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Clean Beeswax – Filter Beeswax at Home

Last week I picked up 20 pounds of beeswax from a local bee farmer. This wax is always beautiful, but typically has some grit and (sad to say) bee bodies stuck in it. Here’s how I clean beeswax.

What is Beeswax?

Right off the bat let’s just say that bees are amazing, complex creatures who do some incredibly cool stuff.

They make the interior portion of their hives out of wax. The comb is made in the shape of hexagons because somehow they figured out that shape will hold the most amount of honey and require the least amount of wax to build them.

Young worker bees have wax secretion glands that produce the wax in thin sheets called scales.

Now here is where bees get even cooler. Bees will all line up, then pass these wax secretions along the line, everyone shaping and chewing it as it goes, until it gets added to the comb by the last bees.

When beekeepers collect honey from frames, the leftover comb can be collected and cleaned into the beeswax we are more familiar with.

This is a very rudimentary explanation of the process and you can learn more about it here.

dirty chunk of beeswax rough and tumble farmhouse

Where to buy beeswax?

Reach out to local beekeepers to see if they have any available. If you happen to live in Minnesota, check out Minnesota Grown for a resource of beekeepers.

Check with your local beekeepers association, local county fair, or folks at the farmers market.

Typically the backyard beekeeper won’t have oodles of wax available so you will need to find someone that has quite a few hives.

Wax that you purchase online will likely already be filtered so no need to worry about cleaning it if that is where you are buying it.

A benefit to getting local wax is that it will be fresh and smell incredible. Plus the color will be a vibrant yellow. Makes me feel cozy just thinking about it.

clean beeswax rough and tumble farmhouse

How much does beeswax cost?

If you buy clean wax from a store that is ready to go, you will probably spend anywhere from $12 per pound and up. When I purchase from our local beekeeper it costs me $5 per pound. Honestly I have only purchased my wax from this beekeeper so I can’t say if that is standard or not for raw wax.

What are uses for beeswax?

Oh my goodness there are many things you can do with beeswax. Here are just a few off the top of my head.

  • Candles
  • Wax Melts
  • Balms
  • Lotions
  • Coating for Wax Wraps
  • Weatherproofing materials
  • Decorations

I’ve never made wax wraps but I have used beeswax for just about everything else. Once you have a huge brick of clean beeswax, the options are wide open.

How to Clean Beeswax


You will need a decent size stock pot for this. Once you use it for beeswax, that’s pretty much all you can use it for. Get a cheap one at walmart or pick one up at a thrift store.

A cutting board will come in handy for chopping the wax.

Pick up a sturdy butcher knife at a thrift store or similar. Wax is difficult to clean from objects so this will forever be your wax knife.

Cleaning Beeswax

Add a few inches of water to the stock pot.

Chop up the beeswax into the smallest pieces you can manage. This isn’t totally necessary but will speed up the melting process. I got sick of trying to make pieces smaller so I ended up putting pretty darn large chunks in the pot and it worked fine.

beeswax pieces rough and tumble farmhouse

Heat the pot on low to medium low.


I can’t stress this enough. Beeswax can be highly flammable and pots can boil over. I can’t imagine a quicker way to ruin your stove than with hot beeswax pouring into ever crevasse.

As the wax melts use your knife to give it a little stir now and again or poke protruding pieces into the melting wax.

cleaning beeswax rough and tumble farmhouse

As it melts, remove any big globs of unwanted materials if you can. Just use the tip of your knife and wipe off the item on a paper towel.

Once all the wax has melted, remove it from the heat and let it it sit. I’d say a solid 8-12 hours minimum.

melted beeswax rough and tumble farmhouse

Now you have a solid hunk of beeswax floating on top of the water. Stretch the sides of the pot away from each other if you can to loosen the wax from the sides. Then, pop out the wax disc. This might involve some more poking and prodding to get it loose.

beeswax in pot rough and tumble farmhouse

Dump the water outside, NOT down your drain. If we were in person I’d tell you to look me in the eyes right now. Do not dump the water down the drain. There shouldn’t be much wax residue in the water, but still. Wax will clog up your plumbing in no time so dump the water OUTSIDE, please.

If the wax still looks dirtier than you’d like, repeat the whole process.

No matter how clean I get it, the bottom of the wax disc is always a little gritty so I just scrape that away with a spoon. Now you have clean beeswax!

cleaned beeswax rough and tumble farmhouse

Be sure to check back next week where I will have a demo on how to make candles from beeswax.

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how to clean beeswax rough and tumble farmhouse

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