Straining melted beeswax
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  1. #1
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    Jul 2012
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    Strafford County, NH
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    Default Straining melted beeswax

    Anyone have a good idea for a strainer for melted beeswax besides cheesecloth? I thought I had some cheesecloth lying around but someone must've gotten to it before me, so I'm wondering if an old pillowcase would work. Since it's close to 90F today and tomorrow might as well melt some of the old comb I have lying around.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Greenbrae, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Straining melted beeswax

    Just about any thin cloth will work. I've used old t-shirts, or get some 5 gallon paint strainers from a hardware store.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Augusta, Georgia
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    223

    Default Re: Straining melted beeswax

    Yes that will work. Keep some hot water close to pour on if the wax starts to harden on the filter.

  5. #4
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    Jul 2012
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    Default Re: Straining melted beeswax

    Oh good! Thanks.

    For anyone suffering from a heat wave, I put the old comb in a glass casserole dish and put it in the zippered portable greenhouse rack thing on the deck, and it gets mighty hot in there, perfect for a solar melter.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Bunker Hill, IL
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    891

    Default Re: Straining melted beeswax

    Dollar store strainer. window screen.

    ANything that will fit through window screen (dirt, etc) will settle out in the water bath I melt mine in.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Salt Lake City, UT
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    1,189

    Default Re: Straining melted beeswax

    I use coffee filters. Cheap, readily available, and disposable. I clip it to a disposable aluminum pan with some little spring clamps (clothespins will work) put the wax in it, and then put it in an old ice-chest with a piece of glass over it and set it in the sun. A 2x4 under one end angles the ice-chest to the sun. In fact, I've got one with a couple of pans in it sitting in my apiary right now. Wax might be slower through a coffee filter, but with a solar melter there isn't any need to be in a hurry, and it leaves the wax really clean.
    Zone 6B

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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    152

    Default Re: Straining melted beeswax

    I push all my wax into cheap nylon stockings, throw them in a pot, and bring it up to almost boiling, when the wax melts out, all you have left in the stocking is the sludge, and you let the wax cool on top of the water and you're done.

    Don't do this in a pot you want to reuse. Use an old rusty canning pot.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
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    6,128

    Default Re: Straining melted beeswax

    Old t-shirt. Heavy paper towel.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Buffalo, NY, USA
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    79

    Default Re: Straining melted beeswax

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenseye View Post
    Old t-shirt. Heavy paper towel.

    +1 on the paper towel. Lay it on top of some screening placed on top of water filled pan.
    I then use the paper towel (after scraping excess slum gum off) as a smoker starter.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Springfield, Ohio, USA
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    641

    Default Re: Straining melted beeswax

    I buy flour sack cloth, which can be found in the housewares section of places like Walmart. The sheets are large, and it is easier to work with than cheesecloth.
    Pete. New 2013, 12 hives, zone 6a
    To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.

  12. #11
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    Jul 2012
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    Default Re: Straining melted beeswax

    Quote Originally Posted by Dabbler View Post
    +1 on the paper towel. Lay it on top of some screening placed on top of water filled pan.
    I then use the paper towel (after scraping excess slum gum off) as a smoker starter.
    Great idea on the re-use! Could be used as woodstove starters too.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
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    Default Re: Straining melted beeswax

    I use a couple of layers of plain paper towels. These act as a really fine filter, plus the paper wicks most of the impurities out of the wax. Even the ugliest old comb comes out a beautiful creamy beige color and smelling wonderful.
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Huntington ,VT, USA
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    307

    Default Re: Straining melted beeswax

    I use the "disposable" maple syrup cone filters, often used as prefiltes before going to traditional felt cones(in sugaring)They are a lot like giant coffee filters, but a synthetic not paper.
    Around here they are readily available, cheap, quite fine but still allow for rapid passage of molten wax.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
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    7,824

    Default Re: Straining melted beeswax

    I have tried and used many of the above. T shirts absorb way too much wax. Hands down best is nylon tricot fabric. The kind ladies slips used to be made of when women wore such.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Vernon, AZ. USA
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    627

    Default Re: Straining melted beeswax

    I use window screen. I use most of it for my hives, so some propolis and pollen doesnt matter. I just remove bee legs & heads. If sold, usually it doesn't matter to a craftsman either. But its a homely candle, with residue in it. If it must be clean, I double strain. Many buy it for reloading, it's excellent bullet lube.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Gresham, Oregon
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    213

    Default Re: Straining melted beeswax

    I agree with windfall, the maple syrup filters work like a champ, especially after you cull out the bigger stuff.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Strafford County, NH
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    Default Re: Straining melted beeswax

    Thought I'd post a few photos of my non-tech wax melting process, in case anyone was looking for an easy idea and you happen to have one of those greenhouse shelving units lying around:

    Here's the greenhouse unit (I got mine for $18 from a discount store, they might cost $30 anywhere else, they're easier to find and I think cheaper in the spring):
    IMG_20160701_142407[1].jpg

    Here are the 3 wax collectors. 2 smaller glass containers and one large glass container. The smaller glass containers have a coffee filter attached at the top with a rubber band and some clothespins. The large glass container has an old t-shirt attached to the top with a rubber band and some clothespins. They all have maybe an inch of water or so in the bottom of the glass to keep the wax from sticking to the glass, it floats on the water and can be collected later easily. I have them sitting in a black seedling tray to absorb extra heat. The greenhouse unit is zipped closed pretty much so it gets really hot in there. I got the idea because last summer I was storing my seedling cups and trays in the greenhouse and they all melted together:

    IMG_20160701_142454[1].jpg

    And here's a close up of one of the smaller glass containers:

    IMG_20160701_142520[1].jpg

    They've been out there for a couple days. They're probably done enough but I'll let them bake for another day. Then when I remove the wax, I'll keep the coffee filters and t-shirt to cut up for fire starters for the wood stove this winter. And the leftover brown comb that does not melt also makes good fire starters.
    Last edited by NewbeeInNH; 07-02-2016 at 09:54 AM.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Hazard, Kentucky
    Posts
    163

    Default Re: Straining melted beeswax

    What about old frames of comb that are full of old hard pollen. Can these be melted and strained as described in some of the methods above?
    Matt....

  20. #19
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    Jul 2012
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    Strafford County, NH
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    Default Re: Straining melted beeswax

    The old stuff is kind of getting in the way, but when it cools off this evening I'm going to take some of that out of the filter, it doesn't melt so it just clogs up the works. But I think the wax is just kind of melting around it.

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