As far as we know, beeswax has been used since the Neolithic era, 5500BC – 1900BC. It has literally been used and recycled for centuries. There’s evidence of beeswax being used for ancient Egyptian tooth fillings, as tax offerings in the Roman era, and for bow making for archers. How do we know this? Because beeswax never gets “old”.
Although busy little bees only use beeswax for storage purposes, we humans use beeswax for multiple purposes. Yes, you can eat it just like any other honey product made by bees, but beeswax can be used for so much more. Read on below to find out how you can “mind your beeswax” in more ways than one.
15 Crafty Ideas You Can Do with Old Beeswax
1. Make your own Lip Balm
Dry and chapped lips can benefit greatly from the use of lip balms that contain beeswax.
Beeswax contains something called emulsifiers, which helps to retain moisture in the skin, and this is why beeswax is so popular in cosmetics like moisturizers, lip balms, and body butters.
On a side note, beeswax is also known in more recent times to be used in mascara cosmetics.
Ever heard of Burts Bees? They’re a natural cosmetic company, that started with two happy, environmentally conscious and low-impact aware people, who learned to make use of all the valuable products their busy honeybees made. Since 1980, Burts Bees have created and sold beeswax products all over the world and their lip balm is a best-seller.
You can easily make your own lip balm at home with some lip balm tins or an old glass jar, beeswax, One or more types of oil (almond, olive, coconut, vitamin) of your choosing, and your choice of essential oil if you want to mix it up a little.
You can get creative, but I’d recommend looking up essential oils that can benefit your skin and lip-type because different oils have different uses and benefits, plus they all smell different. No use using peppermint oil if you’re not a fan of that strong peppermint smell.
2. Lather-less Soap
Beeswax and honey go well in soap because they smell great and create a type of hardness to the soap bar. Although, keep in mind, if you are going to use beeswax in your soap bar, the more wax you use, the less soapy the bar.
Beeswax has antibacterial properties, which means the risk of contamination, commonly found in bathrooms, is reduced.
Another benefit to adding beeswax to your homemade bar of soap is that it reduces the lather in the shower, so will last longer than other types of soaps.
Just like homemade lip balm, you can add different oils and essential oils to your beeswax soap to suit your own preferences in benefits and scent.
This is a great step-by-step video of the beeswax soap-making process if you’re keen to give it a try.
3. Butter up with Body Butter
Body butter is slightly thicker than body lotions and moisturizers. Beeswax can be used in body butter for a slight honey scent and to thicken the butter up.
Beeswax can be sensitive to temperature changes, so storing your beeswax body butter correctly is essential if you don’t want it to go too hard and render it useless.
According to healthline.com, beeswax is a natural type of exfoliator, creates a protective layer on the skin, and works to draw moisture in to keep your skin hydrated. Some other lotions and body butters have ingredients in them that block moisture from getting to the skin, so if you’re a dry skin type like myself, beeswax body butter might be your solution.
4. Polish and Buffer your Furniture and Ornaments
Do you find that your wooden-made furniture can start to look a little dull over time? It’s completely normal for wood and timber products to age after use and time, it’s called wear and tear and we’ve all seen it before.
Unfortunately, a lot of the polishers on the market in commercial shopping centers can contain some harmful chemicals and substances that some of us aren’t fond of using.
Enter beeswax furniture polish and buffer. It’s safe, environmentally friendly, natural, and it works.
Beeswax has been used for a long time to polish and buffer furniture and ornaments around the house.
If you want to make your own with your old beeswax, you can melt your beeswax block with some mineral or herbal oil (coconut oil and almond oil work great) and your choice of scent if you want something different from the natural honey scent the beeswax provides.
Put your beeswax into a heatproof bowl or container over a pot of boiling water on the stove, add the mineral oil, stir, pour into the container or tub of your choosing, let it harden over a couple of hours, and now you have a beeswax polish.
Use a polishing cloth to gently wipe a small amount of the polish onto your furniture to make it look shiny and brand new again. You can use the same polish on ornaments, including metals, as a buffer so they sparkle like new.
5. Grease up Your Cooking Dishes
You can grease your pots, pans, and baking dishes with blocks of beeswax instead of oil and butter.
The best thing about using beeswax to do this is that eventually, over time the beeswax starts to settle into the baking or cooking dish and they take on a permanent non-stick wax-coating.
No need to grease them at all anymore!
6. Consider Beeswax as a Food additive
While you can eat everything bees produce in their hive, we do recommend sticking to the honey and honeycomb. However, beeswax can be used in small quantities as a food additive.
It does provide a subtle honey taste and is used in a traditional French pastry called a canelé. I’ve not tried one myself, but when you see the recipe, you’ll know why I’m dying to try it.
Beeswax is also used for glazing turkeys and hams, is an additive in chewing gums, and is used to make shiny-looking sweets and licorice.
7. Home-Made Candles for a Sweet but Subtle Honey Scent
Beeswax has been used in candles since the BC era. While it’s not the case any longer, back in the day, the Catholic Church only allowed candles that were made from 100% beeswax.
Here are a few benefits of using beeswax for your candles:
- They smell like honey
- They are hypoallergenic because they’re 100% natural, so are a great type of candle for those with allergies and sensitivities
- They are 100% natural and chemical-free (if you make them that way!)
- They burn much hotter than other waxes, which means when they burn, they don’t release any toxins into the air and only produce a little bit of smoke
- 100% beeswax candles are environmentally friendly
- They generally last longer than other waxes because they have a higher melting point and a lower drip-rate
- Beeswax candles emit a brighter burning light
Pretty much the only downfall to beeswax candles is that they’re more expensive than other wax candles (like paraffin) because they’re better for us. It is a shame, but it gives us a good excuse to make our own!
Check out this YouTube video by Clause Video Archive who shows us how to make 100% natural beeswax candles from start to finish. It’s simple, easy to do, you can get creative and make your own shapes and sizes and add essential oils of your choice if you want to get fancy.
8. Save your Dry Skin with a Salve
You can use wax as a salve for cracked skin, especially on your heels, to care for your hardworking feet.
Beeswax does need the additional mineral or herbal oils to be created into a salve because on its own, beeswax is just too hard.
Making a beeswax salve is simple and only involves a couple of ingredients and utensils.
Here is what you will need to make your beeswax salve:
- Glass jar for storage (you can use tin or other containers but glass if preferred)
- Beeswax (obviously) pallets or grated
- Herbal oil (coconut, almond, avocado etc.)
- Pot for boiling
Simply warm up the oil in the boiler, add the beeswax until you have your desired consistency, let it cool, and pour it into your desired storage option.
Beeswax salves can promote hydration in the cracked and dry skin, soothe irritation, and provide a protective barrier.
9. Protect Your Gardening Tools
Do you have a green thumb? Gardeners know that keeping their equipment in top-notch condition will lead to cost-effective results by limiting the need to purchase new tools.
One of the secrets is beeswax.
Beeswax can be used to coat gardening tools and equipment to keep them safe from rusting and oxidation.
Some might just use beeswax to coat the metal on their tools (spades, soil knife, shears, hoe, etc.) when they’re not using them, others add a little turpentine as a type of solvent to go with the beeswax.
10. Design your own Beeswax Artwork
You might be thinking, how in the world is beeswax relevant to art? You’d be surprised to know that using beeswax in art is commonly used in an art form called “impasto Painting”.
If you consider yourself a bit of an artist, watch this YouTube video to find out how you can use your beeswax to create some art!
Here are a few other artists that use beeswax in their creative artwork pieces:
- Beeswax painting by Theresa Stirling
- Smooth texture journal pages by Kipps Corner
- Encaustic Beeswax Art by Darrell Troppy
Encaustic art is specifically beeswax-related artwork that involves artwork, a blowtorch, and beeswax.
11. Fresh Food Wrap
I went to a holistic and all-natural market once where they sold a lot of crystals, healthy and natural remedy ointments, organic produce, environmentally friendly products, and a huge amount of honey products, including fresh food beeswax wraps.
My favorite, by far, was the beeswax wraps. I had never seen or heard of them before, so I was pretty impressed, to say the least.
Now I don’t need to buy cheap plastic food storage containers and plastic film wrap because I have beeswax wraps that mold into the shape of my choosing and cover my leftovers.
12. Waterproof and Polish Your Shoes
You can use beeswax to waterproof your shoes! So we already learned that we can polish wooden-made furniture and buffer ornaments with beeswax polish, but you can also polish your shoes with beeswax and create a protective waterproof layer for them while you’re at it.
While beeswax works its magic to give your shoes a long-lasting shine, it’s also working its magic to protect your boots and shoes from weather and rain damage.
What you need is beeswax and then some more beeswax and no seriously, all you need is the beeswax! Because beeswax isn’t water-soluble it blocks water and moisture from getting past it. In this case, the beeswax is rubbed over the material of the shoe and preventing water from getting to the material.
13. Refresh Your Hair with a Beeswax Hair Mask and Beard Care
For both the ladies and the men, beeswax is a great hair care product.
Suitable for dry and damaged hair, thicker hair, beeswax hair masks are easy to make with only a few ingredients.
Here’s a recipe I found for a great hair mask for those who have dry hair in need of some replenishing moisture and hydration:
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
All melted, combined and mixed together, cooled, rubbed gently into the hair and left to soak in for 30 minutes.
Beeswax will act as a sealant that repels dirt and grime and protects the hair and facial hair from the elements.
Here are the benefits of using beeswax for your hair care products:
- Creates a protective barrier against frizz from the elements
- Assists with hair growth (although this isn’t scientifically confirmed!)
- Moisturizes and hydrates
- Has antibacterial agents that leave the hair clean
- Sooths flyaway and split ends
Beeswax hair masks are better used for thicker hair because it’s quite a heavy product. It shouldn’t b applied to the scalp or fine hair because beeswax can clog the pores on your scalp and we don’t want that.
14. Long-Lasting Wax Melts
It’s as simple as that. Pure, 100% beeswax wax melts.
Wax melts are used in burners to give a refreshing scent to the room and provide a relaxing ambiance.
The great thing about beeswax melts is they last for a long time, so you don’t have to replace them daily like other melts.
Beeswax wax melts provide the same benefits that beeswax candles do, they’re clean, non-toxic, slow-burning, and give a lovely honey scent that’s pleasing to the senses.
- Beeswax is a renewable resource
- 100% natural
- Zero paraffins
By making your own beeswax wax melts, you know exactly what ingredients have gone into the melts and whether some additional toxins and chemical are burning in your home.
If you want to make the beeswax wax melts yourself and get a little more creative, you can melt the wax down and add some coconut oil and essential oils and pour the melted ingredients into wax molds.
You can get molds from your local shopping center or online and they come in numerous shapes and sizes to suit all kinds of burners and preferences. I have a bumblebee mold for my homemade beeswax wax melts, it only seemed fitting.
15. Fun for Kids
Beeswax is safe for children to handle! You can use beeswax to make crayons and molds and show your kids how to get creative using something that is 100% safe and natural.
It’s almost like play-dough, but much safer to eat and doesn’t taste as bad. You can make Christmas molds, easter molds, birthday molds, all kinds of beeswax molds that are a fun and creative way to get kids away from the television.
If you haven’t heard of beeswax crayons, now you have.
- Beeswax crayons are safe
- Beeswax crayons are typically made stronger than traditional crayons, so I won’t break as easily
- Beeswax crowns are smooth on paper and the color is vibrant
Have some leftover beeswax and aren’t sure what to do with it? Here is how you can turn your beeswax into colorful crayons and start creating some eco-friendly artwork with your kids.
I’d love to put “sealing envelopes” on the list too, but that seems like the dark ages with all the technology we have these days. When’s the last time you sent a letter?
Those busy bees provide us, humans, with extremely useful products, and I for one want to thank them by not letting any of it go to waste.
The fact that beeswax has no expiration date, means you can keep it and store it forever until you figure out what to do with it. So get busy like a bee and start getting creative with these handy ideas and tips we’ve provided to use up your “old” beeswax around the house instead of throwing it out.