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Author Topic: filtering / cleaning wax  (Read 1202 times)
WOB419
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« on: April 04, 2009, 05:47:55 PM »

I have some very dark wax from old brood comb.  Can anyone tell me how to lighten it up so it would look nice as a candle?  Right now it is very dark, somewhere between a green, brown and black - ugly.

Also, it doesn't smell terrible but it does not have the nice smell that you usually get from bee's wax, if I stir some honey into the melted wax and let it set until it cools, I know that the honey will sepaate from the wax as it cools, but do you think that it would improve the smell?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2009, 06:54:23 PM »

When you melt it you'll be lucky to get ANY wax from it.  The cocoons will absorb it all.  I wouldn't worry about getting it light.
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WOB419
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2009, 07:18:08 PM »

I've already melted it along with a bunch of junk wax and got a decent amount for a few candles, it just happens to be dark.  If it lightens up I'll put it in a mold, if not then I will never mess with the junk wax again.

Any idea are welcome, I am willing to experiment.
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heaflaw
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2009, 07:40:01 PM »

I'd like to melt my wax (cappings, old dark combs and various scrappings from several years) into blocks to sell.  Is old comb not worth melting down and if I do should it not be combined with lighter wax?   
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kathyp
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2009, 07:43:48 PM »

i melted down some pretty nasty stuff from a cutout last year.  really old and dark stuff and some good comb mixed in.  i strained it through cheese cloth several times and got several pounds of nice wax.  the old wax is not worth the work most of the time, but if it's all mixed together, straining it is the way to go.
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2009, 08:32:53 PM »

 I use paper towels as a filter and it seems to do pretty good on the old black stuff.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2009, 11:01:03 PM »

Filter it well.  If you put it in a thin layer on, say a cookie sheet and leave it out in the sun it will lighten considerably.

Personally I've always liked the color of dark beeswax.  It looks natural.
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Michael Bush
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IABeeMan
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2009, 05:49:47 PM »

I agree with Michael. Melt it and strain it and fill a shallow cookie pan and let it sit outside on nice sunny days. It will sun bleach and be a good bit lighter. As for filtering wax I have found that an old sweat shirt works really really well for straining wax.
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WOB419
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« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2009, 10:36:27 PM »

Thanks everyone for your comments.  Here is what I did.  I had already bee filtering with paper towels.  That is good for getting out solids but this color was within the wax.  I melted it down at 210 degrees and poured it into water that was just below boiling.  I then added Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) which has a boiling point lower than water.  I let it boil away for about 25 minutes then I took it off of the heat and let it cool.  The wax then had 3 layers:  Some very dark stuff on the top which could be cut off.  The wax in the middle and some solid wax like material that was rather porous.  It scraped off of the wax easily and contained a lot of water.

The wax that was in the middle had lightened quite a bit, so it worked from a bleaching/lightening perspective, but ugly was that is lightened becomes a lighter shade of ugly wax.  This wax isn't even close to yellow it is more of a greenish, brownish blackish color. 

The H2O2 boils and acts like a filter that frees the dark molecules in the wax by making them water soluble.  It was pretty cool from an experiment point of view, but I won't spend the time or the electricity in the future to do this again.

I appreciate all of your advice and hope that this will help others.
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« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2009, 12:10:33 AM »

I just run it through the solar melter a few times.  After 3 or 4 runs the filter its a nice creamy white.  I'm to lazy to do all that hard work.
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