Being a beekeeper isn’t just all about honey because there are plenty of other products that can help you make money. Beeswax is one of them as selling beeswax products has become quite popular today thanks to how more and more people are seeing the importance of living an organic lifestyle. But the problem with beeswax is that collecting and purifying it can be difficult because of how it can dry up on your strainer when you are straining out the impurities. So, how do you clean beeswax out of a strainer?
Place the strainer in a freezer or a bucket of ice-cold water before scraping off the beeswax. Wax that is still stuck can be removed by reheating the strainer using a blowtorch, a hair dryer, or a pot of boiling water. Spray it with a vinegar solution to dissolve any remaining wax. Rinse it and let it dry.
Cleaning a strainer that you used for filtering your beeswax can be pretty difficult to do so because of how wax that has been hardened is quite tough to scrape off from all of those tiny openings. That’s why we are here to show some of the best ways for you to clean beeswax out of a strainer.
How to clean beeswax out of a strainer
Every experienced beekeeper knows that there is more than just honey when it comes to keeping honey bees. In that regard, beekeepers know that you can also make a lot of money or even produce your own different homemade products from the beeswax you collected from your beehives. Beeswax is great to use for a wide range of products because it is natural, durable, and will not spoil. There are even certain beauty products that are made using beeswax.
Of course, when you collected your beeswax, you need to make sure that you also clean it and render it to remove and kill off any bugs, pests, and debris that may be left on the beeswax. And one of the final steps in the rendering process involves filtering the beeswax by making use of a strainer so that you will remove all of the excess debris and impurities that may have been left in your beeswax.
As great as beeswax may be, experienced beekeepers will also dread the fact that it can be pretty difficult to clean household materials that you used to render your beeswax. Of course, the most difficult part tends to be cleaning the strainer you used to filter out the impurities from your beeswax. That’s because small wax particles can get left on the tiny holes of a strainer and end drying up to the point that it seems impossible to remove them using the conventional soap and water method.
To help make it easier for you to clean beeswax out of a strainer, here are some tips that will certainly be helpful for you:
Freeze the wax
It might sound odd, but the first thing that you should do when you are trying to clean beeswax out of a strainer is to actually freeze it. Place the strainer in your freezer overnight or you can simply dip it in ice-cold water for a while.
The goal here is to further solidify the wax, which will make it easier for you to agitate it with heat later on. In some cases, freezing the wax already allows you to easily scrape it off when it becomes dry enough after the strainer has spent an entire day in the freezer. If you can scrape some wax off, you can do so, but you should still proceed with the next steps to completely clean your strainer and remove any stubborn particles that may still be clinging to the strainer.
Soften up the beeswax
The next thing you need to do to clean hardened beeswax out of a strainer is to soften it up by agitating it right after it had just come from freezing temperatures. Softening up the beeswax allows you to remove it easier than when it is in its solid form because it will no longer stick to the tiny holes in your strainer. There are several effective ways that you can use to soften up the beeswax, and they actually make use of heat to melt the beeswax and make it easier for you to clean it or rinse it off.
If you have a blowtorch at home, you can actually use it to reheat the hardened beeswax on your strainer so that it will melt, which will make it easier for you to remove it using the usual methods. So, what you need to do here is to just point and shoot to heat up the strainer. Use this only when you are using a metal strainer because it won’t end up melting together with the beeswax.
However, do take note that you shouldn’t blowtorch the strainer for a long time, or else you would end up burning the beeswax, which might make it more difficult to clean off of your strainer. Just blowtorch it enough to the point that the beeswax melts and not to the point where it actually gets scorched.
2. Hair Dryer
For those who don’t have a blow torch, you can just grab a hair dryer instead. A hair dryer is effective for strainers that are non-metallic as well because of how there is little to no chance of melting the material together with the beeswax that is stuck on the strainer.
Again, the key here is to simply point and shoot the hair dryer on the strainer. You can use the highest heat settings on your hair dryer to quickly melt the beeswax. Using the lower heat settings will certainly take a long time for you to see the beeswax melting. However, a hair dryer should work well enough, but not maybe as quickly as a blow torch would.
3. Pot of boiling water
If you have neither a blowtorch nor a hair dryer, then you can use a simple pot of water to do the trick. What you need to do is to fill a large enough pot with water and then boil it over your kitchen stove. Make sure that the pot is large enough, but not too large to the point that it is larger than your strainer. Choose a pot that you can place your strainer over without submerging the strainer.
Once the water begins to boil, place your strainer over your pot without submerging it. Just use the strainer to cover the pot of boiling water. The steam escaping from the pot will soften up or melt the wax on the strainer and may even drop them into the water. This should be as effective as using a blowtorch or a hair blower to melt the beeswax.
Spray and wipe
When the beeswax has already softened up, immediately spray the strainer with a pre-prepared solvent. You can use any kind of solvent in this part as long as it is effective enough to dissolve the beeswax and soften it up further to make it easier for you to wipe it off or rinse it off.
You can use the conventional dish soap and water solution by mixing them both in a spray bottle. After that, spray the strainer with your solution to try to further soften up the beeswax on the strainer. Another solvent you can use is a vinegar and water solution that can be quite effective at dissolving the beeswax due to its acidity.
Spray the entire strainer and make sure that the solution makes its way through all of the different holes on the strainer. You can repeat this step as many times as you can to ensure that the wax is completely dissolved and ready for wiping.
After spraying the strainer, wipe the solvent off with a clean paper towel. Do not use a cloth towel unless you are willing to let the wax stick on it. Paper towels are ideal because you can just throw them away after using them. If the solvent did its job correctly, you should be able to see some wax on the paper towel.
Rinse and dry
After spraying and wiping the strainer, the final thing you need to do is to rinse it under running water. Make sure that you are rinsing both the underside and the upper side of the strainer to remove any beeswax that may still be clinging on it and to also remove the solvent that you used to dissolve the beeswax with.
Pat the strainer dry with a paper towel or even a cloth towel if you are already sure that it is free from beeswax. After that, all you need to do is to air dry the strainer before putting it back to where it belongs.
Does vinegar dissolve beeswax?
So, if you are looking for a good solvent to dissolve beeswax off of your strainer, using vinegar as your main ingredient should be effective enough. That’s because vinegar is acidic enough to dissolve softened pieces of beeswax that are still clinging to your strainer.
To prepare the vinegar solution, use a 3:1 ratio of water and distilled white vinegar. You can mix the solution together in a spray bottle so that it will be ready for use. Make sure that you prepare this solution before agitating the wax on the strainer so that you can immediately use it while the wax is still soft enough.