Today’s post comes from our newest contributor – Emalee of Tree Huggin’ Homemaker.
I love DIY projects, don’t you? I usually opt for homemade things because I enjoy the process of creating and also as a way to save money. I’ve found that sourcing affordable and good quality ingredients can sometimes be a bit challenging.
Beeswax is a common ingredient in many of the homemade goods that I make.
Unfortunately it can run a bit pricey, upwards of $18/lb.
This past summer I found a local beekeeper who was selling her beeswax in big blocks at a great price. There was just one catch – it was unfiltered.
Now, there are a lot of frugal and energy efficient ways to filter beeswax. Most of those involve using solar heat to melt the wax. There’s just one problem with that – I live in North Dakota…. solar HEAT is not an option for me about hmmm, 9 months out of the year.
So instead I found this other SUPER frugal way to filter the wax. All you need is sweatshirt material – and YES it can be from an old (CLEAN) sweatshirt that you no longer wear.
How to Filter Beeswax
- unfiltered beeswax
- double boiler
- large bowl
- sweatshirt material
- craft stick (popsicle stick)
- measuring spoons
- silicone mold (preferable), mini muffin tin
1. Melt wax over low heat in a double boiler. I like to retain as many as the beneficial components of the wax as possible, that’s why I choose to melt it low and slow. Using a double boiler, or a pyrex bowl nested in a pot (like I do) makes clean up easy, and helps prevent the wax from burning.
2. Cut a large square of sweatshirt material, large enough to cover the opening and a bit down the sides. Cut small wholes (just large enough to thread the yarn through) along the sides and thread with yarn. Lay over the top of the bowl, pull the yarn taut and tie in a knot so as to keep the sweatshirt material tightly pulled over the top of the bowl.
3. After wax has melted, ladle wax onto the sweatshirt fabric covered bowl. Stir with craft stick to help move the wax through, and to scrape any large pieces of debris off to the sides. Continue this process until all wax is filtered.
At this point, you may need to remelt the wax – but don’t worry, it’s still slightly warm, and won’t take nearly as long to re-melt. Or you could easily stop right here. But now you just have a large block of filtered beeswax, to make it easy to work with, I recommend portioning the beeswax into a mold with wells that will hold 1-2 tablespoons of wax each.
4. Using the measuring spoon, ladle melted, filtered wax into your mold – silicone molds work best, but if not, a muffin tin works. Mini muffin tins might be a more convenient size. Let wax cool/harden in silicone mold (a short time in the freezer never hurts) and then you’re done!
p.s. I like to have a consist weight on my beeswax, it makes it easier when melting for lotions and such.
So when I ladle I try to fill each mold equally. I always reserve a certain amount of wax so that I can pour a few molds 1/2 full. This gives me different, but still consistent sizes to work with in my craft projects. Just a tip! 🙂