Beeswax is a natural alternative to paraffin wax. It’s chemical properties make it a versatile sealant, lubricant and fuel.
Other sustainable materials:
Beeswax is a natural, renewable product. This means it is a sustainable alternative to synthetic, mineral oil-based waxes and other products.
Beeswax is a by-product of honey production. Bees produce excess honey in wax honeycombs which can be taken by beekeepers without affecting the colony. Encouraging comb renewal is an important part of colony health. Honey bees prefer to lay their eggs and rear their young in fresh comb. By harvesting excess honey and honeycomb, beekeepers are making space in the hive for this to occur.
Beeswax is used in many skin care products because it provides a protection against irritants while still allowing the skin to breathe. Research has shown that it acts as a better barrier than mineral products such as petroleum jelly. It also offers anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral benefits making it helpful in treating skin irritation.
As a type of barrier/sealant it has many uses from rust prevention, to waterproofing leather and fabrics, to wood polish.
As a lubricant it is useful for greasing sewing thread as well as nails and screws. It also remedies drawers, windows and doors that are sticking.
It is non-toxic and edible. However, it has no nutritional value because it can’t be digested by humans. It is used in some food preparations (e.g. natural chewing gum) and is used to seal preserving jars and to coat cheeses.
It is organic, mostly consisting of esters of fatty acids and various long-chain alcohols. This chemical makeup means that beeswax is flammable and because it is solid at room temperature it can be used for candle-making.
Uses of beeswax
Beeswax burns more beautifully than any other wax. It exudes a faint, natural fragrance of honey and pollen. When candles are made with the proper size of wicking, they are smokeless, dripless, and burn with a bright flame. The aroma can be accentuated when mixed with essential oils.
Pure beeswax candles can clean the air by releasing negative ions into the air. These negative ions can bind with toxins and help remove them from the air. Beeswax candles are often especially helpful for those with asthma or allergies and they are effective at removing common allergens like dust and dander from the air.
Whilst beeswax candles are more expensive than paraffin wax ones, they burn more slowly so they last much longer.
Coat things like hand tools, cast iron pieces and shovels to prevent them from rusting out. You can even rub the wax on the wooden handle of your shovel to help protect against wear and tear. Beeswax also prevents bronze items from getting tarnished.
Beeswax is the best natural cover for cheeses. It works well for sealing because it has a low melting point.
Plain thread can be rubbed against a cube of wax, coating the thread in the wax. The wax on the thread provides lubrication that can make sewing easier.
Coating Nails & Screws
Nails and screws coated with beeswax help not splinter the wood.
Rub the wax on sliding glass doors, windows or drawers that tend to stick to restore smooth movement. Beeswax is also a fantastic lubricant for oiling very old furniture joints.
Traditionally beeswax was used as an envelope seal. This use would be great for an invitation to traditional events such as weddings.
Waterproof Shoes and Boots
Rub the beeswax over the entire shoe. Next, use a blow dryer to melt the wax all over the shoe then let set for about 5 minutes before wearing!
DIY Shoe Polish
Restore leather products such as boots, shoes, wallets, bags, and more with this basic shoe polish formula.
Beeswax For Hair
Beeswax is used as a remedy for dry hair, to help start and maintain dreadlocks and as a wax for a man’s beard or mustache.
Grease Cookie Sheets
If you have a block of wax, you can simply rub it over your pans and use it in place of butter or oil. (Beeswax is edible so this is perfectly safe.) It works best if you warm the sheet a bit first. Over time the pan will take on a permanent coat of wax, eliminating the need to grease every time.
To make beeswax furniture polish melt 1 T. of grated beeswax, stir in 3 T. of coconut oil until melted. When this cools and hardens, use a clean cloth to rub it onto your wood furniture. Then using another cloth, buff the furniture until all residue is removed.
Reusable Food Wrap
An alternative to plastic wrap…..make your own beeswax coated cotton material. The warmth of your hands allows you to mould the beeswax to whatever shape you want and it stays there. When refrigerated it forms a firm cover to protect your leftovers.
Care For Wooden Utensils
Make spoon (or board) butter out of mineral oil and natural beeswax. Smooth it into your spoons, spatulas, boards and bowls. Let them sit for a couple of hours, then rub down with a clean cloth and return them to normal use.