My Adventure in Melting Bees Wax

I suppose alternative titles for this post could have been:

"How My Wife Almost Got a New Crock Pot" or "Don't Trust Reynolds Crock Pot Liners".

I'll admin I've never melted wax before, aside from lighting a candle, so this was going to be a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants experiment.

Oh yes, "experiment" is a great descriptive word, because you know how sometimes things spill, blow up, catch fire and go horribly wrong during experiments?

I've read the advice of others who graciously offered it, and got some ideas going. I decided to use a crock pot to melt the accumulated bees wax I've been saving and pour it through a layer of cheese cloth into a container filled partially with water.

What I didn't do was to take the bit of advice about using dedicated equipment just for wax making. "I'll just be careful" I thought. "I don't have a dedicated wax pot for the stove, so I'll just use the 'ole crock pot." Which lead me to: "Hey, Reynolds makes high temperature crock pot liners that will contain the wax. This should be a nice quick and easy cleanup."

I checked around the internet for stories of others who've used these crock pot liners for the purpose of wax melting, and came up empty. I should have seen this as a big red flag, but instead figured I was onto something new and revolutionary.

I pulled the accumulated burr comb and wax cappings from the last two years out of the freezer and put them into the lined crock pot and turned it on.

The melting of the wax went great. It was slow and gentle so as not to scorch the wax or risk ignition.

I did notice about half way through there was some bubbling going on between the liner and crock pot wall. "I really hope that's just condensation" I remember hearing myself say out-loud to no one in particular.

When the wax was fully melted, I removed the lid and lifted the bag full of wax. The bag was good and strong and so I moved it out of the crock pot and over to the waiting bucket with cheese cloth strainer.

I intended to cut a hole in the corner to allow the wax to pour out (like a pastry icing bag) but quickly discovered wax was already pouring out in several streams from somewhere in the lining.

As in it's pouring scalding wax all over my hands, the workshop bench, the crock pot and onto the floor where it proceeded to splatter little scalding droplets of wax which later dried onto the wall and some nearby tools.

At this point, I recall thinking  "And people actually pay good money at health salons to dip their hands into scalding wax?! Heck I just did it for free [and it really hurt]!"

I'm guessing what happened was a part of the bag must have either melted or burned a hole right through it.

After a few seconds of "Oh great- what do I do now, what do I do now?" and a disapproving look from my wife, I put the bag back into the crock pot and allowed it to finish draining there. This worked out pretty nice actually as it kept the majority of slum-gum (the yuck from dirt, debris and bee parts) in the bag thus less yuck in the wax to filter.

When I regathered myself I lifted the crock pot up, tilted it and drained the wax through the cheese cloth and into the container of water.

The wax floated up to the top and the honey/water mixture sank to the bottom and there I left it over night to cool.

The next day I went back to the bucket and popped the wax out and here's what it looked like.

It's ready for another melting and filtering, but I think this time I'll hit the dollar store and see if I can find a cheap pot and melt it on the stove.

In an effort to clean the wax laden crock pot, I used a torch on low and warmed the wax until it melted and used paper towels (lots of them) to wipe down the surface. I think it's usable again now.

Comments For This Post: (2) | Post Your Comments! Hide The Comment Form
Robin says...
Date:   December 18, 2012, 6:17 am

Looks great!  I love the bright color of your wax.    I had to scrape my crockpot, too, but it did clean up fine. 

Diane (SpeedKin) says...
Date:   December 18, 2012, 9:19 pm

Great looking wax!

I melted mine in a dedicated pot that I use as part of a redneck double boiler.  Then again, I've also melted it in crappy bowls in the microwave so I can just throw them away when done.  Either way, it's an ooey-gooey mess!

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