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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Louisville, OH
    Posts
    2

    Default film on wax after boiling

    Hi everyone. This is my first year as a beekeeper and it went amazingly well. I ended up with quite a bit of wax after harvesting my honey and went through 2 different filtering methods.

    The first method was melting the caps in a crock pot and then straining it through some panty hose into a piece of tupperware. That worked well to give me some more honey and a block of wax but the wax was still a bit dark. So then I tried the boiling method, boiling it with some water and then draining the water after the wax solidified. I did this 3-4 times and each time the wax ended up with this white film on the bottom of it. If I wash it with hot water, most of it comes off, but after doing another boil, I get quite a bit again.

    Is this normal? When I melt this down for lip balms, lotions, candles, etc. do I need to worry about it? And, what is it? Thanks!

    wax.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Fort Gay, WV, USA
    Posts
    1,060

    Default Re: film on wax after boiling

    It sounds as if and looks as if the water that you are using may have some mineral content to it, that is if this is only cappings wax. If you have the means to do so, use some distilled water when you re-melt it and scrape off the film prior to melting it to see if that solves the problem. If not, then it may be propolis.
    Thomas Bartram - Since 2013, 43 - 8 F langs, 22 Italian & 21 Russian

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Louisville, OH
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: film on wax after boiling

    Quote Originally Posted by drlonzo View Post
    It sounds as if and looks as if the water that you are using may have some mineral content to it, that is if this is only cappings wax. If you have the means to do so, use some distilled water when you re-melt it and scrape off the film prior to melting it to see if that solves the problem. If not, then it may be propolis.
    Ah yes, that might be it. We have well water with a good amount of iron content, so we use a water softener. Who knows what other minerals are in there. Thanks for the suggestion!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Fort Gay, WV, USA
    Posts
    1,060

    Default Re: film on wax after boiling

    Your welcome ! Glad I could try to help.
    Thomas Bartram - Since 2013, 43 - 8 F langs, 22 Italian & 21 Russian

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,832

    Default Re: film on wax after boiling

    Found this in a wax book pdf that someone sent me...

    • Water-wax emulsions
    1. the wax-water appears milky, due to the presence of calcium or iron in the water
    Use 2-3 g of oxalic acid per kg wax and 1 l of water to bind calcium, prevent emulsion and to
    brighten wax at the same time.
    2. wax absorbs a greater amount of water: heat wax at 105 oC to remove water.
    • Wax has a crummy structure
    This is due to saponification of wax. The process can be reverted by boiling wax with sulfuric or
    oxalic acid. Use soft water to prevent this, e.g. rain water. Water with a low mineral content should
    be used if such problems arise. However, in some cases, water/wax emulsions can occur, even with
    soft water. In such cases, raw molten wax in contact with water should be kept below 90°C.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,553

    Default Re: film on wax after boiling

    A lot of things accumulate on the bottom of the wax. I think some of it is from the calcium (as already mentioned). If it's grainy, it's probably pollen that is soaked with water and some wax. Just scrape it off.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Macon, GA USA
    Posts
    952

    Default Re: film on wax after boiling

    I see stuff quite often on the bottom of the wax after it hardens over water. Most of it looks like sand. I just scrape it off the cake with a hive tool.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    935

    Default Re: film on wax after boiling

    Some people put the honey cappings into the pantyhose and then rinse in a bucket to remove most of the honey which is then fed to bees or used for mead. Then, using a solar melter, they put the bag of cappings on a single layer of paper toweling and melt into a container with an inch of distilled water.

    When I made the mistake of using tap water (with minerals) and ended up with the calcium crud at the bottom of the block of wax, I just filtered it thru the paper towel again and used distilled water. Easy.
    *

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