While bees and their remarkable honey generally get a lot of buzzingly good press, we often lose sight of the other amazing gifts they have to offer.
Beeswax is an age-old, natural material that will never go out of style or out of use, and it’s good for more than just candle making!
The most amazing part of the hexagonal-shaped honey comb (besides the way in which beeswax is produced) is the many ways that it comes into use – in the kitchen, home and garden.
Here are some amazing uses that may come in handy for you:
1. Unstick Zippers, drawers etc. – When temperatures drop, it’s time to get your winter coat out of the closet. Except that after months of not being used, the zipper is being particularly stubborn. Here’s a quick fix—just rub a small piece of beeswax along the teeth of the zipper. Likewise, you can apply a thin coat of beeswax on wooden rails makes the wood drawers slide smoothly. It helps finecky windows, too. Use wax as a magical natural home lubricant!
2. Beeswax as a wood sealant – For structural elements that need to look good but take no wear (like for example exposed ceiling beams), heat equal parts beeswax, linseed oil, and turpentine. Apply onto the wood while the mixture is still warm. The wood will be protected and shiny.
3. Prevent Tools from rusting – Coat your tools (like your garden fork and shovel) with beeswax to protect them from rusting and from the elements. Simply take a bar of wax and rub it on the metal parts, making sure to use a clean cloth after to buff off any excess. You can do the same for any screws that you use too! Rub wax over screws to make them both drive in smoothly and resist corrosion over time.
4. Condition a wood chopping board – Add a half-teaspoon beeswax to a cup of mineral oil, microwave until the wax melts, and apply the mixture to the board with a soft cloth. This mixture will also moisturize and protect other wooden surfaces like spatulas, spoons and salad bowls.
5. Naturally waterproof leather. Combine equal parts beeswax, tallow, and neatsfoot oil (available online). Warm the mixture and use a rag to rub it on your boots or gloves. It’s a natural sealant and protectant of leather! Hydrates the leather while also keeping it safe
6. Whip up a batch of Canelés – These French pastries are crunchy on the outside, custardy on the inside and delicious all-around. Traditionally, the special molds are coated in beeswax and butter and then frozen before the batter is added and baked, which helps give the treats their special shape and crisp exterior. (Beeswax is totally edible so this is perfectly safe.) Could you skip all that work and just use non-stick cooking spray? Sure, but where’s the fun in that? Here’s a recipe for how to make canelés using beeswax.
7. Make Crayons – Get your kids to help out with this family-friendly project. Mix equal parts beeswax and soap shavings and melt in a double boiler. Once melted, pour into molds and add a few drops of food coloring to each one to make different shades, stirring until mixed. Allow the crayons to harden (this will take a couple of hours) and they’re ready to use.
8. Tame Flyaways – Frizzy hair getting you down? Just rub a little beeswax between your fingertips and smooth over strands for a sleek style that won’t turn greasy. You can even use this miracle ingredient to make your own pomade that will keep your ’do in place without looking stiff.
9. Beeswax for homemade cosmetics – Take a closer look at ingredients and you will find that beeswax is used in a variety of cosmetics, ranging from lipstick to nail- and skincare products, from hair conditioners to healing salves. Beeswax hast the unique ability to stiffen, but not harden – allowing for plasticity/flexibility in creams. So it comes as no surprise that you will find beeswax in many DIY cosmetics such as: lip balms, body butters, eye liners and more.
10. Preserving leaves – No matter what the current season is, it’s always a fun change of pace to switch things up in home decor. This beeswax leaf dipping DIY allows you to swap out fake leaves for real ones. Preserving the leaves this way allows them to maintain their beautiful color, and it can also be a great project for your kids to help with too!