designs from negative space. Rub wax on cotton t-shirts or other clothing and then dye the item to create your own clothing designs.
24. Make Lip Balm
Lip balm protects the sensitive skin of the lips from cracking when it gets wet and cold. It can also soothe skin that has already cracked and become damaged. Thanks to beeswax’s natural properties, it makes for a great balm base. Combine it with shea butter and coconut oil for a natural and effective lip balm.
25. Make Lipstick
Using the same ingredients and adding ingredients like beet powder or natural food coloring, you can turn that lip balm into a natural lipstick, too. Not only does this mean you know exactly what has gone into your cosmetics, but it lets you experiment with colors, as well.
26. Make Eyeliner
For the area around your eyes, you want a sensitive and sympathetic cosmetic product, and you can make your own by combining beeswax, coconut oil, and water. It’s surprisingly easy to make and it is better than applying harsh chemicals to your face.
27. Make Body Butter
Body butter is essentially a balm for your entire body or those areas that need a little extra attention after being out in the sun, driving rain, smog, and other harsh conditions. Body butter lasts longer than lotions and oils and it can really soothe tired skin.
28. Control and Style Your Hair
Flyaway hairs can be very difficult to control, but if you keep putting chemicals in your hair you will eventually cause the hair to break and become badly damaged. Because beeswax is natural and doesn’t contain harsh chemicals, and because it does an effective job of controlling unruly hair, it makes a great alternative. It doesn’t go greasy, either, and a beeswax pomade can be made by combining the wax with shea butter and jojoba oil.
29. Make Beard Wax
Making a beard wax or a mustache wax is arguably even easier because it only takes coconut oil and beeswax. Mix equal parts of the two ingredients and you can create a wax that will protect your facial hair and allow you to more easily style and shape it.
30. Soothe Bug Bites
For some people, bug bites are virtually unavoidable, even using repellant and other techniques. Beeswax naturally soothes stings and bites and is easy to apply. It is safe for people of all ages and can be used virtually anywhere on the body. Have a supply of beeswax in the kitchen or in the first-aid cabinet ready for mosquito season.
Beeswax is a natural byproduct of the honey-making process and it can be bought in pellets, blocks, and other forms. It combines with oils like olive oil and shea butter and can be used to make anything from shoe polish to beard wax, using the 30 tips above.
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Featured Image Credit: raypaterson, Pixabay