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Practical and Interesting Uses for Beeswax

Practical and Interesting Uses for Beeswax

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There are a number of uses for beeswax that extend beyond making candles, soap or using it as part of skin treatments.  Knowing about a few of the more popular options can help to make life a little easier on the homestead.  Take a look at some of the following examples and see why you will want to keep a good supply of beeswax on hand now and in a survival situation.

Waterproofing

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You can apply beeswax to shoes, boots or firm fabrics in order to create a protective barrier against the intrusion of water and moisture.  The easiest way to apply the wax is to take a hardened piece and paint it on the surface, smearing the wax with your fingers or a cloth as you go.  Make sure that you get into crevices and pockets in order to ensure that these vulnerable areas are protected.  Apply additional coats or touch-ups as necessary until you have achieved the level of protection you’re looking for.

Alternative to Plastic Wrap

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Not only is beeswax an effective barrier to moisture and water intrusion, but it can be used to keep air out of stored food items.  Simply melt the beeswax in a pot over flame or in the microwave and paint it on to the porous fabrics of your choice.  Make sure that you cover the material with an even coat, and reheat the wax as soon as it begins to solidify.  Hang the material on a line with clothespins or similar items until they have dried completely.  The melted wax will get in between the fibers and fill in those open spaces, providing you with a nearly-airtight alternative to plastic wrap.

Rust Prevention

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Did you know that beeswax is a great alternative to oils as a way to protect tools from rust and corrosion?  All you need to do is take some of the wax and rub it into the metallic surfaces and make sure that the exposed area is coated evenly.  Wipe off any excess and store as usual.  You don’t need a lot of wax to penetrate and protect these surfaces from oxidation, and you can end up with a level of protection that rivals other methods.

Thread Preservation

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You can coat the outer layer of a spool of thread, or coat individual strands in order to protect them from drying out, fraying or getting tangled.  All you need is a small amount to give the string more strength and rigidity.  This is ideal when packing small amounts of thread or string off the spool and storing them in mini survival kits or pocket tins.

Salves

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Beeswax is a key ingredient in many salves and creams for good reason:  It binds to the other ingredients and helps to keep everything together.  This allows the remedy to adhere to the skin better and for a longer period of time.  It can also help to create a protective barrier for keeping the wound area clean and minimizing the chances of infection. 

Treating Wood

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Mix 4 parts of beeswax to 6 parts of mineral oil and give yourself a wood treatment that can protect it from the elements and minimize intrusion by insects.  While this is far from a permanent solution, a couple of applications per year can be just as effective as using commercial and chemical alternatives.

These are just a few of many examples of how you can put beeswax to work for you.  Get a supply today and try some of these ideas out for yourself.  It won’t take long to discover how its versatility makes beeswax a must-have item to have in your stockpile. 

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