How to cut a brick o' beeswax?

Soapmaking Forum

Help Support Soapmaking Forum:

Joined
Apr 5, 2018
Messages
2,948
Reaction score
9,522
Location
Minnesota
I friend gave me a brick of beeswax. I want to use it in cold process soap and lotion bars. Hit me up if you have a hack for cutting it up. It's "Better Shea Butter" brand, 1 pound brick:
1665407673778.png
 

MrsZ

Obsessive hobbyist
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2021
Messages
686
Reaction score
1,094
Location
Oklahoma
I use an old cheese grater and grate it. It grates well, and is easier for me then trying to slice it. You can do that, but it's tough to cut through with a knife. Just remember to use a grater you don't need for food anymore, as it is tough to get all the wax back off of it. (Clean it off with boiling water)
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
8,996
Reaction score
16,012
Location
US
I do the same as @MrsZ with the addition of wearing a cut glove to prevent grating the skin off my fingers. They are pretty inexpensive on Amazon. I use mine all the time bc my hands are never steady with knives, graters, etc.
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
14,266
Reaction score
21,795
Location
USA
If you want to prep the whole block for use in B&B products, here's what I do --

Lay a sheet of parchment paper on the counter or on a cookie sheet. Melt the wax and pour it in a thin sheet (1/16"-1/8" / 1-3 mm) over the parchment paper. Let the wax cool until brittle. Peel the wax off the paper and break it apart into smallish pieces for storage. You can nibble tiny amounts off a piece if you only need a tiny bit.

Another reason to do this is if you want to mildly bleach the beeswax in the sun. Leave the thin sheet of wax in a single piece or several larger pieces. Set out in direct sunlight, turning occasionally. It won't bleach to white, but it will lighten a bit, especially if the wax is the pale yellow wax harvested from honey comb. Dark wax from brood comb won't lighten much if at all.
 

Zany_in_CO

Saponifier
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
8,669
Reaction score
9,713
Location
SE Denver CO
Hit me up if you have a hack for cutting it up. It's "Better Shea Butter" brand, 1 pound brick:
I would contact Texas Beeswax - Better Shea Butter for the best way to prep it for your purposes. All I remember from using it so very long ago is that it has a high melting point. Personally, I would melt it along with coconut oil and pour into 3" round cavity molds. Unmold and put it ZipLocs for future use. That's what I'm about to do with my rosin chunks I need to use up. I store in the freezer, but I doubt that's necessary. Works great.

use a grater you don't need for food anymore, as it is tough to get all the wax back off of it.
Best solution for removing wax from equipment:
1 tablespoon A & H Washing Soda, dissolved in
16 oz. boiling water.


Soak for 5 minutes. Wax rises to the top. Skim with paper towel.
Save the solution. Ready to reheat and have another go, as needed.

Wash off any remaining residue with soapy sponge. Rinse.
Air dry or run through the dishwasher.
 

MrsZ

Obsessive hobbyist
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2021
Messages
686
Reaction score
1,094
Location
Oklahoma
Best solution for removing wax from equipment:
1 tablespoon A & H Washing Soda, dissolved in
16 oz. boiling water.


Soak for 5 minutes. Wax rises to the top. Skim with paper towel.
Save the solution. Ready to reheat and have another go, as needed.

Wash off any remaining residue with soapy sponge. Rinse.
Air dry or run through the dishwasher.
Thanks, I will try this next time I need it!
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
8,996
Reaction score
16,012
Location
US
If you want to prep the whole block for use in B&B products, here's what I do --

Lay a sheet of parchment paper on the counter or on a cookie sheet. Melt the wax and pour it in a thin sheet (1/16"-1/8" / 1-3 mm) over the parchment paper. Let the wax cool until brittle. Peel the wax off the paper and break it apart into smallish pieces for storage. You can nibble tiny amounts off a piece if you only need a tiny bit.

Another reason to do this is if you want to mildly bleach the beeswax in the sun. Leave the thin sheet of wax in a single piece or several larger pieces. Set out in direct sunlight, turning occasionally. It won't bleach to white, but it will lighten a bit, especially if the wax is the pale yellow wax harvested from honey comb. Dark wax from brood comb won't lighten much if at all.
What a fantastic tip about lightening beeswax - I had no idea that could be done! Thank you.
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
14,266
Reaction score
21,795
Location
USA
Bleaching in the sun is slow, but it's inexpensive and requires no chemicals. The bleaching is mainly on the surface of the wax which is why the thinner the sheet of wax is, the better. There's kind of a limit as to how much surface bleaching can happen, so the old beekeepers would sun-bleach sheets of wax, remelt the wax, form the wax into fresh thin sheets, bleach the surfaces, remelt, etc.

Nowadays wax is bleached with a chemical process -- I'm not certain how that's done.

Remove beeswax from heat-tolerant surfaces by gently heating the item with a heat gun or over a stove burner or other heat source. When the wax liquefies, wipe the surfaces quickly with a piece of used newspaper, old rag, or paper towel. Repeat as necessary.
 

Marsi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2020
Messages
575
Reaction score
1,084
Location
australia
I friend gave me a brick of beeswax. I want to use it in cold process soap and lotion bars. Hit me up if you have a hack for cutting it up. It's "Better Shea Butter" brand, 1 pound brick:
View attachment 68952
pillow case the beeswax and use a hammer 😅

(melting into thin sheets is what I actually do ... same as DeeAnna, without the extra sun-bleaching step. It's a messy process but only needs doing once, and is also useful if there is any contaminents ... dust and debris settle to the bottom and can be scraped off the sheets 🙂)
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2018
Messages
2,948
Reaction score
9,522
Location
Minnesota
Update: I got a cheap cheese grater from the dollar store. Never again. That was for the birds! It was 'only' 1 pound but a full body workout. Mrs. Zing and I took turns grating. It's done now-- and the used-once grater is in the garbage. Next time I get a solid brick of beeswax as a gift, it's getting donated. It does smell real nice and I'm looking forward to making lotion bars and maybe include it in a honey soap.
 

ivylorraine

Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2019
Messages
18
Reaction score
51
Location
MT
This isn't applicable for what Zing was doing, but a lemon zester (not a rasp grater but the tool made specifically for citrus zesting for cocktails) works well if you need to carve a small amount of wax off a bigger block to get a precise weight. I've tried various graters and knives but the zester is sturdy and doesn't require a ton of effort, though it does require a lot of passes.
 

Latest posts

Top