One of my most popular posts on my old site! Enjoy!
Originally published by me on 15 March 2013 on Blogger.
I’ve kind of surprised myself I haven’t done this craft yet. Making natural (non paraffin/petro) wax is pretty simple, but honestly, the natural wax I’ve bought it the past has been really soft and not very good, so I’ve shied away from trying it myself.
After looking around on the internet for a recipe to try, I noticed a couple of things. First, the natural “organic” wax recipe is almost always comprised of two ingredients: beeswax and coconut oil. Secondly, the ratio is usually two parts beeswax, and one part coconut oil.
Now, I’m no expert, but coconut oil is kind of a runny semi solid. BUT, it’s cheaper in volume than beeswax, which can be quite expensive. This probably why I’ve gotten natural wax that’s so soft- too soft because the ratio was too low due to cost, which I can understand if you’re selling it.
In this case, I’m making it for my own use, so I wanted to make something that works for me, and that would work better for warmer waters, like what’s here in Florida.
First off, I had to think ahead to how I wanted to measure out the 2 ingredients. Beeswax typically comes in a solid bar form. Coconut oil, of course, can be measured out in liquid teaspoon or tablespoon measurements. If I wanted to be able to measure out the beeswax in the same form, I would have to melt it down first, transfer it into a measurement cup, transfer any remainder to a heatproof container that would release the wax later, then transfer the wax from the measurement cup back to the double boiler that I’m melting it in. All this while, I’m hoping that the wax isn’t producing a skin, and that I’m transferring ALL of the wax from container to container to ensure reasonable accuracy.
Whew. What a pain.
Instead, why not use the density of beeswax to calculate the equivalent liquid measurement to the weight in grams, so I can weigh it out while it’s still solid? Better.
I used this website to reference the density of beeswax for my calculation to convert the solid equivalent to a liquid equivalent so I’d have “apples to apples”. I chose a much higher ratio to use for the recipe, and did the ratio as straight up liquid to liquid, not relative densities of the beeswax to coconut oil.
Anywho, this is what I came up with for a goodly batch of wax:
160 grams Beeswax
2 US tablespoons of Coconut Oil
Okay, so here’s the good part…..
I bought a 1 pound block of pure beeswax (I’m doing another project with beeswax, so I bought extra). Online, this cost me $14, but the shipping was free, and I’m going to use around half of it. You can also find beeswax in the candlemaking section of any craft or hobby store. Nope, it ain’t cheap. I also got a jar of coconut oil from the grocery store- I had to ask somebody where it was, it varies. You can also find this at the health food store. That cost about $5, but I’m only using two tablespoons of the jar.
To measure out the wax, I used a serrated knife to cut off chunks and weigh them in a food scale.
Using a double boiler pan I got for cheap at Ikea (if I’d have waited, I probably could’ve gotten one at Goodwill), I used a large pot filled with boiling water underneath, and I melted the wax down. Don’t put any water in the upper pan with the wax! I really should have chopped the wax into smaller pieces to help the wax melt a bit faster.
To stir the wax, I used a wooden chopstick, and once the wax had completely melted, I was ready to add the coconut oil. I measured it with a tablespoon measuring spoon and put it directly into the pan.
I stirred just a bit more to ensure the mixture was even and was melted into each other. Then, it was ready to pour. For fun, I used a silicone fish ice cube tray (also an cheap Ikea score) and a couple of aluminum small tart tins.
After only about five minutes, the wax was getting pretty firm in the ice cube tray. The tart tins were taking a little longer.
Just to make sure, I let them set for a good 45 minutes, just to be overly safe. I think they harden up much quicker, really.
You can see that I got a couple of bars and a whole bunch of fish out of it. The fish shapes are actually pretty handy to handle when applying the wax.
I tested the wax on my board and it actually creates pretty good bumps, and works pretty well with some stick to it, much better than the other natural waxes I’ve used in the past. I think this ratio may be a winner. I still admit I like my traditional wax, but it’s kind of neat-o to make your own.
Now I feel compelled to munch on a bag of Goldfish crackers.