Microwave Oven & Melting Beeswax?
I have about 10 frames worth of honeycomb. I want to melt it, but I don't have a solar wax melter.
How do you feel about a microwave oven? Would I be able to melt down the honeycomb into wax, with a microwave oven?
I believe that some people do use microwaves for melting beeswax, but I never have, and never will. The problem with using a microwave is that you have little control over how hot the wax gets.
If the wax gets hot enough, it could ignite (beeswax is very flammable). And even if it doesn't ignite, the wax could get hot enough to degrade in quality by being darkened in color.
The double-boiler method is best for melting beeswax in a container. But for an easy method of just rendering the wax out of old comb, you can simply place pieces of the comb in a pot of gently boiling water.
Since beeswax is lighter than water, it will float to the top as it melts. And much of the debris will settle to the bottom.
You can then either carefully ladle the melted wax out to pour through filters and then into molds, or you can just turn off the heat when the wax has melted out of the combs, and then collect the solidified wax after it has cooled. The beeswax will be in a layer floating on top of the water.
It's essential, of course, not to let the wax overflow the top of the pot into the heat source below. Also, be aware that a pot used for this purpose can be tough to clean, so you might want to use an old pot for this if you have one available.
And a kitchen really isn't an ideal location for melting beeswax. Using a hotplate on a driveway or patio is much safer in case of fire. And you don't have to worry as much about clean up.
If you're going to need to melt beeswax (or other kinds of wax) on a regular basis, I'd recommend that you consider purchasing this purpose-made product, or this one. Should make life easier, and maybe even safer!
Hope this helps!
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