Unless the steam distillation method is used, harvesting beeswax is a two stage process. The solid wax that has been extracted from the combs will look nice and clean on the top but underneath it will be very dirty. If the wax harvesting water was allowed to boil the dirt will be mixed all through the wax block giving it a much darker colour than the lovely yellow of a perfect wax block
Wax should never come into contact with direct heat. Direct heat will burn the wax and make it dark brown. Since wax is quite flammable it is also possible for it to burst into flames and cause accidents. The double boiler method, where the wax is placed into an inner container and this container is placed into a big pot of water that is kept boiling to melt the wax, should always be used for processing and cleaning wax.
- Heat a good quantity of water in the outside pot of the double boiler.
- Break the solid wax up into small pieces.
- Place the pieces of wax into the inner pot of the double boiler.
- Keep the water boiling until the wax has entirely melted
- Prepare a suitable plastic mould by smearing the inside with soap to prevent the wax sticking to it
- Loosely tie the straining material over the top of the mould. There should be a dip in the material so the wax does not spill over the edge. It is better if a helper can hold the material sin place as the wax will solidify before it has all run through the cloth and the cloth can be usefully moved along to allow the last wax to run through it.
- Pour the melted wax through some very fine straining material. Clean tee shirt material or closely woven cotton is ideal.
- The wax cools and solidifies in the mould and can be removed when solid.
- The dirt is left behind on the cloth which can be carefully cleaned for reuse.
- All utensils should cleaned quickly while the wax is liquid.
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