Recycle Your Nasty Wax

El Nino has been showing a taste of what’s to come around here. We’ve had a few days of glassy surf, then windy storm chop and hellacious rain, then cold temps and offshore winds. We’ve already repeated this pattern a few times, and I’m sure there’s a couple of more in store before Spring. It was a rainy, windy, washed out day Wednesday, so I decided to strip my nastiest board to recycle the wax. I’ve recycled wax before, but this was especially cruddy, so I thought I’d try a new technique.
Here is my gnar gnar board, which is a 6’10”, so I should be able to get a fair amount of wax. Especially since I never change it out apparently:
There must be more tar in the water
than I thought.

I did scrape off the nastiest, darkest sections and threw that wax away. That’s from where my board sits on the rack bumpers on my car.

Removing the darkest wax
The remaining wax I scraped up to use is still pretty dark.

Next, I got out my trusty double boiler I got at Ikea for 6 bucks. I looked and waited for one to show up at Goodwill, but, I gave up and got one I use ONLY for melting wax (no food, yuck). I filled a larger pot with enough water to touch the bottom of the double boiler when it’s the pot. I placed the mass of scraped wax into the boiler and set the whole thing to boil on the stove. If you put the wax in a little at a time, it melts faster, but I just threw it in there like the lazy bum I am:

Wax clump in the double boiler

Most of this wax is from the Summer and Fall, so it’s mostly Tropical Wax. It was pretty hard wax, so that would sound right.
Since I’m going to use it in cold water (and dropping temp fast….brrrr), I’m going to add 1/4 teaspoon of coconut oil to soften up the wax. I only used this much since I estimated the wax I had scraped came out to approximately 1 cup. For kicks, I also added 2 drops of grapefruit essential oil to give the wax a pleasant smell. We know where it’s been.

Adding 1/4 teaspoon of coconut oil to the wax
to make it more suitable for cold water

Stirring the mixture with a bamboo skewer

I kept stirring the mixture until all the wax had melted, and I had stirred in the coconut oil and essential oil completely. After about three minutes, the mixture was runny enough to be poured.
For molds, I used an OLD muffin tin and placed a couple of muffin liners in it (I didn’t have THAT much wax!). Over the top of the two liners, I cut a layer of cheesecloth to catch any more nastiness I could get.

Muffin tin and cheesecloth

POUR SLOWLY! If you pour slowly, most of the crud will have settled out at the bottom of the boiler and not transfer into your muffin liners. The cheesecloth can catch fine strands of debris, but make sure you lift the cheesecloth off of the wax after you’ve finished pouring before the wax hardens.

Wax poured into molds

Allow the wax to cool at room temperature for at least a 1/2 hour to eliminate bubbles. Once the bubbles are gone, and the wax has firmed up some, you can speed up the process by popping the wax molds in the fridge (NOT freezer).
So, here’s the final product on the right, with a new bar of Mrs. Palmer’s on the left. Yes, its a little darker, but it’s clean from grime and sand, and is tacky like me!

New wax vs. recycled wax

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