cleaning beeswax

Gail H
Gail H Posts: 359 ✭✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Beekeeping

I helped a friend harvest his honey. He was going to get rid of the cappings, so he gave them to me. Does anyone have a good way to clean beeswax? I have a lot. (not a complaint!) 😊


  • DebiB
    DebiB Posts: 92 ✭✭✭

    Gail, how wonderful, capping make good quality beeswax. I have a 2 step process to clean beeswax. Both steps you’ll need some kind of double boiler set-up. I use a saucepan with a glass bowl that is dedicated to wax melting because I just can’t get it perfectly clean once it’s been used for beeswax. Step 1 I take some of the cappings and put them in the double boiler along with a small amount of water (maybe 1/2 cup of water or so) and gently melt them. Once they are melted I pour the contents into another glass bowl that has pantyhose stretched over it. I leave the bowl alone until the beeswax is solidified. What you will have when this step is done is mostly clean beeswax (from being filtered by the pantyhose) and the water will have the honey in it. Depending on what you plan on doing with the beeswax this may be clean enough to use. The second step to get rid of the small amount of debris in the beeswax is to remelt the beeswax and filter it with cloth, an old t-shirt or something similar works well, and allow to cool. Good luck with all that beeswax!

  • Gail H
    Gail H Posts: 359 ✭✭✭✭


    Thank you for the information. Do you think paint strainers would work? (I haven't worn nylons in years!). I worried the heat of the melted wax might make the nylon melt.

  • DebiB
    DebiB Posts: 92 ✭✭✭

    Honestly, I don’t know if paint strainers would work. You could try it on a small amount of wax to see.

  • Jens the Beekeeper
    Jens the Beekeeper Moderator EuropePosts: 603 admin

    @Gail H I use a two step process to but slitly different.

    The cappings at least from my bees, contains till a lot of honey. I add some ginger and lemon slices to the cappings in a food grade bucket with a lid. Then I add drinking alcohol like vodka or white rum. Let sit for 4 weeks and filter the liquid through a coffe filter into bottles. You now have completely clean cappings and a lovely honey liquer.

    The cleaned cappings I treat the same as @DebiB. Filter through a pantyhose after heating with a good amount of water. depending on the amount of soft debris underneath the solid cooled wax I repeat the heating process one or two more times. And ready is the clean beeswax for use in salves, lip stick and whatsoever.

  • Dennis Bries
    Dennis Bries Southeastern WisconsinPosts: 12 ✭✭✭

    Just a regular old pan, beeswax is almost impossible to get all out of the pan. Put the pan on very low heat less than 125 or 130 degrees and let the wax melt. Set the pan aside to solidify and cool. The honey will be on the bottom and can b e salvaged. Much of the debris, dead b ees etc will be on the boton of the cake. Scape them off and compost or re-melt over water. Chip or dig out any floating chunks. You'll have pure beeswax, If it isn't clean enough, repeat the process with a little water in the bottom of the pan.

  • lmrebert
    lmrebert Posts: 363 ✭✭✭✭

    Glad to see I'm not the only one that has great issue with this...

  • Hassena
    Hassena Posts: 313 ✭✭✭

    We use paint filters for filtering honey and wax. So far so good.

    Our process is very similar. Gently boil, let cool.

    Ecuador off debris from bottom of wax and reheat to for second rendering.

    Best of luck. It's messy. :)

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Moderator Posts: 789 admin

    @Gail H Oh I love your way of cleaning Wax. You get an excellent side product!

    @DebiB Thank you for sharing your experience! Last summer I had only two bee families, so we - me and my grandchildren simply used the capped wax as chewing gum. This summer I plan to get three more, so I might have enough beeswax for cleaning.

  • Tave
    Tave Moderator In the AndesPosts: 828 admin

    @Jens Great idea to ferment the honey, so it's not wasted.

  • lewis.mary.e
    lewis.mary.e Posts: 199 ✭✭✭

    I was given "dirty" bees wax a few years ago. It wasn't dirty, but it had lots of bee debris in it. I put water in a canner and dumped the bees wax in it. Brought it to a boil and then let it cool. I did this 3 or 4 times, draining the water off each time. The end result was beautiful bees wax I used for lip and body balms.

    The theory behind this process is the wax floats to the top and the debris falls to the bottom.

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