How to Clean Beeswax

how to clean beeswax

We get asked a lot of questions about how to clean beeswax. We have tried several methods, but this is the current process that we use at kiwimana.

Beeswax in CheeseclothThe whole point of cleaning the wax is to remove as much Debris as possible, you often get bits of bees or clumps of propolis in your bees wax. So the first step is to filter out the bulk of these objects.

    1. Cheesecloth bag full of beeswax ready to go
      Cheesecloth bag full of beeswax ready to go

      We do this by boiling the raw beeswax from our Solar Wax Extractor, I discovered this new method via this episode of the BK Corner Podcast Sticky Notes. You gather all your old wax and a large stone (yes a stone) and bundle it up together in a cheese cloth.

Cheesecloth Bag in Pot
Cheesecloth Bag in Pot
  1. Wax Starting to move to top of pot
    Wax Starting to move to top of pot

    You then add this to a large boiling pot (get one from your local charity shop), don’t borrow one from the kitchen. Bring the bag to a boil, the wax and only the wax will rise to the top of the pot. Leaving behind the stone and debris from the wax.

  2. Let this sit and cool for around six hours (Best to leave overnight), or until the side of the container is cool to touch. Remove the block of wax and scrap any crap from the bottom. You will get a layer of brown sludgey stuff, a mix of propolis and small dirt particles.
  3. Second Stage Boiling
    Second Stage Boiling

    Now the next stage involves reboiling the wax and repeating the above scraping process. You only need to do the cheese cloth part once.

  4. Once you happy that no more dirt will be removed doing this process, use a double boiling to do the final wax pour into a mold of candles.

  5. A double boiling is a container that you sit within a pan of boiling water, we use an old steel milk jug. You could use any small metal container, just make sure you have someway of removing it from the boiling water without burning your hands and dropping the clean wax.
  6. The last stage is to add your clean wax to a mould of your choice. Have fun but remember never leave your boiling wax unattended. Remember the old saying “Mind Your Own Beeswax”. Beeswax can ignite if its near a naked flame.

So what do you think? Do you have any other tips you can add here, how do you clean your Beeswax? Please comment below…

Our Wax Processing Setup
Our Wax Processing Setup

10 thoughts on “How to Clean Beeswax

  1. Avatar photo
    Maryanne Pomare says:

    Hi Gary
    I do the double boiler stainless steel canister with wax in within larger pot of boiling water and I strain the heated wax tru a muslin or panty hose sitting inside strainer with handle then into clean container with lid preferably.

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    Jo Horsley says:

    Once boiled if you cover the pot with several layers, towels, old throws anything that that slows the cooling. Leave undisturbed for 24 hours or longer, it’s amazing how long it can take, to let wax set very slowly. This lets the dross sink to the bottom more thoroughly so you may find one boil and scrape enough. When we want to use it we then melt in the electric oven at 80f in a metal colander with muslin in it over a jug. It’s a bit slow but safe & gives good results.
    We collect all the grungy stuff from wax processing and mix it with saw dust, from hive making, and use as fire lighters

  3. Avatar photo
    Gina Geisreiter says:

    Gary what is the benefit of double boiler for melting final wax instead of direct in old pot on low heat?

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    Trish Stretton says:

    I havent bothered too much to clean the wax. I pop it in a couple of tiny ex candle tin buckets, put on a trivet on my firebox and let it melt. I use a stick to fish out any cocoons etc which get scraped onto the firewood. This is then set on the tiles by the fire to cool down and when it gets to a paste, get smeared onto the plastic frames.
    I only have one hive so I dont usually have a lot of wax to process at anyone time. Oneday this may change but for now I am enjoying my slow-mo process

    • Avatar photo
      Margaret Groot says:

      Sounds like a great idea – thanks for sharing its ideas like yours that helps us all. I guess you could put water in with the wax, then add a mesh above and then when the wax gets meltey, the wax will separate to the top leaving all the dregs trapped under the mesh ? Slow-Mo sounds good to me…everybody rushes too much and forgets to enjoy : )

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