Cleaning wax
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Thread: Cleaning wax

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Deerfield, Illinois
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    406

    Default Cleaning wax

    I would be interested in learning what other do to filter wax. I get my wax to a point where it is reasonably clean. I am able to run it easily try a metal strainer. However, I need to filter further. I have used paper towels in a strainer but it is too thick and will not go thru. I have tried coffee filters with the same results. I have had moderate results with a solar melter where for some reason the wax goes thru a paper towel... perhaps it is hotter and thinner. Would appreciate suggestions.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Aberdeen, Idaho
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    1,148

    Default Re: Cleaning wax

    I use nylon cheese cloth I got from Mann Lake
    It is polyester not nylon. I have used the same piece for years.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Jordan, UT, USA
    Posts
    1,118

    Default Re: Cleaning wax

    melt the wax in hot, not boiling, water. Let it cool. Pure wax will float to the top, impurities will settle to the bottom layer. Cut off the bottom dross with a sharp knife. Voila, pure wax.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Newnan, GA
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Cleaning wax

    a few days ago, someone posted something similar and they suggested to use nylon stockings. I'm going to try that this year. put the wax in the stockings, set them into hot water, eventually pull out the stockings and all you have left is clean wax. sounds simple enough to me. i'll be trying that next year.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Todd County, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    280

    Default Re: Cleaning wax

    I am cleaning some wax today which I bought from the family of a now-deceased beekeeper/candlemaker. Most of the wax had already been cleaned, but there are a few blocks which the beekeeper never got around to.

    I placed the blocks inside old nylon panty hose and put the whole thing in my solar wax melter. The melted wax will drain into a bread pan, into which I put an inch of water. Most of the gunk will stay in the water, and what little sticks to the remelted wax will be easily scraped off.

    Really dirty wax can be run through 2 or even 3 times if necessary.

    I have read of other beekeepers filtering their wax through old t-shirt material (cotton), but I have never been able to get mine to go through it without making a big mess and losing a lot of wax to the material. Haven't tried it in the solar wax melter though- maybe I will.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Baden Wurtemburg Germany
    Posts
    560

    Default Re: Cleaning wax

    I use a solar wax melter to get the wax separated from the combs. There is a metal gauze that keeps most bits out of the wax. Once a year, I melt the wax I have collected, in water that has oxalic acid mixed in (2-3 grams/ liter) . 10-15 minutes after the wax has melted, pour the molten wax and some water into a plastic mold (its much easier to get the hardened block out if the form is flexible). Some impurities remain on the underside of the block of wax, these are scrapped off and can be remelted as there is some wax in these remains. The water/oxalic acid mixture can be used again 4 or 5 times depending on how dirty the wax was.
    Even old brood comb wax that was green/brown comes out a lovely yellow gold color with that wonderful bees wax smell.

    I am not sure about the chemistry in this method, but I do know the oxalic acid does an amazing job in purifying the wax, even if I thought the wax was quite clean after this simple process I am amazed how dark the water ends up and how clean the wax is.
    Give it a try, especially if you have some old dirty wax laying around that you thought is good for nothing.
    Stephen 40+ hives. 6th year. Treat. Germany.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Newnan, GA
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Cleaning wax

    Stephenpbird, thanks for the above info. I'll have to try that next year. Are you an ex-pat or German? I enjoy seeing comments from all over the world on Beesource. I have family just south of Stuttgart and also in Blumberg.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Baden Wurtemburg Germany
    Posts
    560

    Default Re: Cleaning wax

    Quote Originally Posted by bobbybee View Post
    Are you an ex-pat or German? I enjoy seeing comments from all over the world on Beesource. I have family just south of Stuttgart and also in Blumberg.
    Englishman living near Frieburg. I too like the diversity, the differences in methods of management and the experiences of beekeepers in different countries, are some of the main reasons I post on beesource.
    Stephen 40+ hives. 6th year. Treat. Germany.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Cleaning wax

    First round is through pantyhose Off my wax melter. Then some times through a tee shirt or sweat shirt. Small quantities a grease filter.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    West Bend Wi
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Cleaning wax

    I take it from melter has some bee parts and bees in it and boil it until it melts with about an inch of water in the bottom of pan. I let it set up hard in pan and take it out and scrape it on the bottom side with butter knife. It mostly honey and the protein in the wax. I rinse it good if it not ready I do it one more time and then double boil it in a nesco to do the final melting and filter it through a old t-shirt and you will have some candle grade wax. I pour it into ice cream buckets. I rigged up a presto cooker with a 1/2 inch pipe fitting and a valve and the cakes fit right in and melt at low heat to make candles hope that helps Good luck

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Edgefield County, South Carolina
    Posts
    1,019

    Default Re: Cleaning wax

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephenpbird View Post

    I am not sure about the chemistry in this method, but I do know the oxalic acid does an amazing job in purifying the wax,
    Just curious, I have no idea....would there be residual OA in the wax??? Would it be ok for balm? I guess you would not be using this wax for balm and would be looking at capping etc for balm and to clean the OA would not be necessary.
    sc-bee

  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Baden Wurtemburg Germany
    Posts
    560

    Default Re: Cleaning wax

    Quote Originally Posted by sc-bee View Post
    Just curious, I have no idea....would there be residual OA in the wax??? Would it be ok for balm? I guess you would not be using this wax for balm and would be looking at capping etc for balm and to clean the OA would not be necessary.
    I would only use the method I described using OA on wax that is not the desired color. Any "bits" should be filtered out in the normal way. I have a solar wax melter, and sometimes with old brood comb that has a bit of honey in it gives a brownish grey wax, when its really bad the wax is bordering on black. That's when I use the method described with OA and the results are very very good.

    All my wax gets made into foundation and I am happy with the results. I would be hesitant using anything but the purist untreated and best wax for Human use. That would be capping wax. Having said that I don't think there is any residual OA in the wax and OA breaks down quite quickly. But why take a chance.
    Stephen 40+ hives. 6th year. Treat. Germany.

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