Beeswax furniture polish

Discussion in 'Products of the Hive' started by efmesch, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    With the need to control varroa mites in the hive, chemical treatments have become the local norm. But these chemicals leave minute residues (somewhere in the low Parts Per Million PPM level) in the bee's wax. My supplier of foundation no longer accepts melted down wax on a trade-in basis.
    Lots of wax cakes have accumulated in my stores with little to do with them.
    One solution I've come up with is to make the wax into furniture polish. When I make it with the right consistency, it spreads well, polishes nicely, and gives a good protective, waterproof coat to my furniture.
    The recipe is pretty siimple:
    1. Melt the wax (a double boiler is recommended so that you don't deal with an open flame, but I confess, I've been doing it in a metal can directly on the stove--just be very careful with the next step).
    2. After all the wax has melted, turn off the flame and stir in an equal volume of turpentine, mixing well until the two ingredients are evenly mixed.
    3. Pour into a large mouthed sealable container. 4. Allow to cool completely and then close the container.
    That's all there is to it. From your own personal experience and the strength of your elbow, you can adjust the thickness of the polish by using either more or less of either substance: Too stiff, reheat and mix in more turpentine; too loose, reheat and add more bees wax. When stored for long periods it's important that the container is really sealed well, otherwise the turpentine will slowly evaporate and leave you with hard beeswax.

    If anyone has suggestions to improve on this basic recipe, all suggestions are welcome. :wave:
     
  2. M88A1

    M88A1 New Member

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    Great tip...but what is a average amount to make at a time? how much actual comb would it take to make? thanks
     

  3. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    I take pieces from the wax "cakes" that I get from melting down old frames or burr comb in my solar wax extractor.
    I think my "recipe" is sort of like that of an experienced baker who tells you the recipe for a cake: "a pinch of this, a dash of that, add enough to give the consistency of...".
    To answer your questions more directly, a good container would be a 5-10 oz wide mouthed glass jar with a tight sealing metal cover. Figure out, space-wise how much wax would fill half the jar and allow the other half for the volume of the turpentine. Unless you have a mania for polishing your furniture "every day", this should last a long time.
    Probably the wax melted from one or two frames would be enough for a five oz jar.
    I just thought of a possible improvement. if it sounds good to you, you could try adding a few drops of essential oils from different plants for fragrancy. In the local stores here, we can find eucalyptus oil, lavender, etc.