Bees are certainly creating a buzz with their wax-making expertise. Who knew a little insect could be such a prolific candlemaker? But while all the hype usually surrounds candle making, biodegradable beeswax is actually an excellent option for various other applications.
In ancient times, beeswax was a highly prized commodity–but its abilities didn’t stay tucked away in the history books.
Humans and bees have developed a working relationship that transcends time, and even modern-day NASA engineers embrace its unique properties to help propel the space program. For instance, engineers used beeswax to coat the Hubble Telescope’s mirrors, protecting them from moisture and contaminants during manufacturing.
Fortunately for the rest of us, beeswax isn’t merely designated for those blasting the human race into other worlds. Today, we’ll explore 22 remarkable ways to use beeswax in your everyday life. Are you ready to take your partnership with Bees to the next level?
Let’s get buzzin’
22 Amazing Uses of Beeswax Beyond Making Candles
As you probably already know, beeswax is an excellent candle-making material that has become increasingly popular in the crafting and DIY community. But it’s time for candles to step aside! From food wraps to wood finishes, beeswax can be used in so many creative ways that are eco-friendly and sustainable.
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Using Biodegradable Beeswax in Your Kitchen
Beeswax is a versatile and sustainable material with several kitchen applications. Let’s look at ways to liven up your cooking space with a sustainable twist.
1. Reusable Food Wraps
Beeswax wraps are a sustainable alternative to single-use plastic wraps that can help reduce kitchen waste. These eco-friendly food wraps are made by coating cotton or muslin fabric with beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin.
To use beeswax wraps, simply warm them up in your hands to make them malleable, then wrap them around the food item you want to preserve. They’re perfect for wrapping sandwiches, cheese blocks, fruits, and vegetables.
PRO TIP: To use your food wraps, simply warm them up in your hands to soften the wax and mold them around the desired food or container. To clean your food wraps, wash them with cool water and mild soap–and let them air-dry between uses.
Another creative use of biodegradable beeswax is to make canelés, a French pastry from the Bordeaux region. Canelés are small, caramelized cakes with a custard-like center and a crunchy exterior.
Using beeswax in canelé makes it easier for the cakes to come out of their molds and adds an extra layer of flavor and aroma to the pastries.
PRO TIP: Use a pastry brush to generously coat the interior of each mold with melted beeswax before pouring the batter into the molds. Cover all the nooks and crannies to ensure a perfectly caramelized exterior.
3. Wood Cutting Board & Utensil Conditioner
Wooden cutting boards and utensils are popular in many kitchens but require proper maintenance to ensure longevity. Beeswax is an excellent natural alternative to chemical treatments that can be used to condition your wooden kitchen items.
The wax seeps into the wood grains, creating a protective barrier against moisture and bacteria.
To use beeswax on your wooden cutting boards or utensils, melt down some grated beeswax in a double boiler. Once melted, apply the wax evenly with a soft cloth or pastry brush over the surface of the board or utensil. Voila! Your wooden kitchen tools are now even more resistant to the everyday wear and tear!
4. Grease Your Cookie Sheets
Instead of using non-stick sprays and oils that contain harmful chemicals, you can apply a thin layer of beeswax on the baking sheet before placing your cookies in the oven.
The natural wax helps prevent sticking while providing an added insulation layer to help distribute heat evenly.
SAFETY TIP: It’s important to note that this option should be used cautiously, as too much wax can cause smoke or start a fire. However, if applied sparingly, it can be a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional greasing methods.
5. Cheese Waxing
Cheese lovers, rejoice! Beeswax is great for waxing cheese for storage and preservation. Waxing cheese is an age-old practice that has been around for centuries.
However, traditional waxes are often made from petroleum-based products, which aren’t the best for the environment or your health.
To wax your cheese with beeswax, melt small amounts in a double boiler until it reaches about 160-165°F (71-74°C). Then use a brush to apply the melted beeswax liberally to fully cover the surface of the cheese.
PRO TIP: Before applying your biodegradable beeswax to the cheese, ensure the cheese is dry and free from moisture. This simple practice will help the wax adhere better and prevent mold from forming under the wax.
6. Beeswax Cast Iron Seasoning
If you’re a cast iron skillets fan, you know they must be seasoned properly to maintain their non-stick surface.
To season your cast iron skillet with beeswax, start heating it on the stove until it’s hot but not smoking. Melt some beeswax in a separate container, then use a cloth or brush to apply the wax evenly across the pan’s surface.
Allow it to cool before wiping away any excess wax with another cloth.
Not only is using beeswax as a seasoning for your cast iron cookware eco-friendly, but it’s also cost-effective since you’ll only need small amounts of wax each time you season them.
Plus, using non-toxic ingredients such as beeswax ensures that food cooked on these pans is safe and chemical-free.
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Biodegradable Beeswax Around Your Home & Garden
Aside from its use in your kitchen, beeswax has numerous applications in other areas of your home and garden.
7. Natural Furniture Polish
Beeswax is an excellent natural alternative to commercial furniture polishes that often contain harsh chemicals like ammonia and turpentine. It gives your wooden furniture a beautiful shine, protecting it from scratches and stains.
To make a simple beeswax polish, melt one part beeswax with three parts olive oil or jojoba oil in a double boiler. Once melted, let the mixture cool and stir occasionally until it thickens into a creamy consistency.
PRO TIP: Add a few drops of essential oil to the melted wax before applying the beeswax polish to the furniture to enhance the fragrance. Choose an essential oil that complements the natural scent of the wood and is safe to use on furniture.
8. Wood Lubrication
Wooden furniture and tools require regular maintenance to keep them in good condition, and beeswax is a natural solution for lubrication. Beeswax can help protect the wood from moisture, prevent cracking, and restore its shine. You can also apply it to door hinges to reduce friction and prolong the hinge lifespan.
9. DIY Repairs
Another great use for beeswax is using it as a natural alternative to superglue for small DIY repairs. Beeswax can be heated and melted down, then applied to broken items such as pottery, wood, or glass.
10. Shoe Polishing & Waterproofing
Beeswax is a fantastic natural alternative to traditional shoe polishes and waterproofing products. Shoe polishing with beeswax provides a protective layer that gives shoes a glossy shine while moisturizing the leather, keeping them looking new for longer periods.
To polish your shoes with beeswax, melt the wax using gentle heat and apply it to the surface of your clean, dry shoes with a brush or cloth.
Beeswax waterproofing treatments can help protect your footwear from water damage without harming you, animals, or the environment. Beeswax waterproofs while maintaining breathability. It protects against water damage caused by rain or snow while still allowing any moisture inside to escape.
This makes it perfect for hiking boots and other outdoor gear that needs protection from wet conditions.
11. Rust Prevention
Rust can be a major problem for metal objects, causing them to weaken and break down over time. You can use beeswax as a protective coating on your metal items to prevent rust from forming.
To begin, clean and dry the metal surface you want to protect. Then, melt some beeswax in a double boiler or over a low-heat source. Once the wax has melted, apply a thin layer to the metal surface with a soft, clean cloth. Apply the wax evenly and avoid using too much; excess wax will attract dust and dirt.
As the wax cools and hardens, it forms a protective barrier on the metal’s surface, preventing rust and corrosion. If the metal is exposed to moisture or other corrosive elements, the beeswax will help to keep these substances away from the metal’s surface.
Biodegradable beeswax can make a great alternative to synthetic fabric conditioners as it has natural lubricating properties that help reduce friction on the thread and needle.
After applying beeswax, your thread will glide smoothly through fabrics without snagging.
One popular use of beeswax in sewing is creating waxed cotton fabric that repels water, making it perfect for outdoor gear such as jackets or bags. Beeswax-coated fabric is durable and weather-resistant, which makes it ideal for sewing high-quality items with long-lasting results.
PRO TIP: If you’re working with particularly tough or thick fabric, you can also apply a small amount of beeswax to the fabric edge before sewing. This will help to prevent fraying and make working with the fabric easier.
13. Envelope Seals
Envelopes are an everyday essential, but why settle for boring adhesive strips when you can add a touch of creativity with beeswax seals?
Making your own envelope seals using biodegradable beeswax will give the envelopes an elegant look and reduce harmful chemicals in your home or workplace.
Plus, creating unique designs on your wax seals is easy and fun! You can use stamps or carvings to make personalized marks on the wax seal that reflect your personality or occasion.
Whether it’s for wedding invitations, holiday cards, or business letters, adding a little bit of creativity to your envelopes will surely leave a lasting impression.
14. Grafting Wax for Fruit Trees
Grafting is a process by which the stems or branches of one plant are joined to those of another to grow them as a single plant. And wouldn’t you know–beeswax makes an excellent grafting wax for fruit trees.
DID YOU KNOW? Using beeswax as part of your grafting process provides a natural barrier against moisture and pests while also helping to promote healing and growth.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the grafting process using biodegradable beeswax:
- Step 1: Gather your grafting tools, which should include a sharp knife or pruning shears, grafting tape, and a small amount of beeswax. Choose a high-quality, pure beeswax that is free of additives and contaminants.
- Step 2: Make a clean, smooth cut on the rootstock and scion to prepare the grafting site. Apply a thin layer of beeswax to the cut surfaces, spreading it evenly with a small brush or your fingers. This will help to seal the grafting site and keep moisture out.
- Step 3: After you’ve applied the beeswax, carefully align the scion with the rootstock and wrap the grafting tape around the site to secure the two pieces together. Wrap the tape tightly enough to keep the graft in place, but not so tightly that it inhibits growth or circulation.
- Step 4: When you’ve secured the graft, apply a second layer of beeswax over the top of the grafting tape.
15. Beeswax To Seal Your Mushroom Plugs
Using beeswax on mushroom plugs ensures they are protected from moisture and other environmental factors that may cause them to deteriorate quickly.
This method of sealing mushroom plugs helps your mushrooms grow better and reduces waste, as biodegradable beeswax is an eco-friendly alternative to traditional sealants like silicone or latex.
If you’re up for gardening experimentation, using beeswax with your mushroom plugs can help protect them against common diseases like Trichoderma harzianum.
Biodegradable Beeswax in Homemade Cosmetics
Beeswax is a valuable ingredient in homemade cosmetics due to its natural moisturizing properties. It can also exhibit healing properties such as soothing minor burns or cuts and quickly healing chapped or cracked skin.
16. Lip Balm
Beeswax has natural moisturizing properties that can help soothe chapped lips and leave them feeling soft and smooth. It contains natural antioxidants that help to protect the lips from free radicals and other damaging pollutants. Beeswax has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that contribute to the healing process of your chapped lips.
It’s relatively simple to make your own beeswax lip balm. All you need is some beeswax, coconut oil, shea butter, and your preferred essential oil for fragrance. With endless flavor and scent combinations, you can customize your lip balm to suit your preferences or gift it to friends as a thoughtful, eco-friendly present.
17. Body Butter
One of the wonderful uses for biodegradable beeswax is homemade body butter. This natural ingredient can seal in moisture and protect your skin from harsh elements, leaving it feeling soft and supple.
To make your own beeswax body butter, melt together equal parts of beeswax pellets and shea or cocoa butter over low heat. Once melted, add coconut oil and any essential oils you’d like for scent–lavender or peppermint make great options!
Not only is this DIY option better for your skin and the environment than most store-bought alternatives, but it’s also a fun way to get creative with your skincare routine while supporting sustainable living practices.
PRO TIP: Getting the right ingredient ratio is critical when making beeswax body butter. If you use too much beeswax, the body butter will be too hard and difficult to apply, and if you use too little, it will be too soft and greasy. Mixing one part beeswax with four parts carrier oils is a good rule of thumb.
18. Moisturizing Face Mask
A natural and budget-friendly option to keep your skin moisturized is using beeswax in a DIY face mask. Beeswax is an emollient that helps soften and soothe the skin, making it perfect for dry or flaky patches.
To make this mask, melt 1 tablespoon of beeswax with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and mix well. Once cool but not solidified, add 1 teaspoon of honey and apply to your face as a thick layer.
Many folks prefer using homemade beauty products because they’re free from harsh chemicals. So not only is this recipe highly effective in keeping your skin hydrated, but you don’t need to spend money on expensive skincare products either–all you need are these three simple ingredients you can most likely find around your home!
Crafting With Biodegradable Beeswax
Crafting with beeswax is a fantastic way to add a personal touch to your home decor or make thoughtful handmade gifts. Beeswax crayons, modeling clay, ornaments, and autumn leaves are just a few examples of this versatile material’s many crafting possibilities.
19. Beeswax Crayons
Beeswax crayons are a great alternative to traditional paraffin-based crayons. These eco-friendly crayons are made from biodegradable beeswax and non-toxic pigments, making them safe for both kids and the environment.
Biodegradable beeswax crayons produce vibrant colors and have a smooth, easy-to-work-with texture. Beeswax crayon kits are widely available online and in craft stores, but you can also make your own by combining beeswax pellets, grated colored wax, or powdered pigments in melted beeswax.
Beeswax can be used alone or blended with other waxes like soy wax or carnauba wax for different textures and melting points. As an added bonus, the natural oils in beeswax help to prevent the pigment from rubbing off on surfaces once applied.
20. Beeswax Modeling Clay
If you love to create, biodegradable beeswax modeling clay is a fun and eco-friendly alternative to traditional modeling materials. Beeswax is a natural and biodegradable material that can sculpt various shapes and figures.
Unlike synthetic clays, beeswax clay does not contain harmful chemicals or plasticizers that can cause harm to the environment.
To make your own beeswax modeling clay at home, you’ll need some grated beeswax pellets mixed with powdered pigments and essential oils for added color and fragrance. Warm the mixture in a double boiler until it forms a soft dough-like consistency. Then, let your creativity unfold!
21. Beeswax Ornaments
Beeswax ornaments are a fun and unique way to add eco-friendly charm to your Christmas tree or holiday decorations. These ornaments can be made using simple materials such as beeswax, cookie cutters, and string.
Aside from being beautiful decorations that smell amazing when heated, beeswax has antiviral properties that help purify the air around them, making these ornaments an excellent option during winter.
These handmade biodegradable ornaments make great gifts and help reduce plastic waste by providing an organic alternative to commercialized products.
22. Beeswax-Coated Autumn Leaves
Autumn leaves are beautiful, but they tend to crumble and fade quickly. Fortunately, beeswax can help preserve their beauty for a longer time.
To make beeswax-coated autumn leaves, melt some beeswax in a double boiler and dip each leaf into the liquid wax until it’s fully coated.
Not only does this look stunning, but it also enhances sustainability by reducing waste materials, as preserved autumn leaves can be used as decoration for years.
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Tips For Melting Beeswax
Melting beeswax can be a simple process when done correctly. Follow these tips for a safe and efficient way to melt beeswax:
1. Use a Double Boiler: A double boiler is the safest method for melting beeswax, as it prevents the wax from overheating and becoming flammable. Place the beeswax in a heatproof glass or metal bowl and set it over a saucepan filled with water.
2. Chop the Beeswax Into Small Pieces: Doing this will help the wax melt more quickly and evenly.
3. Heat Slowly: Beeswax has a low melting point of around 145°F (63°C), so be sure to heat it slowly to prevent scorching or burning.
4. Stir Gently: Use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to gently stir the melting wax, ensuring an even heat distribution.
5. Monitor Temperature: Use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature of the melting wax, making sure not to exceed its flash point of about 400°F (204°C).
6. Add Oils or Other Ingredients After Melting: If you’re using essential oils or other additives, wait until your beeswax is completely melted before adding them in, as some ingredients can lower the melting point of beeswax.
7. Ventilate Your Working Space: Ensure proper ventilation while melting beeswax by opening windows or using a fan, as vapors from heated wax can cause respiratory irritation if inhaled in large concentrations.
8. Be Cautious With Flammables: Always keep anything flammable away from your workspace when melting beeswax, such as paper towels or fabric materials.
9. Clean Up Spills Immediately: If melted beeswax spills out during heating or transfer, clean it up immediately using hot soapy water or rubbing alcohol to avoid slipping hazards and potential stains on surfaces.
10. Store Leftover Melted Wax Properly: Allow any leftover melted wax to cool completely before storing it in an airtight container for future use. This will prevent it from spoiling or becoming contaminated with dust and debris.
Are You Ready To Be Inspired Beyond the Candle?
Biodegradable beeswax is a versatile, eco-friendly material that offers many opportunities beyond candle-making. From furniture polishing and food wraps to rust prevention and homemade body butter, beeswax provides a slew of benefits and practical uses.
We encourage you to continue exploring innovative ways to use this natural material. Together, we can discover new and exciting ways to incorporate beeswax into our daily lives while protecting the planet for future generations.
How have you incorporated beeswax into your life? Have you noticed any enhancements to your everyday living? We’d love to hear about your experience! Let us know in the comments below!