Bees wax polish - makeing your own

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Blog entry by mafe posted 12-15-2016 12:22 AM 3569 reads 7 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Bees wax polish
making your own

This blog has been waiting for a while, don’t ask why… Just seemed as if it had to wait for winter and the turpentine to evaporate and the smell of bees wax to blend in with the smell of wood in the shop.

As many of you know, I have spend a good deal of time in Turkey these last years and the area we stay in are rich on many things but especially rich on bees and honey. With honey comes bees wax and since our land lords son is a honey maker, things just kind of took off by them self.

One day while visiting the family, the son came and gave me this as I was about to leave.
We had been speaking about the differences between Danish and Turkish honey and I told him about how I learned to make make honey by an old man on a Danish island when I was a kid, and how I loved to eat the fresh honey out the bee combs.

Here Filiz and I visit our land lord and her husband in the town on top of the mountain.

Back to bees, wax and honey.
Once back in Copenhagen, I released the comb from the frame.

Cut it to smaller bits.

Then manually squeezed out the honey.

Final cleaning through a sieve.

Turkish honey on glass.
It taste wonderful, different from our Danish honey, it’s a more warm and round taste, where the Danish are more fresh and with a taste of flowers.

The wax was brought to the workshop and put in a tin half full with water, then slowly heated on the stove.

Don’t look like a fine white wax…
Patience MaFe, patience.

Ok, while I wait, I dream my self back to Turkey and the coast in front of our house.
Yes I’m the child playing with rock.

As I dreams, the wax melts and now looks almost eatable…

A sleeve of an old shirt becomes a cloth for cleaning the wax.

Simply pour through the cloth, like this the impurities are filtered away.

Then repeat the process.

Here it is clear to see as it cools down, that the color is light yellow now.

After a while, the wax has set.

Then I cleaned the wax in running water and ran the last pieces that were in the dirty water through the sieve.
Please notice how dirty the water is.

This is te underside of the floating wax.

And a little extras.

All this were put back and re heated.
You might need to do this several times, I did it two times, then I was happy with the color of the boiling wax.

To my eye this looks clean and so I will put of the heat.

Once melted into a block I cleaned of the few impurities with a knife.

Finally a block of pure bees wax.

Since the wax is hard, it is useless as a polish now, so from now it’s all about making it apply able and strong.
The wax is broken into smaller pieces and put in a double boiler.
I just use the same tin, but with a jar inside that I have mounted with a piece of metal wire.

Then I added some Carnauba wax , this gives the wax a more shiny gloss, not too much then the wax will become too hard.

I will make a traditional Danish møbel politur (furniture polish wax):
1½ bees wax (more makes softer)
¼ Carnauba wax (more makes harder)
1 spirit of turpentine (not White spirit, mineral spirits)

Then into the boiling water to make it melt together.

Once melted it can be dissolved with turpentine, here in Denmark we traditionally use the art painters turpentine so I will do it this way, but there are many ways, one is to use an oil instead, this can be a food quality oil, like this it can be used on food products also. But with the painters turpentine it gets a strong surface once it hardens.
Portuguese Balsam Turpentine)
(Art painters turpentine: Coming from a balm obtained from conifers and extracted by incision in the bark. Clear liquid with a very sharp and characteristic odor).

Away from the fire I mix in the turpentine.
Then mix and if needed put it back in the double boiler.

Once the mixing is completed, I put it in a tin and left it to set.

I put too little turpentine, or perhaps a wee too much carnauba, so it was much to hard to be apply able.

So back in the pot to melt.

Dreaming of days in Turkey as it melts.

Then more turpentine and back into the tin.

The tools are net aside for next time.

The wax had a strong smell the fist weeks, then it slowly started to get the Danish furniture polish smell, tones of wax and turpentine. I remember this smell from my childhood, what a joy.
On the second try the texture became just as I love it, perhaps on the soft side but as time goes the turpentine will evaporate and the wax get thicker, so it’s perfect like this.

I have used it for some months now and love it, I smile when the smell comes to my nose as I open the tin and it sends me on a dream travel to Turkey at the same time, what more can one ask for.

I will end the blog with a picture of the sea in front of our Turkish getaway at least this is where the journey of the wax started.

There are so many versions, the list is as long as your imagination.
You can add food grade oils, linseed oil, paraffin, olive oil, almond oil, walnut oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, yes even whiskey! It’s all up to your imagination and what you want to use it for.

Danish traditional møbel politur (furniture polish wax):
1½ bees wax (more makes softer)
¼ Carnauba wax (more makes harder)
1 spirit of turpentine (not White spirit, mineral spirits)

Here a few other recipes I found out there on the wild wild web:

Furniture polish with bees wax and linseed oil:
1 bees wax
1 boiled linseed oil
1 spirit of turpentine (not White spirit, mineral spirits)
Melt wax first, then add oil and turpentine you can add 0,05 part Carnauba 0,05 if you want a wee gloss.

Furniture polish bees wax:
Raw linseed oil and natural beeswax in a 4:1 ratio.

Furniture polish leather bees wax:
3 bees wax
1 spirit of turpentine (not White spirit, mineral spirits)
And it came with a users manual:
Sand the surface grid 320 and remove dust. Apply thin layer of wax in the grain direction with a thin piece of cloth folded three times. Rub it to a shine with a clean cloth, hard pressure and long strokes.
The wax are kept in a sealed container.
This wax van also be used on paints that has lost the shine or as a leather wax.

Wood turners oil:
Linseed oil with Carnauba wax
1 liter linseed oil
20-30 g Carnauba wax
siccative (for fast hardening)

Waterproofing (wool, leather, wood):
2 bees wax
1 linseed oil
1 turpentine

Waterproofing (oilskin):
1 bees wax
10 paraffin

Greenland style waterproof wax:
Ten parts paraffin wax to one part beeswax.
(Do they have bees in Greenland?).

Clean and polish wood furniture:
Mix 1 cup of olive oil, almond oil or walnut oil and 1/2 cup of white vinegar or lemon juice. Shake the mixture well, and apply a little bit to a soft rag. Spread the polish evenly over the furniture surface, then polish with a dry cloth.

Another homemade wood polish consists of 1/2 lemon oil and 1/2 white vinegar, pour the mixture into a spray bottle, and shake before using.

Dark wood polish consists of 1 teaspoon of olive oil, the juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon of whiskey or brandy, and 1 teaspoon of water. Mix and apply with soft cloth.

Woodmouse beeswax wood polish recipe:
1 part beeswax
4 parts almond oil (options include olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, walnut oil)

(Search the web, there are plenty of videos and ways to be inspired).

Hope it could inspire others to make their own bees wax polish, it is not as easy as to go and buy one, but it is a joy to make and understand where it comes from and it sure brings more joy to use.

Please post your own recipe if you have one to share.

Best thoughts,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

22 comments so far

View icemanhank's profile


508 posts in 2757 days

#1 posted 12-15-2016 12:40 AM

Thanks Mads, fantastic as usual.

-- "These are my principles. And if you don't like them, I have others." ... Cheers, David from Sydney Australia

View balidoug's profile


497 posts in 3080 days

#2 posted 12-15-2016 01:08 AM

My very first finishes were equal parts of beeswax steeped in BLO for a month. Once more, you have taken a simple amateur formula and raised it to art. Some of those few pieces that made the journey from Bali to Aspen are in need of refinishing, so I will attend carefully to your recipes.

What was once simple
with care and innovation
becomes a new art

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

View Woodwrecker's profile


4239 posts in 4177 days

#3 posted 12-15-2016 01:18 AM

I was daydreaming right along with you my friend.
The scene you provided is beautiful.
Thank you for the wax recipes.
The next time I acquire some beeswax, I will give it a try.
Thank you again.
central Florida

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23740 posts in 3707 days

#4 posted 12-15-2016 02:06 AM

Thanks, Mads. Very fine detail in the recipe!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View peteg's profile


4435 posts in 3424 days

#5 posted 12-15-2016 03:08 AM

You have bought back childhood memories of our local “Rata” honey. The magnificent big Rata trees are a picture just after Xmas with their beautiful red flower, the honey is a real wild extract with a lovely sharpish taste, we could get it either whipped (cream honey) or liquid which was my favourite.
Funny thing my Son in law & daughter have just started with about 8 to 10 hives out on their block in the country, he has just passed his “certificate as a honey grower. We have a wonderful honey industry here in NZ & the Govt’ has very strict measures in place to protect it.
Love the story Mads, I have had several blocks on wax in he shed for years, you have tempted me to try one of your recipes :-)
Best wishes

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View Druid's profile


2160 posts in 3397 days

#6 posted 12-15-2016 03:49 AM

Yet another fine tutorial from you. It’s always interesting to see a new posting by you Mads.
Thanks again for sharing more of your knowledge.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10859 posts in 4653 days

#7 posted 12-15-2016 04:19 AM

Interesting information…

Thank you….

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2696 posts in 1664 days

#8 posted 12-15-2016 11:37 AM

Wow!, Mads. Talk about starting from scratch. Right from the hive.

-- Mark

View lew's profile


12931 posts in 4356 days

#9 posted 12-15-2016 02:02 PM

Wonderful tutorial, sweet memories and great recipes! Thank you, Mads!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Jerry's profile


3309 posts in 2249 days

#10 posted 12-15-2016 03:44 PM

This was such a beautiul and useful post, thanks so much for sharing all of this.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View madts's profile


1921 posts in 2941 days

#11 posted 12-15-2016 03:50 PM

Thanks again for a great tutorial.


-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View mafe's profile


12286 posts in 3690 days

#12 posted 12-16-2016 12:38 PM

Got this mail:
Hi, Im living in Sweden, when you say not White spirit and mineral spirit (turpentine). You mean mineral spirits as the product from petroleum? And White spirit is from the pine?
Tack för fantastiske bloggar!
The answer is the one from pine.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View maxhall's profile


80 posts in 2802 days

#13 posted 12-17-2016 04:54 AM

As usual your instruction and photos provided for a great story/instruction. Thanks for taking the time to share this, much appreciated.

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1590 posts in 4166 days

#14 posted 01-02-2017 01:53 PM

Wonderful blog and product straight from the source!

Thanks for the recipe’s too. Favorited as this is on my list to do.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1590 posts in 4166 days

#15 posted 01-09-2017 07:27 PM

Last weekend I made up a batch so, thought I would share my results to the blog.

1 parts turpentine 40 grams
1 1/2 parts beeswax 60 grams
1/4 parts carnuba wax 10 grams

like Mads experience, it came out a little too hard so re-heated it and added another 2-3 grams turpentine and it is soft enough to use. After trading messages with Mads, I understand the hardness of the beeswax can vary somewhat so the end product will need to be adjusted on every batch.

Originally thought this was going to be a test but I have found it is a joy to use and a little goes a long way!

Thanks again Mads for posting this!

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

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