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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    1

    Default How to clean wax...

    We are first time beekeepers and have just harvested our honey! The honey is fantastic and now I'm turning my attention to the wax. My hope is to make a few candles.

    After allowing the bees to help "clean" the caps, I am left with a beautiful small bucket of caps and ... dead bees. We also have about the same quantity of comb wax that came from hive inspections that also needs cleaning. I have NO IDEA how to even begin cleaning the wax. I was hoping it would be a nice simple process...

    Any and all advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,540

    Default Re: How to clean wax...

    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Stockton, CA
    Posts
    311

    Default Re: How to clean wax...

    I haven't done it yet but I planned on washing the capping wax to get anymore of the honey off of it and then put it into a solar wax melter that I made. You can also boil it in water and scrape off the bad stuff on the bottom. Go throw the old posts and you'll get a really good idea about what to do.

    Good Luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,953

    Default Re: How to clean wax...

    [QUOTE=beesohappy;710610I planned on washing the capping wax to get anymore of the honey off of it and then put it into a solar wax melter Good Luck.[/QUOTE]

    Leave the honey on the cappings and you will get nice cooked honey which you can cook with, feed back to your bees, make beer with etc.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    1,224

    Default Re: How to clean wax...

    not sure how many supers you uncapped but you probably wii be surprised how much the volume of cappings are reduced after melt down. (might be a birthday candle)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    925

    Default Re: How to clean wax...

    There are several ways to clean beeswax. I read in the Products of the Hive (candle, etc. forum) on Beesource that some people take the cappings and put them in a clean pantyhose and rinse them in a bucket of water. Then place the wax (still in the panyhose) in a solar melter where it filters thru a sheet of paper towel. The bees and junk are left in the panyhose and the paper towel helps further clean the beeswax.

    Some people clean their wax by heating it in water in a double boiler or crock pot.

    If your wax is not clean enough, your candle wick will clog and burn poorly. Also use the proper thickness of wick which is much thicker for beeswax candles than it is for paraffin wax. Cleanliness of the wax and diameter of the candle determines wick size (thickness).

    Check out the Products of the Hive section.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    787

    Default Re: How to clean wax...

    I've been putting my scrapings and globs of old comb, etc and just putting them into a pot with a bit of water. I bring it to a boil and remove from heat. As it cools and solidifies, it forms a cake on top of the water and separates from the pot (I use a 2-quart cast iron pot). I do this on a double-burner electric stove outside. -james

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    EL Paso, Wisconsin
    Posts
    115

    Default Re: How to clean wax...

    My method for cleaning wax and solar wax melting:

    Throw cappings and scrapings into 5 gallon paint strainer bag in a 5 gallon bucket and slosh and wash till water comes clean. Let it air dry in a big strainer.

    For the first run through the solar wax melter, I use a big aluminum turkey roasting pan shaped to pour into a milk carton. I clip inch hardware cloth to the top of the roasting pan, and on top of that I place black aluminum screen. I put the cappings on top. I clip a section of a thread bare t-shirt to the top of my milk carton. Melt.

    Between the aluminum screening and the thread bare t shirt this will get you very clean wax. I have tried bounty paper towel across my milk carton, but this soaks up too much melting wax and it drips over the sides of the carton.

    For the second run through for extremely clean wax:

    I use a smaller aluminum grilling pan, like weber. Again I clip inch hardware cloth to the top of the pan. I place my wax brick on top. I clip a section of nylon material I use to strain honey with on top the milk carton, on top the nylon i place some cheesecloth. The nylon and cheesecloth material catches any fine whatever leftover from the first run through, and does not absorb the wax as paper towel does.

    Very, very clean wax.
    Last edited by JohnK and Sheri; 09-23-2011 at 11:23 AM. Reason: unnecessary quote

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,070

    Default Re: How to clean wax...

    You can get the beeswax out of the paper towel by including the one used in the filter in the next batch being rendered. It is the great circle of wax.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    870

    Default Re: How to clean wax...

    I like using a crockpot. I start with water and throw in cappings. After it melts I scoop off the top all the impurities. I use a small strainer and fish out as much as I can, then let it cool/harden and dump out dirty water.

    I start again with fresh water and I put an old strainer that sits on lip of crockpot with a large coffee filter, then put wax in it, put cover on, let it melt through. I let it harden and do it again with a fresh coffee filter; very nice clean wax.

    When I'm ready to make candles I melt again, no water. I use a soup ladle, and empty votive candle holders for my molds and I use a clip clothespin to center wick after pouring wax in. When cool, I put it in the freezer for a few hours and it pops right out. I love the smell of the melting wax in the crockpot. Wax rendering has become one of my favorites of beekeeping.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Prince Edward Island, Canada
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: How to clean wax...

    Well I am new to candle making as well and I tend to think outside the box for most things. I went with two methods, I bought a small deep fryer that has a temp control on it. http://www.amazon.ca/Hamilton-Beach-.../dp/B0016NQ49Q it is very close to this one but not a brand name. I fill it to the max line with water then toss in all my wax into the basket. I put the basket into the warm water and slowly increase the temp. I put water in it first with a candle thermometer so I know where the melting point is for the wax. then when the wax is melted I remove the basket with a bit of a shake. any bees left will be collected by the basket and then I put the whole thing into a t-shirt (I buy boxes of rags from the used clothing store) and squeeze the wax that is in the trash out. I let it all cool and remove the wax once it hardens from the water.
    Also I have used a crock pot (my wife bought a new one so I took her old one) I put a little bit of water in the bottom and toss everything in it. Put the lid on and put it on low, then I come back later and use a small hand strainer to clean off the top layer of any bees or trash. Let it harden then remove.
    Regardless of the method I use I place all my wax that I have melted into a large Pyrex measuring cup (glass). I place it in a large pot of water to melt it again once it is melted I pour it into another Pyrex cup strained through a Tshirt. Tshirts are great to clean the wax, let the filtered wax harden and if you have any honey in your wax it will sink to the bottom. you can then remove the wax in the glass measuring cup and pour out the liquid in the bottom (if any) wipe it dry and put your wax back in.
    If you leave the liquid in I find it will cause your wax to have holes not cure properly. I have made a good number of candles and this is the method I have found works best for me, someday I will buy a proper wax melter but for now this works.
    If I have just clean cappings I will just place them into the pyrex cup and skip the fryer or crock pot, just melt and filter. Just be aware that you don't want to turn the heat up too high on either the fryer or the crock pot, if you get the wax bubbling it will change the colour and the smell of it.
    After you are finished straining with a T-shirt you can place the shirt in warm water and melt the wax from it as it will build up after a couple of uses.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Medford, Oregon
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: How to clean wax...

    So on Friday i read this thread about how to clean bees wax. On Sunday i started my project of cleansing the wax we have stored for a year. Holy codfish batman, it worked! I have the most beautiful bars of yellow beeswax, completley free of debris. I cannot thank all of you enough for posting your techniques, it worked beautifully. Oh, i did the crockpot and water method, took two cleansings to get it clear of debris. My husband was so impressed. I told him, the internet isn't just for craigslist, you can learn all sorts of things off the googlie box!

    kris
    Medford Oregon

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