A funny thing happened on the way to the kitchen -- and prompted a weird question...

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JoyfulSudz

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I've disappeared from posting the last month or so because soaping activity slowed after my husband had open-heart surgery, and I've been overloaded with taking care of him and the many things he can't do around the house for now. It was clear he won't be mowing any time soon, so I had the front lawn removed, and I've been busy digging and planting to landscape it. Then I heard about a small local start-up market, and just couldn't resist. So I rolled into high gear, designing and assembling a vendor table and making whatever I had time to make in time for this market (my first one ever).

So last night I decided to make lotion bars. Easy, right? Carrying supplies into the kitchen, I dropped my jar of beeswax, spilling about half of it on the floor. Swept it all up and set it aside, then made the bars with the remaining clean stuff. So here's my question: Do you think there's any way to clean the beeswax beads that hit the floor? They don't look too bad except for the inevitable dog hairs our yellow lab leaves everywhere. I tried blowing them out, but the wax beads blew too. I'm wondering if I could put the beads into very cold water and float the hair to the top? Or should I quit stressing and just toss it out and remind myself not to work when I'm tired? (I hate waste, so that's always hard to do.)

Thanks for listening to my sorry story !
 

AliOop

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No advice for the beeswax, but I'm sorry to hear about all the stressors of life, and yet so happy to hear that you are doing so many positive things in the midst of all that. Sending prayers for healing, strength, and patience your way! 💞
 

KimW

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Rolling indeed. So sorry to hear about your hubby but, just as @AliOop said, so happy to hear of you doing so many positive things in the midst of it all. I'm sure the front landscaping is going to be lovely and I hope you'll post a pic so that I may drool over the fruits of your labor. Your hubs and you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

On the beeswax. Oh dear! I'm prone to the same calamities when I'm rolling along, and I too hate the waste. "I'll just get this part done real quick...". Ugh. I've never dealt with beeswax pellets, but I have dropped a beeswax block outside. I cleaned it gently with sudsy soap in cold water and then let it soak in the cold water a good few minutes to make sure it was completely rinsed. But again, that was a block. I suspect you're right and the dog hair would float to the top on an initial rinse. I'd think you could then wash the pellets, and agitate them gently with a whisk, and repeat at least once before rinsing. Agitating during the rinses too. Perhaps someone else can chime in about the pellets....
 

earlene

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I would also try cold water, but I don't know if the dog hairs will actually float above or below the beads. It may be a bit tedious getting all the hairs out, but I would guess most would separate out. Then you could dry the beads.

Perhaps you use dryer sheets? I don't so I cannot be sure this will work, but I think if you gentle hold one above the beads the dryer sheet may pull the dog hairs toward itself due to static electricity. But I do not know what affect a dryer sheet will have on the beeswax beads; if it pulls them, then I would guess that would not help much.

For drying the beads, I would suggest a gentle fan (not heat) aimed toward a container such as a sieve or other container with holes small enough to keep the beeswax beads from falling through. Cover the container with cheesecloth or something that allows air through so the beads can't fall out from the top side if the fan creates too much wind. The fan may help separate the hairs from the beads even more due to the difference in size.

After dry, perhaps you can the pick out any remaining hairs by hand.
 

Tara_H

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Possibly a radical idea, but if all else fails maybe melt them up and strain through cheesecloth or a coffee filter?
They won't be in such a convenient format any more but at least you might be able to avoid the waste...
 

AliOop

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Crumpled-up aluminum/tin foil works well to release static electricity, as well. I've often used those with good success in my dryer, but I don't know if it will work in this situation.
 

JoyfulSudz

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Thank you for your good wishes and caring. And for the suggestions on the beeswax. I'm off to look at a used canopy for my market booth, and when I return I'm going to try saving the wax.

Worst case, I suppose I could just use them as they are and call them "Hair of the Dog"...
 

ResolvableOwl

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Possibly a radical idea, but if all else fails maybe melt them up and strain through cheesecloth or a coffee filter?
They won't be in such a convenient format any more but at least you might be able to avoid the waste...
Depends. Cast the wax into chocolate bar moulds, and they are just as easy to dose afterwards. I did so with my (arguably well-equipped) fleet of silicone and polycarbonate moulds, for cocoa butter (of course!), but also cupuaçu butter, canola wax, palm kernel oil, palm oil, E471, japan wax, etc. etc. Nothing is safe from my hands, turning everything into a bar of chocolate! 😈

Since wax has a high melting point, it's probably easiest to “CPOP” the filtration, i. e. put a coffee filter/tea strainer/lined sieve in a funnel over a jar/pot into the oven, and pour the dirty, melted wax into it. Heated just above the melting temperature, the wax has all time of the world to run through the filter without solidifying and blocking the flow.
 

JoyfulSudz

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I appreciate all the input, and after a long busy day, I'm thinkin' it all sounds like more effort than it's worth. I've heard beeswax is great for making sticky drawers slide smoother. Hmmm, now that sounds like a possibility...
 

Basil

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I appreciate all the input, and after a long busy day, I'm thinkin' it all sounds like more effort than it's worth. I've heard beeswax is great for making sticky drawers slide smoother. Hmmm, now that sounds like a possibility...
Hi @JoyfulSudz , I’m so sorry to hear about your husband. I’m glad he’s home now but I do understand the stress it causes for you both. I hope things get better soon. I was thinking about the beeswax problem . You could rinse in a sieve and let dry and can use later for test soaps for only yourself. Also they are great to melt and use for drawers ( I’ve done that with soy wax). I think I might save for grandkids to experiment with too, come to think of it... Ive spilled and dropped plenty during my projects lol. hang in there!!!
 
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