Before the crash, I had posted an article on wax cleaning. If anyone would like me to repost this, I am happy to do so. Reply in this thread, and I'll re-do the post if there is intrest.
Wax Cleaning Tips
by Joli Winer
Joli Winer is editor of the Midwestern Beekeepers Association newsletter, this is from the November 1998 issue.
This is the perfect month to start those wax cleaning chores. How about sweet smelling beeswax candles for holiday gifts. Caution: Beeswax is very flammable. Have a fire extinguisher handy.
--> Rinse your cappings in warm, not hot, water. This gets quite a bit of honey out.
--> Next add your cappings to a large pan, with water. Your first step is to bring your wax to a low boil in this water bath.
--> After your cappings have come to a low boil, you can do one of two things.
1. You can pour the wax and water through a screen to catch any large pieces of gunk. OR
2. Let the whole pan of water and wax cool in the pan. When the wax has solidified you can take it out of the pan and scrape all the debris that was in your wax off the bottom. The wax will have risen to the top and the gunk will all be on the bottom of your wax cake.
--> After completing the above steps, you are ready for your final straining. We like to use sweatshirt material with the fuzzy side up. Remelt your wax using a double boiler. This can be as simple as one pan sitting inside of another pan ( the bottom pan will have water in it ). Wax should absolutely never be directly on the burner and should always be in a double boiler. This helps to keep it from burning down your home.
--> After your wax is remelted you are ready for the final straining. In another pan, preferably one with a handle, put your piece of sweatshirt material over the top of the pan. Hold it in place with a big heavy rubber band. Then pour your wax into this contraption. Your wax is now clean enough to make into candles, ornaments, or beeswax blocks.
--> Remember to protect the area you are working in from spills. Trust me, no matter how careful you intend to be, you will spill wax. It is almost impossible to get out of a carpet. I suggest that you work in a warm garage or basement and that you purchase a hot plate rather than using your stove.
--> Never, ever do wax in your oven. Always remember that the reason beeswax makes such good candles is because it is so flammable.
-->If you are planning on coloring your wax, it is best to use actual candle dyes. Crayon leaves a residue and your candle won't burn as well. Remember you are starting with yellow wax so you have to think carefully about what colors you need. We have had a hard time getting a pretty blue, because it always comes out greenish looking.
Beeswax candles make lovely gifts for the holidays. They are fun to make and your home smells great while the beeswax is warming.