Beeswax: Its uses around our homes
Probably, we all know that beeswax makes great candles, but did you also know that it has many other household uses?
Well, this is especially true in the movement away from commercially-made cosmetics and cleaning products. Beeswax can be a useful ingredient to have around the home.
So, what is beeswax?
Beeswax is created in eight wax-producing glands on a honeybee’s abdomen. It is secreted in the form of scales or flakes. When the bees want to make comb they collect the wax flakes and chew them until they’re soft and malleable and then form them into the comb-like molded clay.
Beeswax melts at around 146 degrees, which means it keeps it’s solid form at household temperature. It is a great emulsifier in that it helps to thoroughly mix and incorporate oil and liquid ingredients, it is water-resistant and it thickens products like lotions and balms. Beeswax is also entirely natural and edible.
Uses for beeswax in our homes
Now let take a look at the common uses of beeswax around our various homes:
There is a reason wax was used to seal important documents long ago. Wax is a phenomenal sealant. Corked bottles can be dipped in beeswax to seal the contents for years.
Wax can also be used to create re-usable food wrap. To do this, fabric is covered in a thin layer of beeswax and used in the same way you might use plastic wrap or tin foil.
The world of homemade cosmetics has really opened up in the past few years. People are uncomfortable with the chemical ingredients in things like deodorant, sunscreen, lotions, and lip balms. We are finding that many of these things can be made at home for a fraction of the price and with safe and natural ingredients.
Beeswax makes a great thickening agent for DIY [‘Do it yourself’] cosmetic products. Coconut oil works well, too, but it melts at a much lower temperature than beeswax. Beeswax lends a solid texture to cosmetics that need to be stored in a tube, like lip balm or deodorant.
If you have a sticky drawer or finicky zipper, rub a bit of beeswax on the surface to make them glide more smoothly.
Beeswax can be used as a wood sealant and polish. It protects wood surfaces from water damage, moisturizes the wood, seals fine scratches, and creates a great shine.
Many artisans like blacksmith brush a coat of beeswax on their metal work to prevent rusting. Beeswax can also be used to prevent rusting on outdoor tools like shovels, hoes, axes et cetera.