Rendering your beeswax cleans it of impurities and is necessary in order to use your beeswax in most projects. There are a few methods for rendering beeswax – I use the crock-pot/slow-cooker method. It’s easy and doesn’t involve pouring any hot wax through a strainer.
First, you need to gather your beeswax and supplies. You will need:
- a slow-cooker (with lid)
- an old (but clean) white, cotton t-shirt, cut in 2 pieces so you have the front and back torso separated – you can find inexpensive t-shirts at crafts stores if you don’t have one that you can use
- kitchen twine or other string
- approximately 2-4 cups water
- a spatula or other utensil
- a knife
You will want to use items that will not be needed for food in the future because beeswax is difficult to fully remove from objects, even after rigorous cleansing. I purchased a spare slow-cooker, 2nd hand from someone local, for rendering my wax.
Step 1 – Add about 2 inches of water to the slow-cooker pot. Cover the pot with 1 layer of the tshirt and tie with kitchen twine just under the pot lip. Don’t tie the t-shirt too taunt – you want it to give a little.
Step 2 – Set your pot in the base, making sure the t-shirt is not stuck inside the base. Place your wax cappings and any other beeswax on top of the t-shirt. You can push the t-shirt down so it hangs like a hammock, but keep it at least an inch from the water level. Place the lid on the slow-cooker.
Step 3 – Turn slow-cooker on LOW. Melting the beeswax will take approximately 2 hours, depending on how much wax you have and the size of your slow-cooker. As the wax melts and drips through the t-shirt you will see dirt, propolis and other impurities left behind. You can spread the wax out as it melts if desired.
Step 4 – Once the wax is completely melted, turn off the slow-cooker. With oven mitts, remove the pot from the base. Untie or cut the twine and discard the t-shirt (if it’s 100% cotton this can be composted).
Step 5 – Let the beeswax cool and harden. Once solid, remove it from the pot (remember there’s water underneath the wax that can splash). You may need to use a knife to dislodge the wax from the sides of the pot.
Step 6 – Dry the wax disc. The bottom of the disc will be rough and will contain some impurities. Scrape this off the wax disc with a knife.
Step 7 – Repeat process with your wax disc using the other piece of clean t-shirt. This process can be repeated as many times as you wish, but I usually render my wax twice.
After cooling, drying and scraping your beeswax a second time you can store it as is or melt again in a double boiler or wax melting pitcher and mold into smaller blocks. I like to mold my wax into small discs, each weighed out to the portion I will need for my lip and skin balm recipes.
Remember it’s best to store your wax sealed in a ziploc-type bag or airtight container because it can attract wax moths.
Hey Kim! Linda Schimpf here ~ way down in GA. I was so happy to see this post in my inbox. I think of all of you in PA often. Just wanted to say hello. Looks like your farm is doing well. Blessings, Linda
Hi Linda, It’s so good to hear from you! I think of you often and hope you are doing well. Yes, we’re busy with the farm. I update social media more than the blog, but I want to set goals to post more often. Take care, Kim