Beeswax: Benefits and Uses + 10 DIY Recipes

Beeswax feature image

Beeswax is the original zero-waste household staple.

So, if you’re thinking about new alternatives to plastic, wax, and other potentially wasteful products, why not try something old instead?

Beeswax has been used for centuries in candles, lubrication, skincare, food preservation and many other industries.

And as we embrace a plastic-free lifestyle, this humble product has been revived as people seek to find new ways to use it in today’s context.

We’re excited to show you all the wonderful ways you can introduce beeswax into you daily life and how it can help you along your zero-waste journey.

In this guide we’re going to give you a beeswax 101 lesson with some interesting DIY ideas to try at home.

So, what is beeswax?

Beeswax definition
Image by Zichrini from Pixabay

Beeswax is a natural product secreted by worker bees to form the familiar honeycomb cells that you’ve seen before. As honey differs in colour and texture depending on the area and pollen sources, so does beeswax.

This natural wax is normally harvested as a by-product of honey-production and does not cause harm to the bees if you source from an ethical bee-keeper.

The texture of beeswax is usually wax-like, thin and brittle. With the addition of oils and other ingredients like resin, it can be made into a softer, more manageable form.

Why is beeswax an eco-friendly alternative?

Being a natural product and free from harmful chemicals, beeswax can be used to replace plastics and other synthetic ingredients which end up as waste.

You can also use it to replace many household items such packaging, cling wraps, furniture polish, and candles. For personal care, it can be used in lip balms, lipsticks, face creams, nail care, and hair care.

What we particularly love about using beeswax products is that they simply last longer. Just one small tub of beeswax balm can last for months because you only need to use a little at a time.

Longer-use products contribute greatly towards a zero-waste lifestyle as it reduces the need to constantly top up your everyday items for household and personal care.

Making your own homemade products takes this to a whole new level because you can control how much product you need, add your own personal touch with other natural ingredients, and you get a chance to finally re-use all those little glass pots and jars you’ve been saving!  

See? It’s a fabulous way to reduce, reuse and recycle!

Benefits of using beeswax

With all its marvellous uses, the major benefits of using beeswax is for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties which make it an excellent skin care product. People use beeswax to treat various skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, and it’s even safe to use in baby lotions to treat rashes.

So, in summary we love beeswax because it is:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Water-repellent
  • Natural and free from toxins
  • Easy to work with because there are no harmful chemicals involved
  • A fantastic plastic-alternative

10 uses for beeswax + our favourite DIY recipes

1. Lip balm

Lip Balm
Image by silviarita from Pixabay

With its special water-repelling properties, beeswax can be used to relieve and restore very dry skin especially on cracked lips and heels by locking in moisture and preventing dryness. The anti-inflammatory properties of beeswax also help with healing minor abrasions.

If the air around you is very dry, for example in an air-conditioned office or in a dry climate, you’ll find that a beeswax product will help you keep dry skin patches well hydrated. If you make a larger batch of lip balm, you’ll also end up with a great product to use all over your body.

Our favourite DIY tutorials and recipes:

Unlike petroleum jelly, which is used in a large variety of beauty products, beeswax will not “suffocate” the skin, but rather allow it to breathe while still providing a protective barrier.

WellnessMama.com

2. Other cosmetics

Beeswax cosmetics
Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay

If you are ready to ditch even a handful of expensive cosmetics filled with harmful chemicals and wasteful packaging, consider using natural home-made alternatives with beeswax.

These might take a little getting used to at first because the textures could be softer than what you are used to, but honestly, we think it’s worth the effort!

Our favourite DIY tutorials and recipes:

3. Beeswax for hair

Video via Babilon

Your everyday hair-styling wax, texturisers and conditioners can all be made at home using beeswax.

And, because you only have to use a little at a time, these DIY products could last you much longer than store-bought products. This means that you’ll not only save money, but you’ll drastically reduce plastic and packaging waste, and you can reuse a jar to store it in – that’s a win all-round!

Our favourite DIY tutorials and recipes:

4. Food wraps

Beeswax Food wraps
Image by RikaC from Pixabay

This is a great alternative to plastic cling wrap or aluminium foil that you would normally use to keep things like leftovers or other items that need to be preserved on counter tops or in the fridge.

Beeswax wraps are re-usable and could preserve your food for longer due to its anti-bacterial properties. And, since they’re quite pliable and easy to mould, they’ll fit on most containers, bottles and jars.

Make these at home and you’ll never need glad wrap again!

Our favourite DIY tutorials and recipes:

5. Furniture polish

Video via Humblebee & Me

Have you been looking for a natural alternative to furniture waxes and sprays? Those products often contain toxic fumes and synthetic ingredients, but once you try a simple beeswax furniture polish, you won’t choose a store-bought product any time soon!

And, it’s completely zero-waste if you re-use a jar to store your polish in. Beeswax polish is not only great for restoring and maintaining wooden furniture, but its water-repellent properties also make it an excellent treatment and sealant for concrete countertops.

Our favourite DIY tutorials and recipes:

6. Beeswax candles

Video via Our Oily House

Beeswax candles have been around since the Middle Ages and was favoured over the foul-smelling animal fat candles used at the time. Beeswax candles produced a clear flame and a pleasant smell, but where quite expensive.

These days, beeswax is experiencing a revival among eco-conscious consumers and those who simply want to live a more natural life. Raw beeswax is now much more affordable and easier to find.

Beeswax candles are by far one of the easiest things you can make at home and if you have a creative streak, you’ll have fun making various types of candles for the home, for gifting, or for a small business.

Our favourite DIY tutorials and recipes:

Beeswax is the only wax that produces a clean burning, bright flame that last up to 10 times longer than other candles. It’s non toxic properties make it a great product for people with allergies or sensitivities or if you just want to combat indoor pollutants.  

Lomarfarms.com

7. Water-repellent and sealant

DIY Beeswax Waterproofing
Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash

For a temporary solution, beeswax can be used for waterproofing and sealing. To keep your shoes and boots dry, simply rub a raw beeswax bar along the areas you need to keep dry – that’s pretty much it! You can also use it to lightly seal and soften leather boots, bags, and furniture.

Our favourite DIY tutorials and recipes:

8. Firelighters

Video via bluebottlebunnyfarm

If you’re making your own candles, you can use the leftover wicks and wax to make some handy eco-friendly firelighters for the fireplace or barbeque.

Synthetic firelighters often contain poisonous fumes and unpleasant smells, using a natural alternative is a great way to make use of scraps of cardboard, cotton thread, wax and even orange peels. Plus, you can control the smell by keeping it neutral or adding some scented oils.

Our favourite DIY tutorials and recipes:

9. Earplugs

We all need a pair of ear plugs at some point for travel, noisy workplaces, soothing earaches, swimming, showering, and blocking out the odd snore 🙂

The problem with most ear plugs is that they never quite fit right. They’re either too small or too big, they’re too stiff or too soft, and generally uncomfortable in some way. Because the ear is such a sensitive area, the chemicals used in most commercial ear plugs can cause irritation to the ear canal.

Beeswax ear plugs could provide you with an eco-friendly alternative that is both safe to use and pliable enough to fit your ear perfectly. It’s also safe for children.

Our favourite DIY tutorials and recipes:

10. Beeswax crayons

Video via Herban Homestead

Did you know that most crayons are made from petroleum-based paraffin wax? Switching to an eco-friendlier and more renewable source for your child’s stationery isn’t as hard as it seems because there are so many new alternatives available. One of them is beeswax crayons, and the best part is they’re actually quite easy to make at home.

Worried about the quality? Don’t be.

These natural crayons are actually so much richer in colour and brightness that your child really won’t worry about the difference. Making these at home also lets you expand the colour palette for an endless number of custom colours.

Our favourite DIY tutorials and recipes:

Tips for melting beeswax

Before you start your DIY projects, we’ll give you a few tips for melting the wax properly.

Firstly, make sure that you have the right equipment such as a glass heatproof jug if you are heating it in the microwave, or pots and pans to make a double boiler on the stove. A thermometer is helpful to keep so that you can constantly monitor the temperature to keep it consistent.

A grater comes in handy if you purchase your beeswax in larger blocks, so you can grate them down into the quantity you want, and they melt much faster.

Remember, this natural wax has a low melting point of between 62 – 64 degrees Celsius / 144 to 147 degrees Fahrenheit so take care not to overheat it to avoid discolouring the wax. We recommend a double boiler method so that you can keep an even temperature.

To make a double boiler, simple take two pots or pans, fill the larger one with some water and place the smaller one inside. Place the bottom pot on the stove and your top one will then be heated evenly by the water in the pot underneath – add your wax to the pot on top. Make sure you keep an eye on the water and make sure you keep it half-way filled to avoid burning the pot if it dries out.

Are you ready to try it?

Why not. Beeswax is a versatile multi-use ingredient that is a natural, bio-degradable and eco-friendly alternative to so many products. With all these wonderful benefits, there’s no excuse not to give it a try. Even if you try just one of these recipes, you will already be one step ahead on your journey towards a zero-waste home and more natural lifestyle.

But, if you’re still unsure, purchase a few food wraps, lip balms and some household products to test the waters and see if it’s right for you.

If you do find a product you like, you just might be inspired to create your own at home. The best part of homemade beeswax products is that you’ll never run out if you keep a few key ingredients around the home like beeswax bars or pellets, coconut oil, and some essential oils.

The opportunities are endless, but don’t let this overwhelm you. Just one step in the right direction is all you need to start enjoying the benefits of beeswax!

References

Benefits of beeswax: https://thegoodstuffbotanicals.com/beeswax/

What is beeswax?: https://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/what-is-beeswax-ze0z1511zcwil

5 Brilliant Beauty Benefits of Beeswax: https://www.greenpeople.co.uk/beauty-hub/blog/5-brilliant-beauty-benefits-of-beeswax

12 Creative uses for beeswax + benefits: https://wellnessmama.com/124235/beeswax-uses/

how to make beeswax candles
Beeswax: Benefits And Uses + 10 DIY Recipes
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