How I filter beeswax ready for lip balms August 06 2015
I'm feeling like an alchemist today - I've been filtering the raw beeswax given to me by Anita at Nordre Bergan Gård in Sandefjord, ready to use in my new lip balms. The massive chunk of wax was full of pollen and grit and (dare I say it) bits of bee wing, but with each progressive melting and filtering it is becoming more golden and perfect, and it smells unbelievably gorgeous.
I've used the method that lots of people demonstrate on youtube - melt your wax in a pan with a 2 inch covering of water. When the wax has totally melted in the boiling water leave it to cool without touching it. The wax floats to the top. The bits and pieces of gunk in the wax settle to the bottom of the wax chunk, and the water goes to the bottom. Take out the wax chunk and scrape off the brown gunk. (Don't put the waxy gunky water down the drain unless you own your own set of drain rods. I chucked mine into the jungle behind my house)
Repeat this process 2 or 3 times or until you are happy. Next I put a coffee filter in a funnel and laid in some cotton wool. I poured the molten wax through for a final filtering. It was looking pretty clean already but there was some pale brown staining in the bottom wool at the end so I guess I did remove some final tiny particles.
I had wondered if it would be worth the time and effort when you can buy beeswax so easily, but the final wax is definitely superior to the wax I had purchased previously. I am really trying to make my products different from the run of the mill stuff you can buy, so when I say handmade, I really mean handmade.
Having said that I'm not about to be wrestling with any sheep to make my own lanolin - I have to draw a line somewhere ;)
The Beeswax and lanolin lip balms will be on sale in time for the winter.