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How To: Make Beeswax Wood Polish

Natural Kids: How To: Make Beeswax Wood Polish

Thursday, October 7, 2010

How To: Make Beeswax Wood Polish

There are many recipes out there for making wood polish, but this it the simplest I've ever seen. Many thanks to Amber for sharing her recipe!

Over the years I've had many emails asking me how to make the natural beeswax and organic jojoba oil toy sealer I make and use on my wooden toys. So rather than say, "None of your beeswax!" here is the official Woodmouse Beeswax Wood Polish recipe and instructions...

Woodmouse Beeswax Wood Polish Recipe:

* 1 part beeswax
* 4 parts oil (options include olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, walnut oil, etc)

Simple, eh? Just beeswax plus an oil.


Fill a measuring cup with one cup of your chosen oil. (PS - I'm using olive oil in these photos because I had just made a jojoba batch and then realized I should have taken photos for a post but didn't have any more oil. Jojoba oil is clear while olive oil is greenish/yellowish.) Use a cheese grater and shave your beeswax or pound it into bits with a hammer. I bought a cheese grater solely for my beeswax polish making because I don't want to use utensils that touch our food, especially for making polish that go on items to be sold. Getting it into tiny bits will make the melting process go much quicker but this is optional. Add beeswax to your measuring cup until it reads 1 and 1/4 cups. This means you've added 1 cup oil and 1/4 cup beeswax.

Next, you need to melt the beeswax. Heat in the microwave or in a double boiler on the stove top. It will need to be heated very hot, beeswax has a melting temperature of just under 150 degrees F. Stir it around and make sure all the beeswax is fully melted and dissolved. Suddenly, the beeswax melts and your mixture will look just like a liquid oil. Careful, it is hot! If you want to add essential oils to add fragrance(I don't use them) now would be the time to blend them in, before it cools.

Pour it into a container with a wide enough opening for stirring. As the mixture cools, you'll need to stir it every once in a while to prevent it from separating. It will cool down and thicken around the edges of your container first, so scrape the sides. Stirring just a few times over a couple hours is enough. Stirring will ensure an even, creamy blend of your wood polish. If you don't stir it at all, the center will be oily while the edges will be harder and waxy and it is difficult to blend together once it is fully cooled.

There is a difference in color between my olive oil beeswax polish (below left) and my jojoba beeswax polish (below right). Olive oil based wood polish will often have a slightly greenish cast, but I haven't noticed a significant difference when used on wood. See below for more info on oils you can use.

Use it: Once fully cooled, gather all the wooden items in your house and rub it into the wood. Just a little goes a long way. Wipe off the excess with a cotton cloth and if you have extra on your hands feel free to use it as a lotion, even as a lipbalm. Your hands will be silky smooth. Little ones love to help with this too!

About Beeswax: I get my beeswax locally from Bill's Bees and it smells subtly like orange blossom because his bees hang out in orange groves. Yum. If you have a local farmer's market check and see if there is a honey vendor. Even if they don't have beeswax there for sale (most don't) just ask them. You might even get lucky and have a big ol' bag handed to you for free. I'm sure there are online places to buy beeswax but I've never had to get it that way so no advice there, sorry.

About Oils: I use organic jojoba oil on all the toys that I sell for a variety of reasons but other oils could work well for you. The main reason I stick with jojoba is that the shrub grows natively here and I'm a geek when it comes to sourcing locally. Jojoba oil has a long shelf life so a batch will last a very long time without going rancid. Plus, there is no allergy risk unlike using walnut oil. Olive oil and coconut oil are other options if jojoba oil isn't local or affordable where you are. And walnut oil is perfectly great too if you know your own family has no nut allergies. I do not include mineral oil (although it is perfectly safe to use) simply because it is a petroleum product and not appropriate for toys labeled as eco-friendly. Essential oils: be careful when selecting essential oils to add to your polish. Many are not suitable for use on wood, nor are they suitable for toys that may go in the mouths of wee ones.

About Storage: Store it in an airtight container, away from direct sunlight. Jojoba oil based polish will last for two years while olive oil will last one year. If you don't think you will use your polish very fast and are worried it will go rancid, store it in the refrigerator, this doubles the shelf life.

Enjoy your natural beeswax wood polish!

Woodmouse has been selling her handcrafted wooden toys (finished with beeswax and jojoba oil polish) on Etsy since 2007. Each piece is a delight all on its own and is designed to inspire hours of creative play and story telling.

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Blogger Hanna said...

Thank you for posting this simple recipe.
Just what I was looking for!

October 7, 2010 at 11:52 AM  
Blogger germandolls said...

Thanks, Amber. I will use it for my next batch of wooden buttons I have to finish. We actually have bees in our backyard so I can use our own backyard bee's wax. How fun is that!

October 8, 2010 at 6:42 AM  
Blogger BirchLeaf Designs - Wendy and Mojo said...

Thanks Amber for the post...your recipe is very similar to our "wood mojo" and oh, are they easy to make!

October 8, 2010 at 7:44 AM  
Blogger Lala's Pequenos said...

Thanks so much!

October 8, 2010 at 8:24 AM  
Anonymous EvesLittleEarthlings said...

Thanks! I have a wooden bowl that could use a little TLC.

October 8, 2010 at 9:17 AM  
Anonymous cutelittlething said...

I just love this stuff!!!! When my child is having a bad day we break out the beeswax polish and some wooden toys and polish til we feel really works try it! Thanks Amber!!!

October 8, 2010 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger PurePixie said...

Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing!

October 8, 2010 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger Jaimie said...

Thanks for sharing this. I've been wanting to find one that doesn't use turpentine. I can't wait to make this--my kids will absolutely love to polish their wooden toys.

October 8, 2010 at 10:07 PM  
Anonymous Laura (The Wood Garden) said...

Thank you so much for this! I have been wanting to switch our toys over to a beeswax polish for a while (now we are using flax seed oil) to get the lovely smell, but I wasn't sure how to go about it. I thought I would have to experiment, but now I don't have to. Thank you again!

October 19, 2010 at 4:56 PM  

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