Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hearth and Home: Make Your Own Non-Toxic Paste Wax

Make Your Own, Know What's In It!
There are various recipes for non-toxic paste wax in books and all over the internet really, but a lot of them call for Borax or other things to be added to them.  I've found that you can just keep it simple and it works out just as well (and you can add whatever essential oils you want to make it smell the way you want...I like to add lemon to mine :).  The biggest problem I found with commercial paste wax was two problems.  One:  Really nasty additives to help the wax stay "soft".  Two:  Lack of a ingredient list.  I used Johnson's Paste Wax for a while until I realized that not only did it smell like solvents, but it also lacked a list of things that it contained, so there was NO WAY I was keeping it around the house with the kiddos allergies.

So, I came up with this "recipe" for home made paste wax, although I can't say this is an original idea as I've run into at least 3 or 4 other recipes that are like exactly the same on different sites throughout the years.  I find that I like a somewhat softer texture to mine to make it a bit easier to spread, so I usually use 1/4 cup of beeswax plus a teaspoon or two extra if I want added "stiffness", but you could up the beeswax content to make it a bit harder and more "traditional paste wax" consistency just by using more beeswax.  If it isn't what you want the first time around just remelt the mixture and add a bit more beeswax.  Too stiff?  Melt and add more olive oil.  Just mess with it a bit until it cools and you like how it feels and applies.  Easy as that.  And the list of ingredients couldn't be simpler.

Home Made Paste Wax
  • 1/4 to 1/3 Cup Beeswax...use 1/3 for a harder paste wax (grated or beads)
  • 1 Cup Olive Oil
  • 10 Drops Essential Oil of Choice (optional)

1.  Place beeswax in oil in a double boiler on the stovetop OR in a microwave safe container (I use my good ol' Pyrex in the microwave for this myself).  Either heat on stovetop until the beeswax is totally melted or microwave on high for 1 minute and then continue in 15 second increments until the beeswax is melted (if using microwave method).  

2.  Stir well to combine the oil and melted beeswax and add essential oils.  Mix to combine.

3.  Place in holding container of choice (I use a wide mouthed half-pint mason jar for mine) and use as you would paste wax.

Also, if you have the arms for it and don't really want to "make" paste wax you can also go with the more labor intensive route and just take a hunk of beeswax and go over your furniture with that instead.  I've done that (and have used it to help fill in some really nasty scarring in my table from the years of use it took from my husband's grandfather before we inherited it), but I find the paste wax is a great way to seal the table back up after I've had to do some serious deep cleaning on the table (to remove dough from the cracks in the table...thank you daughter), without having to do a bunch of heavy duty buffing afterwards (I still DO buff the table after using the paste wax though :).

Enjoy all!


gfe--gluten free easily said...

What a great recipe, Erika! We obviously have beeswax and I recently got rid of our huge aquarium and now need to paste wax the surface of the dresser that it was on. Thanks!


gale said...

Where do you buy beeswax?

Erika @ Those Who Help Themselves said...

I buy mine from an outfit called "Country Soap Shack" on Etsy because I love their quality and price. I also buy it, if I'm in a pinch, from All About Herbs, which is a local Alaskan business located in Wasilla and Palmer.

You can also buy it through Mountain Rose Herbs or the Bulk Herb Store as well, I know, as I've seen it on there, but haven't ordered that particular item from either outfit yet (bought other stuff from them and been happy with it though :).