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29.10.2013 admin
Cleaning out my desk last weekend I came across an old programme for the Isle of Man Beekeepers Annual Convention. Of all the recipes listed, the one I was most interested in was the one for Furniture Polish.
The problem with furniture polish is that although it can contain lovely oils and waxes that help hydrate and protect, it often contains petrochemicals and other solvents that may even be accidentally ingested or can evaporate into the air.
Natural Beeswax Furniture Polish A beautifully scented and natural polish suitable for most wood types.
Olive oil on its own can do this really well, albeit temporarily since it has a tendency to erode.
Passionate about DIY projects, edible gardening and natural beauty products, Tanya makes everything from handmade soap to home and garden projects. I have some beeswax and was wondering what to do with it so this might be an option since you gave such good instructions!I haven't got the soap that you sent yet, maybe the government thinks it is plastic explosives or something and are running tests on it.
Shipping to the states takes AGES…I swear they must put all the parcels in little bottles and then fling them out into the Atlantic.
In researching further it seems that there are around three types of turpentine out there with varying ranges of toxicity – the cruder the extraction process from the tree material, the more toxic the turps will be. I'm by no means an expert but have read that though some people use turps as medicine you should only use the turpentine oil that was distilled in the cleanest way possible – probably the method your former employer was using? Also, the ordinary turps purchased in hardware stores is far more toxic and it's also the material that most people have access to.
Coconut oil can be an all natural wood polish that replenishes dry thirsty wood furniture and brings out the beauty of the natural wood grains.
It prolongs the usefulness of the furniture by helping it not to crack wood or absorb harmful water moisture that can lead to warping.
Claire Waring, editor of Beecraft Magazine and author of The BeeKeeping Manual looks at ways of dealing with your beeswax, and how to make beeswax furniture polish and furniture cream.
Although most people think bee-keepers do it for the honey, there are other hive by-products that can be used. Next, wash the cappings to remove any remaining honey adhering to the wax surface using soft water such as filtered rainwater. There will be dirt, even in your beeswax cappings, which must be removed before you can use it to make candles, polish, or cosmetics. If you are going to make candles or polish straightaway, you can use your wax while it is still liquid. One of the traditional uses for beeswax is polish, and this still gives the best shine on real wood furniture as well as an evocative aroma. This is probably the easiest to make, as the only ingredients are beeswax and pure turpentine. Carnauba wax comes from the leaves of the palm, Copernicia prunifera, found only in north-eastern Brazil.
2           Warm the turpentine to around the same temperature as the molten wax, but do this carefully because it is very flammable. 2           Add the shredded beeswax and warm it until it forms a fairly liquid mass, but remains fluffy.
Cream polish is best stored in glass or plastic containers, as the water content can make metal tins rust.
Download a free copy of the first Home Farmer Magazine Ever PublishedEnter your email address and name below to get our popular weekly newsletter full of recipes, seasonal growing advice and DIY instructions. We describe Home Farmer very much as a magazine for the kitchen table than coffee table, and each issue targets what you need to know to get the job done with simple step-by-step instructions, features and honest accounts of people trying to live their dreams either in the country or town. I’m on a mission to find replacements for as many of our toxic household substances as possible and a wood furniture a polish will come in handy.

Beeswax is much more durable and can give your furniture a long-lasting brilliant sheen and texture after regular application.
Place both the beeswax and the olive oil into a double boiler such as demonstrated in the image below. You can use the polish immediately and no doubt you’ll do what I did…run around the house looking for wooden objects to beautify! This will help keep the polish from pulling away from the interior of the glass which can be unattractive.
I am going to start the popcorn seeds when I get home, your plum tomato seeds are in the mail, let's hope they get there this spring! There's also the mineral turpertine that you mention but it could be counted as something else. Even then there are warning after warning on their use and personally I'd stay well away from it Read more about side effects. Use and inhalation of that stuff is what can result in all the nasty side effects I relayed in this post. One of the major ones is beeswax, the main source of which, particularly for a beginner, will be the cell cappings that were removed before honey extraction. It is also worth checking whether your mains water is soft, in which case you can use it for this purpose.
This means it has to be melted and filtered, and the best way to melt wax is probably to use a double boiler. I usually use a double layer of disposable nappy liners, but I have also used an old cotton shirt or surgical lint. Clean, plastic, soft-butter or margarine containers give you manageable blocks to deal with later. There are two styles of polish, hard and creamed, but they both work on the same principle. If you can’t get hold of pure turpentine, or you want to reduce the cost of your product, you can use turpentine substitute.
With a higher proportion of beeswax, you will get a harder polish, and, conversely, with a higher proportion of turpentine, you will get a softer one. Stand the container with the turpentine in a container of hot water to raise its temperature.
The problem with many conventional polishes is that they’re often loaded with chemicals that can cause immediate reactions or possibly long term health issues. Another ingredient that I encourage you to use is a clear Grapefruit seed extract (such as Citricidal) or Vitamin E oil though from a functional perspective it’s completely optional. A double boiler system can be easily created by floating a sauce pan inside another pan filled with hot water. Pour the hot mixture into clean and dry wide-mouth containers.** Allow to cool for at least two hours into a semi-hard balm consistency.
To use the polish, just scoop some of it out with your fingers or with a rag and work the polish into any and all wooden surfaces.
Don’t throw these away, as they are a valuable commodity which has cost the colony a lot of energy to produce. Your filter must be sacrificial, as once it is clogged with wax you won’t be able to use it again. One furniture restorer that I knew made a liquid polish simply by increasing the amount of turpentine in his mixture. This hard polish can be stored in metal tins, which are available from bee equipment suppliers. On the National Library of Medicine’s website, furniture polish poisoning varies from dizziness, vomiting, and rapidly lowered blood pressure if the substance is ingested, to skin burns and vision loss if it comes into contact with your skin or eyes.

It calls for just two main ingredients, beeswax and olive oil, and can be made in less than 30 minutes though it will take a couple of hours to cool.
Though Beeswax lasts years without going rancid, olive oil is much more likely to start go off. You want your oils heated indirectly and evenly in this way because it’s safer for you and helps maintain the integrity of the ingredients. Excess polish can be wiped off immediately or leave it on for a couple of hours to allow more oils to permeate before buffing it to a sheen. Place the cappings in a stainless steel or glass container, add the water, stir and then drain and dry them. In this respect, lint is a very expensive option, but if you are thinking of entering your wax in a show, it is excellent for removing any very fine pieces of dirt.
As the polish is spread over the surface, the solvent evaporates, leaving a thin beeswax layer behind, and this is what shines when it is rubbed with a cloth.
Pure turpentine will also dissolve beeswax when it is cold, but turpentine substitute requires heat. If you want a harder polish, an alternative is to substitute 50g (2oz) of the beeswax with 50g (2oz) of stearine, or 25g (1oz) of carnauba wax. It is also used to coat certain sweets and, together with coconut oil, is the major ingredient for surfboard wax. First, wrap it in a strong plastic bag and then a towel before breaking it, so that you keep all the fragments together. When combined, these simple oils form a semi-hard wax that can be massaged into most any wood to restore moisture and create a beautiful sheen. An anti-oxidant will help stop that from occurring and ensure that your polish continues to smell like rich honey-scented beeswax. You will lose a proportion of wax every time you filter it, so save your cappings until you have a decent amount (at least 0.5kg (1lb)) to deal with. If the filter becomes clogged up and you have been too enthusiastic in adding the wax, you will have a big problem cleaning it out. Your collecting container does, however, need to have sloping sides, so that the wax block will fall out when it has set.
The main difference between the two types is that the cream does not need as much elbow-grease! When people talk about the smell of beeswax polish, they are actually, mainly, experiencing the smell of the turpentine (but don’t tell anyone!). When they are dry, if you don’t have sufficient or don’t have time to deal with them immediately, put them in a plastic bag and store them in a corner of the freezer. If doing this, make sure the container has a volume at least twice that of the wax, as the water tends to boil up in the same way as jam, and you don’t want it to go all over the stove. Microscopic amounts of honey still on the wax may support mould growth at room temperature. Wax does not have a precise melting point, but it will certainly melt at well below 100°C (212°F), so don’t let the water boil. Rubbing a very thin layer of a release agent, such as a silicone release spray or washing-up liquid, around the container will help to release the wax.

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