Cleaning Raw Beeswax to Make Candles

Beeswax

Methods for cleaning raw beeswax to make candles ranges from inexpensive and labor intensive to expensive and automatic.

Cleaning Raw Beeswax to Make Candles

Many candle makers that use beeswax in the crafting of their candles clean their own beeswax. Raw beeswax is usually purchased from beekeepers and needs to have all of the impurities removed to make it suitable for making candles. There are several different methods that can be used to clean raw beeswax.

Filtering with Cheesecloth

The most inexpensive and simple method of cleaning raw beeswax is also the most labor intensive. This method involves straining, or filtering, the raw beeswax through cheesecloth.

  • Heat the beeswax until it melts
  • Slowly pour the melted wax through the cheesecloth
  • Discard the impurities that remain on the top of the cheesecloth

Although this method is very simple to do, it is both time consuming and labor intensive. Since the beeswax hardens quickly on the cheesecloth this method is best used for cleaning small amounts of raw beeswax. When the cheesecloth filtering method is used the beeswax maintains both its natural fragrance and color.

The Double Boiler Method

The following method works for a small amount of beeswax at a time and the jar must be carefully watched so the beeswax does not become too hot.

  • Place raw beeswax chunks into a glass container with a wide mouth such as a canning jar.
  • Fill the bottom of a double boiler with water and put on the top section of the double boiler.
  • Place the jar in the top of the double boiler and heat the water to 185 degrees Fahrenheit until the beeswax has completely melted. The melting point of beeswax is between 149 and 185 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important not to allow the raw beeswax to come to a boil or its natural color will change.
  • The clean beeswax will remain on the top of the jar and the impurities will sink to the bottom.
  • To further clean the beeswax, filter it through cheesecloth.

Microwave Method

This method works for a small amount of beeswax at a time.

  • Place raw beeswax chunks into a glass container with a wide mouth such as a canning jar.
  • Place the jar into the microwave oven for approximately fifteen to twenty minutes, or until all the wax it melted.
  • The impurities sink to the bottom of the jar and the clean beeswax remains on the top.
  • Remove the clean beeswax from the jar.

Simple Gravity Filtration Method

The gravity filtration process of cleaning raw beeswax is popular method that involves melting the beeswax in water.

  • Using a stainless steel pot, partially fill it with water.
  • Put the beeswax into the pot.
  • Heat the water in the pot to simmering until the all of the beeswax melts.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and allow it to cool.

The beeswax remains on the top of the water and the impurities sink to the bottom of the pot. Once you remove the wax and discard the water and the impurities, you generally must repeat this method several times until all of the impurities are removed from the beeswax. In this method the beeswax maintains both its natural fragrance and color.

The Maple Syrup Filtration Method

This method is commonly referred to as the Maple Syrup Method of cleaning raw beeswax because it is the same method used to filter maple syrup. The machine used is the same one used for maple syrup and is available at companies that sell the filtering equipment and filtration systems for maple syrup. These types of filtering systems are available from companies such as Bascom Maple Farms.

In this method water and beeswax is placed into the filtering machine, which keeps the water at a constant heated temperature. Once the water has completely evaporated, the raw beeswax is clean.

A Wax Processing Tank

A wax processing tank is the easiest way to clean raw beeswax. However, it is also the most expensive and is typically used in commercial businesses. In this method the water in the tank is continually heated to boiling in a self-heating unit. Once the wax is added and melts, the clean beeswax remains on the top of the tank and the impurities and debris in the wax fall to the tank's bottom. The wax processing tank contains a bell valve that drains the layers.

An Enjoyable Process

If you enjoy making beeswax candles, the process of cleaning raw beeswax to make candles is an experience that you may find very rewarding and enjoyable.

Was this page useful?
Cleaning Raw Beeswax to Make Candles