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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I washed and filtered the raw wax, then lightened it with a bit of 35% peroxide.
But the candles made from it sputter just a bit. I did another wash, waiting to see those results when the candles cool.

To those of you who have used peroxide to lighten the wax a bit - how do you get it out of the wax?
More washing? Longer washing? More stirring?

Any help is appreciated!!

thanks!
 

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I did something similar recently but I used a dilute solution of bleach. It didn't do a great job of bleaching the wax (only a thin layer) but when I went to make candles, they sputtered. You must render your wax all over again. For the second rendering (for my situation) I put a small amount (say 1/3 cup) of white vinegar in 8 quarts of water. I brought that to a simmer on the stove. Then I turned it down to low. I put my wax back into the water to melt and covered it. After several hours, the wax is melted--with no agitation from rolling bubbles. Turn the heat off, don't move it, and put the cover back on. Let it cool completely and slowly. This may take 20 hours or so. When it's done, the disk of wax may have pulled away from the sides of the pot. That would be a good sign. If it hasn't and all is cool, you'll need to get a rubber mallet to knock one side down into the water (do this outside) and the opposing side will pop up so you can remove the disk. If that doesn't work, you have to break it into pieces. That's the least desirable method because it will make it harder to clean up. When the disk is out of the pot, check the bottom of it for sediment and gum. You may need to get a scraper and remove the particulates and scum. If there is a lot, grab a heat gun and warm the surface of the wax while scraping. If you have a webby (swiss-cheese) type layer of wax and sediment, you boiled your wax and you'll have to start all over again.

If your pot has rivet bumps on the inside for the handles, be certain to fill the water level up to the rivets before adding wax. Don't add so much was that you have more than an inch and a half or two inch layer of melted wax...it will be nearly impossible to get out of the pot. (I know, because I did this...)

I just rendered 51lbs of wax that I bought from a beekeeper and I didn't know I'd have to render it, rather than strain it. I had to learn this from trial, error, and internet research a couple of weeks ago. The important thing is NOT to boil/simmer the wax...it won't properly remove the impurities from your wax and you'll have to render it a second time.

Hope that helps....
 

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I have never used peroxide or bleach to lighten my beeswax. However, I would like to caution against using bleach based on what I read about bleached paraffin wax. First of all, paraffin is a byproduct of the petroleum industry so it is actually already toxic to burn inside the home. It comes out as a gray-black sludge. It is then bleached..... with what exactly, I don't know. It is said that there are dioxins still in the wax. Then paraffin is dyed and fragrance added. If only the general public knew how unhealthy paraffin candles are to burn inside the home!

There are people on this site that recommend using the sun to "bleach" the beeswax by using solar melters and/or putting sheets of 1/4 inch wax in the sun. I will be trying this in summer.
 

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I won't be using the bleach method again. It was only an experiment with one 2lb block of wax. It wasn't successful enough to justify the effort. It appeared to leave "salts" in the wax, so that's why I rendered it a second time. It was too late in the season to attempt the sun bleaching. I tried that first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
okay - to try to get back on track;)
Yes, I know how to render the wax (washing, let it sit, etc..) and of course I already tried this 3x.
And no, I would never use bleach becasue of the toxic by-products.

But peroxide is only water with one extra oxygen molecule - just breaks down into hydrogen gas and oxygen - like water vapor. So why does it make the wax cloudy and the candles sputter?

I have stirred (a lot) to try to get it to release all the bubbles, let it sit for a long time, but so far...nothing.

If anyone has any experience with this same situation, I'd appreciate some pointers.

thanks!
 

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Take it with a grain of salt because I don't use H2O2. But if I did I would use a large excess of water so the peroxide had plenty of room to partition and I would bring the rolling boil to about 170 for a few hours before turning off the heat. If the wax is allowed to cool while insulated all the better. The longer the wax is allowed to settle and cool the finer the product. Any contaminants that do not share the density of wax will partition out if enough time is allowed for gravity to do its job. Particles heavier than wax will settle to the bottom of the wax while densities less than wax will be on the surface after cooling.
Good Luck
 

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I won't be using the bleach method again. It was only an experiment with one 2lb block of wax. It wasn't successful enough to justify the effort. It appeared to leave "salts" in the wax, so that's why I rendered it a second time. It was too late in the season to attempt the sun bleaching. I tried that first.
Have you ever gotten bleach on your hands? It feels kind of slippery. This is because bleach is quite alkaline. Wax is about 50% soponifiable meaning that you will create some salts of wax if the pH is allowed to rise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Latest update:

Still trying to clean and lighten this dark wax:

I picked up again after taking a few months off for the busy xmas season. I remelted a sample of wax from one that had been lightened with peroxide and had produced sputtering candles a few months ago, and poured a new sample/test candle. This candle burned perfectly.

What gives?

Started over, trying to reproduce as positive result - wash, peroxide, filter - the test candles are sputtering. I have rewashed, re-rendered - all that.

Is it suspended particle? Why are they not filtered out when I use extremely fine SS mesh?

this is getting tough - I am running out of the "good wax" an have to start using this darker stuff soon. It is not all that dark...but it looks better lighter, and the darker stuff doesn't burn as well, either.

any suggestions are helpful... and much appreciated!!
 

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Was the peroxide 35% or 35 volume?
The 35 volume often has added ingredients it is not as strong

35% food grade peroxide in pure and very dangerous if you use improperly.
Please be careful if your not familiar with working with this stuff you can really hurt yourself or blow something up if your not careful.

Sunlight will break down peroxide over time.
I'm interested to see how this works
 

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I don't know if your taper beeswax candles dripped due to bleach in the wax or not. I do know that beeswax candles can drip if they are in a draft. Also, if the wick is large enough to melt a lot of wax, but does not draw the wax pool fast enough, then the taper will drip.
A taper would drip if the candle is not perfectly straight up and down. Also, if there are textures/shapes to the side of the candle, dripping could occur.
 

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I was thinking the same thing about that peroxide. Regular peroxide from the store is 3% and I have had some 35% peroxide but diluted it 11 to 1 to spray on plants to help them grow. Stronger peroxide in a larger percentage can be used as rocket fuel. Here is just a little info from one source : Hydrogen peroxide is a viable, alternative energy storage medium, competing with hydrogen gas, biogas, biodiesel and alcohol. H2O2 is an energy-dense fuel that burns as cleanly as H2, but requires no oxidizer as it is included inside the fuel. Actually, it does not burn, it decomposes, with a release of tremendous energy, close to the energy per mole of H2. It is like water, so it does not need a pressure vessel to contain it. Over about 80% H2O2 (where H2O is the impurity), it is explosive and extreme mechanical shock or heat can set it off. It is "burned" in jets and other devices by catalytic decomposition. You can get 3500 psi steam out of it! Helicopters have flown with rotors containing H2O2 jets on their blade tips - no tail rotors are needed and no central engine. Very cheap and simple propulsion is possible with peroxide. Also noticed this about its boiling point in another article: It boils at 152 degrees C and freezes at minus 2 degrees C.
 

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Why are they not filtered out when I use extremely fine SS mesh?

any suggestions are helpful... and much appreciated!!
I think this is your problem, I don't know of any SS mesh fine enough to filter candle wax with. I would use fryer filters old sweatshirt material or if small amounts doubled up coffee filters....
 

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I found this interesting.

http://chestofbooks.com/reference/Encyclopedia-Of-Practical-Receipts-And-Processes/Bees-Wax.html


#1579. To Bleach Wax. Wax cannot be bleached with chemicals; if any other agent but sunshine is employed, part of its properties will be destroyed, and it is genuine wax no longer. Chlorine will whiten, but at the same time greatly injure it. The chlorine is retained, and forms, on combustion, muriatic acid.
Read more: http://chestofbooks.com/reference/E...pts-And-Processes/Bees-Wax.html#ixzz1kkaNLmtX
 
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