Guest blogger series | Make your own beeswax polish

by contributor on 22/10/2011

in Beauty+Health, Guest blog series2 2011

Beneath the Rowan Tree is a shady little spot where life and art and craft  and parenting meet. Lori Campbell is the mom, author and natural toy artisan behind the BTRT blog and shop, and designer of the positive apparel found at Daydream Believers. She’s always in a mess and the chaos can be colorful and fun, challenging and funny, sweet and bittersweet and company is always, always welcome!


Beeswax polish is a wonderful, all natural way to preserve and protect your wooden treasures, toys and trinkets (furniture, too!). Here’s how to make your own!

This is the finish we use on our wooden toys at BTRT. First and foremost, because it is natural and safe for little hands (and mouths). Add that it provides a beautiful gleaming finish that brings out the warmth of the wood, that it repels water, dirt and oils, and can be re-applied as needed to restore the beauty of any natural wood surfaces.

And it smells good. (oh that your monitor was scratch and sniff right now!)

And is great for your hands!

Supplies Needed:

(Set aside about 30 minutes to complete this project.)

  • Beeswax (50 ml melted wax will make nearly 8 oz. of polish)
  • Jojoba Oil (5 oz./ 150 ml will yield 8 oz. of polish)
  • Glass measuring cups in suitable volumes
  • Pot
  • metal spoon
  • essential oils, if desired
  • glass or other non-porous, sealable containers


You can make as much or as little polish as you like, simply keep your beeswax to jojoba oil ratio at 1:3. For a softer polish, increase the jojoba (technically a wax, but liquid at room temperature). For a harder polish, increase the beeswax.

Gather your supplies

  1. Set your pot on the stove, high heat, and fill part way with water to boil.
  2. Put your measuring cup for melting the beeswax in the pot to heat with the water. OR create another double boiler of your choice.
  3. Make sure your jars or containers are clean and dry, set aside.
  4. Figure out how much polish you plan to make, and measure the jojoba oil into the second measuring cup.


Melt the Beeswax

SAFETY FIRST:

  • Beeswax has a melting point of 143-148 degrees.
  • All waxes may ignite if they are heated to their flashpoint.
  • Never melt your beeswax in the microwave.
  • Always use a double boiler set up and remove the wax from the heat once it has melted.
  • Mind that your pot does not boil dry.
  • Use a grater to shave off smaller amounts of beeswax for faster melting.
  • Choose a small chunk, melt it in the measuring cup and eye up whether I have enough, adding more if needed.
  • If I over-melt, I simply pour off the excess into a non-porous container to cool and store for later use.

Mix the Oils

  1. When your beeswax is liquified, pour the needed amount into the glass measuring cup holding your jojoba oil.
  2. Make sure you have figured out your ratio and measurements ahead of time!
  3. Place this mixture back into the double boiler to melt together (the beeswax will immediately begin to harden in the cool jojoba oil~ you could heat the jojoba ahead of time, but why dirty more dishes?), stirring regularly until you have a liquid mixture.


Fill Your Jar(s)

  1. Pour the mixture into your waiting containers. I suggest heating the jars with hot water to avoid shock breakage when the hot liquid wax is poured in!
  2. Add essential oils at this point.  Just a few drops, and stir. Lemon and lavender are my favourites. We actually use flavour oils for added insurance of safety for toys that end up in kids’ mouths!
  3. Set the jars aside to cool and set up. This may take one to several hours depending on your ratios and temperatures.

Go Polish Something!

  • I prefer a flannel cloth~ preferably an old one so there will be less lint. I keep my cloths in the jar for storage so they remain lint free and ready for polishing.
  • Apply one or more thin coats of polish to your wood. Allow to dry, buff to shine! Enjoy!

Bonus idea: Your melted beeswax can be used for making toys and ornaments. Simply pour it into the candy moulds used for chocolates, which come in endless shapes and sizes.  Let them cool and pop them out.  To add a string for hanging, simply use a hot needle to pierce the wax.

{Some folks are unsure about where to find beeswax. You can try a local apiary (we get ours from a local honey farm), or checkout online source - search for beeswax and ‘encaustic supplies’}

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jodi Anderson October 22, 2011 at 10:14 am

Thank you for this demonstration. It has been on my mind that some of my wood items are neglected because I don’t know how to make the wax rub. Now I can remedy this. Thanks again.

Reply

2 jeannie October 22, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Hi, just a little confused about the proportions. Is that 3 parts oil to 1 part wax? So, a little less than 2 oz of wax to 5 oz oil? And where do you find the right kind of oil? Love you post on making the polish!
Thanks

Reply

3 Toemailer October 22, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Another one of those things where it never occurred to me that you could make your own, thanks for posting!

Reply

4 Guin October 22, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Question: could this be used to “polish” or conserve leather? I have several vintage leather coats and shoes and your wood polish seems like it might do the trick…your thoughts?

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5 Lori/ Beneath the Rowan Tree October 23, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Hi! Thanks for reading and commenting!
It could be used on leather, yes~ I don’t know how long/ well it would stand up compared to a fat based leather polish, but it could be tried!

Proportions~ I usually use the four fluid ounces of jojoba to one oz. of beeswax (measurements wrinkle my brain, sorry!). I get the jojoba at a local health food/ natural product supplier. If you have more wax, you will have a stiffer finished polish, more oil, a creamier, softer polish. You can’t really go wrong, you will just have to work more/ less to rub it in ;)
Cheers!

Reply

6 Jennifer November 4, 2011 at 9:22 am

Just whipped up a batch…lovely stuff! Trying it on beach stones…
Is there any reason this could not be used as lip balm??

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