17 Cool and Unusual Uses for Beeswax

Beeswax is one of the coolest substances, in my eyes. It’s completely natural, being that it is actually formed by the worker bees (all females) which secret it through 8 wax-producing mirror glands on the inner sides of their abdomen. These mirror glands are the reason for the honeycomb shape.

Interestingly enough, the comb actually begins colorless but as more and more pollen is brought to the comb, it changes to a yellow and sometimes brown color which is what we are more familiar with.

Honeybees use these combs to raise their young in where they fill it with honey and pollen to feed the young. Then these combs are capped for storage.

Another cool fact about beeswax: bees that create wax need to consume 8 times more honey than their counter parts (the drones — or males).

Apart from the bees using beeswax to build the foundations to their hives, people have used beeswax for many, many years. The oldest dated record of beeswax candles goes back to the 6th/7th century AD from the Alamannic graveyard of Oberflacht, Germany. Crazy right?

The yellow beeswax is the most pure of beeswax as it has likely not been bleached or processed in any way. The white beeswax has been bleached and there is even a beeswax called “beeswax absolute,” which basically means the beeswax has been combined with alcohol.

I definitely recommend using the yellow beeswax. If you can find filtered, that is best because it eliminates an additional step before you can use it. I also encourage folks to find a local source where you can obtain beeswax — as supporting local bee keepers is the most sustainable and beneficial practice. Beeswax can be found in solid bar form or pellets. Pellets can be a bit easier to work with if you need smaller quantities.

If you cannot source beeswax from a local company, I recommend this brand of beeswax.

Benefits of Beeswax

Beeswax has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-allergenic, and germicidal antioxidant properties which makes it absolutely wonderful for wound feeling. Beeswax is also known for locking in moisture, protecting skin from environmental factors and fostering skin cells. Because of it’s moisture locking properties, it is naturally nourishing and effectively softens skin. It is even speculated that honeycomb has traces of Vitamin A which help restore and replenish skin.

It is no wonder that beeswax is used in numerous beauty and personal care products, along with other really neat things.

Below you’ll find 17 cool and unusual uses for beeswax.

 

17 Cool and Unusual Uses for Beeswax

1. Make Candles: Beeswax candles burn brighter, remove toxins from the air and give off a sweet, warming honey

aroma when lit. Making them is pretty simple, too. You can learn how to make them in silicone molds HERE or you can learn to make them in containers, HERE.

2. Beauty & Personal Care Products: It’s true, beeswax plays a huge role when making your own beauty and personal care products! Things like lip balm, moisturizer, lotion bars and even homemade mascara all have beeswax in them to help protect and moisturize your skin. You can even use it in homemade hair products like pompay and when caring for dread locks.

If you prefer to buy all natural beauty care products that work, I recommend Scratch Mommy’s skincare line. If you are more of a DIY’er and would like to learn how to make your own beauty care products, I highly recommend the ebook DIY Organic Beauty Recipes.

3. As a Replacement to Plastic Wrap: How fun is this? You can actually make a much more sustainable alternative to plastic wrap by using beeswax and cotton. When the beeswax is applied to the cotton, the cotton is no longer breathable which is why it makes such a great replacement for plastic wrap. You can find a tutorial on how to make them here.

4. As a Lubricant in the Home: Do you have a sliding glass door, window sill or drawer that does not move freely? Just rub some beeswax on the area and the ease of opening should change drastically. You can also rub beeswax on nails or screws to help them move easier, on zippers if they are stuck,

5. Wood Treatment: You can combine a food grade mineral oil with melted beeswax to condition wood bowls and butcher blocks. Use about 40% beeswax to about 60% food grade mineral oil. If the consistency of the paste is not right for your application, you can reheat the mixture and add more mineral oil.

6. Sealing an Envelope: How cool, right? You can actually make a beeswax seal and apply it to an envelope that you are sending out. This would make a great idea for an event invitation like a wedding or baby shower. Tutorial here.

7. Non-toxic Crayons: Yes, you can make non-toxic crayons (what an awesome gift!) out of beeswax! A cool tutorial can be found HERE.

8. Waterproofing: You can rub beeswax over leather shoes and other leather products to help protect against all types of weathering including water. You can even put beeswax on matches to help keep them dry if you are out fishing, boating or skiing.

9. Prevent Rusting: Coat things like hand tools, cast iron pieces and shovels to prevent them from rusting out. You can even rub beeswax on the wooden handle of your shovel to help protect against wear and tear.

10. Furniture Polish: You can polish your furniture when you mix equal parts beeswax to linseed oil and mineral spirits.

11. Cooking: You can use it as a thickener or bonding agent. When making candy like Jelly Belly’s or Gummy Bears, beeswax is used.

12. Anti-Itch Solution: You can create a salve at home using beeswax to help get relief from the itchy’s. You can find a homemade recipe here (note: the recipe also helps with pain associated from bug bites, bee stings and rashes).

13. Pain Relief: You can use beeswax to help “hold together” homemade pain relieving salves. You can find a recipe using dried plantain here and a recipe using many different herbs here.

14. Black Powder Shooting: Beeswax is added to tallow and used to lubricate lead bullets in black powder shooting. Cast wadcutter bullets have a band of wax to prevent leading the barrel of the gun.

15. Natural Gum Alternative: Just take some beeswax, put it in your mouth, and chew on it until it dissolves. A great way for trying to quit smoking or if you want to find a healthier alternative to most toxic gums on the market.

16. Sewing Thread: You can actually run your thread along a block of beeswax a couple times and it will help prevent it from tangling and it allows the thread to run through fabric easier.

17. Clean Your Iron: If your iron is beginning to get gummy or scorched, try making a homemade iron cleaner with beeswax. It’s chemical-free, economical and sustainable! Here’s a tutorial I found on how to make and use your iron cleaner.

MORE BEESWAX FUN

Tutorial: DIY Beeswax Candles in Silicone Molds 

Better-Than-Kisses To Go Healing Balm

DIY Healing Ointment (Similar to Neosporin)

What’s your favorite way to use beeswax? Do you use beeswax for anything else not listed here?

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I only promote products that uphold to Naturally Loriel's values. More



About

Aside from being a wannabe backyard homesteader who wrangles chickens and free-range kids, Loriel is the owner/creator of the professional natural lifestyle blog Naturally Loriel, owner of the organic spice blend business Naturally Free, and freelance professional food photographer.


'17 Cool and Unusual Uses for Beeswax' has 41 comments

  1. April 26, 2014 @ 12:09 pm Brian

    Numerous craft uses. For instance, great lubricant for a jewelry saw blade.

    Coat the end of a wooden skewer, needle file, or a similar item to make a great pick-up tool as an alternative to tweezers. Will work for tiny beads, chatons, rhinestones, wire or solder bits, electronic parts, etc. Ditto in the kitchen for cake decorating with tiny bits of whatever, etc.

    Reply

    • April 28, 2014 @ 7:58 am Loriel @ Healthy Roots, Happy Soul

      Awesome! Thanks Brian.

      Reply

      • December 27, 2015 @ 9:52 pm Benamar

        Hello, thank you for all information and i just want to tell you that there is may way of using beeswax, i made beeswax packaging, interssting and sustaneble package, juste chek betamiel on youtube or facebook or google for more informations 🙂

        Reply

        • April 22, 2016 @ 7:10 pm Umeh Kingsley

          Am really interested and want to know what can be produce through beeswax as much as I have the wax here

          Reply

  2. July 8, 2014 @ 2:47 pm Alicia

    Hi! I love your thoughts here on beeswax! Thanks! We use beeswax for lots of these things at our house too! I just wanted to mention that beeswax darkens because it spins a cocoon when transitioning between larvae and pupae stages. The cocoon stays in the cell and then wax gets darker and darker as brood cycles through the cells.

    Reply

    • December 7, 2015 @ 1:52 pm Pat

      Bees lay eggs. I believe you may be thinking of silk worms when saying that they spin a cocoon. Also silk worms do not make wax.

      Reply

      • December 15, 2015 @ 2:21 pm Stuart

        Bees do lay eggs, but they also create a cocoon within the wax cell when transforming from a larva to an adult bee.

        Reply

        • February 10, 2016 @ 11:04 am Joan

          This is true. I have been keeping bees for 5 years now. When we have to melt the wax in a frame we need to clean, we get a lot of dark brown stuff left over which is made of the ‘cocoon’ or lining from inside the brood cells. The best wax is from the very light cappings taken from super frames when we extract the honey.

          Reply

  3. July 17, 2014 @ 5:28 pm Kayla

    Thank you for including my healing salve in this post roundup! Love the rest of the ideas as well! 😉

    Reply

    • July 17, 2014 @ 9:48 pm Loriel

      You are totally welcome!

      Reply

  4. September 5, 2014 @ 2:25 am cecilia

    We are organic beekeepers we don’t us antibiotics or any other chemicals,here in SA we bleach oure wax not all with the sun only the sun,we also make a healing salf which contain propolis that works wonders,thanks for nice tips

    Reply

  5. September 24, 2014 @ 1:08 pm Anna

    I use it instead oil on baking forms and it should work instead of frying oil, too, but I haven’t tryed it yet.

    Reply

    • September 27, 2014 @ 9:19 am Loriel

      Oooh that’s interesting!

      Reply

  6. October 2, 2014 @ 4:13 pm Gary Fawcett

    Thanks Loriel for this great article, we have been processing beeswax from our bees for a while now. And we still learnt some new uses for our beeswax.

    Hope you don’t mind but we talked about your post on our recent beekeeping podcast, love you blog.

    Thanks for all you do…Gary

    Reply

    • October 3, 2014 @ 10:31 am Loriel

      Hi Gary!

      That is so awesome. I would love to have bees in my backyard but as of right now, it’s not allowed. Not sure if that will stop me, but first I need to get a grip of chickens and garden. Then I’ll add another entity. 🙂

      Nope, I don’t mind at all. Thank you for talking about it! Can you give me the link to the podcast? I can share it on my Facebook page.

      Reply

  7. October 2, 2014 @ 5:12 pm leslie

    great ideas! When I obtained a beehive,I saved the honey,of course,and from it I got a nice bit of wax.my cousin was visiting,and he works on jets.He said after doing work on the planes,they dab wax over screw heads etc,so later on it would be obvious if something had been tampered with!

    Reply

    • October 3, 2014 @ 10:32 am Loriel

      Hi Leslie. That is SO awesome! Thank you for sharing that tid bit!

      Reply

  8. October 9, 2014 @ 1:18 pm Ivonne

    Hi!! I love this article. I make beeswax candles, and sell them.
    I was looking for some cool facts about beeswax and I found your article! If you don’t mind I would like to share it on my Facebook page, Instagram, and Twitter. I will mention one of the many uses of beeswax and copy and paste the link to your article.

    Thank you so much!
    Ivonne

    Reply

  9. November 3, 2014 @ 7:39 pm Rebecca

    Hi Loriel, I bought some beeswax from my honey guy at the local framer’s market to use in homemade deodorant and lip balm. It came in a jar and I’m fairly certain it is unfiltered. You mentioned an extra step in buying it this way before it can be used. Can you tell me what that step is? Thanks so much, love your site!
    Rebecca

    Reply

  10. November 10, 2014 @ 12:12 am Terra

    I use bees wax on old drawers that stick..some tomes old dresser drawers will stick and I sand them just a bit and then rub bees wax over the runs…It works beautifully.

    Reply

  11. January 19, 2015 @ 10:45 pm Varika

    Late to the party, but I just read (and am going to try) about using a 50/50 mix of beeswax and extra virgin olive oil to finish tooled leather. I’m interested in this because I think it’s a lot closer to what they would have used in the Medieval period, before the invention of modern polymer-based finishes. (I am also going to use walnut shells to create a leather dye, but that’s for another time!

    Reply

  12. February 10, 2015 @ 8:25 pm Rebeca

    Hi there Loriel,
    So I made some homemade deodorant today with coconut oil, arrowroot powder, some essential oils and beeswax that I filtered myself. The beeswax didn’t mix in with the other ingredients, it just sort of clumped up at the bottom. Any ideas why this would happen?

    Reply

    • May 1, 2015 @ 9:26 pm Loriel

      Could it possibly be that the beeswax did not fully melt?

      Reply

  13. July 11, 2015 @ 4:52 pm jasmin

    are you vegan?

    Reply

  14. July 11, 2015 @ 7:22 pm Paige

    Hi!! I am making a printout of beeswax usage for our customers and this has helped so much! Thank you!!! 🙂 Bookmarking for future reference.

    Reply

    • July 15, 2015 @ 4:18 pm Loriel

      So glad it has helped!

      Reply

  15. July 17, 2015 @ 11:21 pm Kayla

    I was curious about the iron one, as mine is a bit of a mess. I didn’t see any beeswax in that one, but I will try the method anyway. 🙂 I want to try the food wrap too!

    Reply

  16. October 21, 2015 @ 5:43 am Melinda

    When I was younger my dad had bees… We (family) were going to the winter carnival… My dad used beeswax on the runners of my sled. I ended up winning the sled race that year… So did my brother!

    Reply

  17. October 25, 2015 @ 1:53 pm Andrew

    I build and maintain pipe organs for a living and I frequently have to solder electrical connections and make repairs to metal organ pipes. When working on site I occasionally run out of soldering paste and/or flux. Most churches with pipe organs are of the liturgical type and have candles in abundance. I substitute bees wax for solder paste when necessary and without second thought as it works. Roman Catholic Churches must use beeswax candles during the celebration of the Mass–my scruples however will not permit me to use beeswax from this particular source. Votive candles, unfortunately are invariably composed of synthetic waxes. I can’t help but further add the fact I’m posting with some difficulty as about half my fingers are encapsulated in beeswax. I’ve been very hard on my hands the past two weeks and I now have wounds and cracks at the tips of my fingers. They were so painful today I instinctively applied the wax as a balm; the relief from pain was immediate and absolute.

    Reply

  18. November 18, 2015 @ 9:34 am Troy

    Hi Loriel,
    Just subscribed and wanted to say thanks for your awesome and inspiring website!
    Came across it looking for other uses for beeswax as I use it among other things to make fatwood sticks for lighting my campfire in bad weather and for matches as someone else mentioned. They will even light after sitting in a cup of water for a few hours. Handy to know.
    Anyway keep up the great work!
    Troy.

    Reply

  19. December 9, 2015 @ 4:30 pm Dave

    I make cutting boards and would like to know how to mix mineral oil and bees wax? I hope it stays in a liquid form .

    Reply

  20. December 28, 2015 @ 8:21 pm Toni

    As well as using beeswax on thread to keep it from tangling, if you then pt paper toweling on your ironing board place the thread on the paper, place iron on thread sand draw it through under the iron, the heat will drive the wax into the thread making the thread water resistant and very long lasting.

    Reply

    • January 18, 2016 @ 9:20 pm Loriel

      SO awesome! I had no idea.

      Reply

  21. December 29, 2015 @ 6:06 pm Linda Tillman

    I love this article and will link to it in my blog. You didn’t mention making soap in your list of health and beauty products. I make homemade soap all the time and put beeswax in every bar. While filtered relatively new beeswax is light yellow, actually the natural color of beeswax is white. When the bees secrete wax from their abdominal plates it is pure white. From there it takes on color as the bees manipulate it – when they put it in their mandibles (their jaws) to form the wax into honeycomb, some pollen is added to the wax. Also bees have dirty feet from walking all over flowers and all over the hive so the material on their feet adds to the color of beeswax. But the natural color of beeswax is pure white and the coloration comes over time. The lightest wax is capping wax from the covering over stored honey. The darkest wax is from the brood comb because of the cocoon that others have mentioned.

    Reply

    • January 18, 2016 @ 9:20 pm Loriel

      So cool! Thanks for the information.

      Reply

  22. April 10, 2016 @ 3:54 pm felicity

    I used to use Burts Bees products, but they were not moisturizing enough – and the overall quality not where I wanted it to be. I ONLY use natural products. I now have been using Made from Earth’s Valencia Orange Lotion, and I like it. It has alot of Beeswax in it. Will try it for another week and let you know how it goes. So far so good and it smells great!

    Reply

  23. May 21, 2016 @ 3:12 pm Tod

    I spent a long time over seas and came to know that beeswax has been used for hundreds of years as a hair removal method

    Reply


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