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Melting Beeswax

Here is a question I received from one of my subscribers. I have some beeswax from when I had bees years ago. I am now interested in cleaning and using this for making a lotion.

I read somewhere to use only a stainless steel pot or double boiler- is this right? I do not have a stainless steel double boiler but do have one of some other metal. Can I use it?

First off make sure you check out the simple DIY double boiler for melting beeswax at the bottom of this post.

Stainless Steel Recommended But Not Necessary

melting beeswax in potYou don’t have to use stainless steel for melting beeswax.

The reason that stainless steel is recommended so often is because it will not discolor the beeswax, while certain other metals will.

Avoid Iron, Nickel and Copper

For example, if you use a container that has iron, nickel or copper in it, the beeswax will probably be darkened. In addition to stainless steel, aluminum can be used without discoloring the wax. Enameled steel pots are also O.K.

If you’re not sure about the composition of a container you’re considering using, you could melt a very small amount of wax to see whether it is darkened.

If you’re going to need to melt beeswax more frequently than just a time or two, I’d highly recommend this purpose-made product.

And you’re right about using a double boiler.

Beeswax Flammable and Sensitive To Excess Heat

Beeswax is very flammable, and also sensitive to excess heat. Using a double boiler will prevent hot spots from developing that could ignite or discolor the wax.

Electric Heat Is Best

electic heat melting beeswaxIt’s also best to always use electric stove or heat for melting beeswax. Open flame and beeswax is a very dangerous combo. If some of the wax were to accidentally be spilled into the fire, you’d have an instantaneous raging inferno – almost akin to throwing gasoline on a fire.

And though I’ve never seen it happen (fortunately!), I’ve read that even the gases that can be emitted from beeswax when it gets too hot can be ignited by open flame, causing an explosion.

A properly grounded hotplate on the driveway, patio, or other open area is the safest (and easiest to clean) setup for melting beeswax.

Don’t Use Your Best Cookware

Keep in mind, too, that beeswax can stick very tenaciously to the container it’s melted in. So you might want to avoid using your best cookware for this project.

(You can go here to read more general info about beeswax.)

Melting Pure Beeswax DIY Double Boiler

If you are interesting in making DIY beeswax candles watch until the very end to see how easy this method really is! You can do it with everything you probably have at home already except maybe beeswax.