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  • OT- removing color from candle wax

    Anyone know of a way to remove the color from wax?
    Thanks

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

  • #2
    If it's a dye there may be a chemical process if you can find the chemistry of the dye used, if it's a pigment you'd probably have to filter it out, either process will cost more than buying new wax though.
    If you benefit from the Dunning-Kruger Effect you may not even know it ;-)

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    • #3
      You could distill it !

      But like alcohol, it is explosive if not done properly

      Rich

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      • #4
        Figured as much.
        I wonder how much the sun might bleach it?

        Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

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        • #5
          Beeswax can be bleached using hydrogen peroxide. I would assume that candle wax would also bleach. HOWEVER candle wax is not just parafin wax. A candle is composed of an inner core of parowax coated on the outside with a layer of higher molecular weight wax that has a slightly higher melting point. This makes it dripless. Once melted together it is just junk wax. Go to the grocery store, and in the canning section, they will have parowax in one pound boxes. Bleaching salvaged candles is definitely not worth the trouble!
          Duffy, Gatineau, Quebec

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Duffy View Post
            Beeswax can be bleached using hydrogen peroxide. I would assume that candle wax would also bleach. HOWEVER candle wax is not just parafin wax. A candle is composed of an inner core of parowax coated on the outside with a layer of higher molecular weight wax that has a slightly higher melting point. This makes it dripless. Once melted together it is just junk wax. Go to the grocery store, and in the canning section, they will have parowax in one pound boxes. Bleaching salvaged candles is definitely not worth the trouble!
            In New England, major grocery chains seem to carry "Gulf Wax" for canning - but it's a bit expensive ($6 a pound, or so). Menards (West Coast) carries it for $3.27 a pound (plus shipping):

            https://www.menards.com/main/grocery...4443118856.htm

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            • #7
              What is the reason for wanting to remove the color??

              JL.......

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              • #8
                I'm a beekeeper and I made a large vat that I use to boil the bee hives in. This removes the moisture and, upon removing the boxes from the wax, there is a vacuum created from the lost moisture and the liquid wax (which is a mixture of beeswax, paraffin, discarded candles of unknown makeup and tree resin) gets sucked into the wood. This preserves the wood for decades with no additional treatments..
                The vat takes a lot of wax,much more wax than I have been able to collect from my own bees
                For this reason I scrounge wax whenever I can. I was given about 20 pounds of colored wax that I'd like to put to use. The problem with colored wax is that it melts into an almost black color and stains the wood an ugly dark color. The asthetics of the dark color isn't enough for me to dismiss using it BUT the dark color absorbs a lot more sun and is noticeable hotter for the bees in the summer heat. Instead of tending to the hive the bees have to spend a lot of time and energy fanning the hive cool.
                Wax is expensive. Even Walmart (I don't shop at Walmart regardless of prices) price for paraffin is over $5.00 a pound last check I did.
                I do my beekeeping to benefit a cancer foundation so every cent I save is more for The Chordoma Foundation. A couple of hundred pounds of wax would cost at least $1000.00 if purchased new. Waiting for free wax is absolutely worth the time.
                Thanks

                Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

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                • #9
                  As a candlemaker, my wife buys wax in 50 pound boxes. They cost $55 to $75 per box, depending on the blend, plus, typically $20 to $30 per box for shipping. Google candlemaking supplies. Try Lone Star Candle Supply, Candles & Supplies, and/or CandleWic.

                  PS: she pays $8 per pound for beeswax, so you shouldn't waste it coating hives.
                  Kevin

                  More tools than sense.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks. I like the beeswax for the boxes because of the high melting point.

                    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

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                    • #11
                      Since you are determined, and with good reason, here is how I suggest that you bleach your wax:- Melt the wax in a large container such that you have a 5/1 ratio of water to wax or better. Add hydrogen peroxide to make a concentration of about 100 parts per million in the water. Keep it hot, (below boiling,) and stir to mix the wax and water. You could also add a bit of ammonia or soda ash to raise the pH a bit. How much soda ash? a couple of tablespoons. How long to stir the mix? Until it looks right- this is more alchemy than chemistry but it will NOT cause you any mischief! Obtaining peroxide may be a nuisance; use at least the hair bleaching strength, but if you are doing this in a serious way, try and find 35% strength. It is used as a disinfectant in treating wells, so a water treatment company may have it in stock. I get it from a supplier in Ottawa for about Cdn $26.00 /4 liters, and that is a LOT of peroxide! Good luck!
                      Duffy, Gatineau, Quebec

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by challenger View Post
                        I'm a beekeeper and I made a large vat that I use to boil the bee hives in. This removes the moisture and, upon removing the boxes from the wax, there is a vacuum created from the lost moisture and the liquid wax (which is a mixture of beeswax, paraffin, discarded candles of unknown makeup and tree resin) gets sucked into the wood. This preserves the wood for decades with no additional treatments..
                        The vat takes a lot of wax,much more wax than I have been able to collect from my own bees
                        For this reason I scrounge wax whenever I can. I was given about 20 pounds of colored wax that I'd like to put to use. The problem with colored wax is that it melts into an almost black color and stains the wood an ugly dark color. The asthetics of the dark color isn't enough for me to dismiss using it BUT the dark color absorbs a lot more sun and is noticeable hotter for the bees in the summer heat. Instead of tending to the hive the bees have to spend a lot of time and energy fanning the hive cool.
                        Wax is expensive. Even Walmart (I don't shop at Walmart regardless of prices) price for paraffin is over $5.00 a pound last check I did.
                        I do my beekeeping to benefit a cancer foundation so every cent I save is more for The Chordoma Foundation. A couple of hundred pounds of wax would cost at least $1000.00 if purchased new. Waiting for free wax is absolutely worth the time.
                        Thanks

                        Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
                        How many hives do you generally run and about how many brood boxes + supers do you use? More specifically, how many boxes do you need to treat? Out here, (West central Calif.) with the good climate and relatively low humidity, and with the good quality of exterior white paint, boxes last for decades without any special treatment, assuming the hives are maintained and waxworms, etc. don't get established and chew things up.
                        I used to melt cappings with a solar melter, which kept the temperature low and prevented the wax from picking up much color from any included propolis. I probably had accumulated at least 150 pounds when I finally sold it back to my equipment supplier to be turned back into foundation.
                        Does your area have any 'Toxic Waste Turn-in" programs? Mine does, and it allows reuse of some of the materials; I routinely have gotten Coleman fuel, motor oils, cutting oil, MEK, Acetone, turpentine, kerosene, lamp oil, paraffin wax, Copper Green, Freon (R-12, 134a, &22), ammonia, dish and clothes washing soaps, and things I can't now remember.
                        Last edited by CreakyOne; 05-21-2018, 01:59 AM. Reason: added location

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Duffy View Post
                          Since you are determined, and with good reason, here is how I suggest that you bleach your wax:- Melt the wax in a large container such that you have a 5/1 ratio of water to wax or better. Add hydrogen peroxide to make a concentration of about 100 parts per million in the water. Keep it hot, (below boiling,) and stir to mix the wax and water. You could also add a bit of ammonia or soda ash to raise the pH a bit. How much soda ash? a couple of tablespoons. How long to stir the mix? Until it looks right- this is more alchemy than chemistry but it will NOT cause you any mischief! Obtaining peroxide may be a nuisance; use at least the hair bleaching strength, but if you are doing this in a serious way, try and find 35% strength. It is used as a disinfectant in treating wells, so a water treatment company may have it in stock. I get it from a supplier in Ottawa for about Cdn $26.00 /4 liters, and that is a LOT of peroxide! Good luck!
                          Strong peroxide is also sold, together with sodium silicate, as a two part kit for bleaching wood. I have also gotten those free from the TWC.

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                          • #14
                            I only have about 50 hives and a few hundred supers.
                            I live in a really humid area and we get a fair amount of rain. I've painted some boxes and had the corners rot. Now paint is crazy expensive. Oil prime and one latex top coat is minimum IMO and the cost and time makes no sense to me IF one can build a vat, make the burner and get free wax and resin. I made all the equipment and get wax and resin for free.
                            I got an interest in dipping the boxes and thought building the rig would be fun. I learned a lot making the burner and I feel the effort was well worth it. I made my vat fairly large to accommodate 3 deeps.
                            There are several ways to accomplish most tasks and dipping boxes may not be the most direct route to protecting woodenware but it's the best way for me. Seeing the moisture boil out of the wood and the wax being drawn into it after lifting it out of the vat is a really rewarding sight. I know I won't need to mess with the boxes in my lifetime so I look at it as a one and done.
                            Commercial beekeeping is a totally different animal than the piddly stuff I do but if I were a commercial Beek I'd still treat all my woodenware with my wax boiling vat. I can do three mediums in ten minutes (way faster than two coats of paint) and four mediums in the same time.

                            Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

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                            • #15
                              I had an uncle in N.Carolina and saw how the humidity rotted away old license plates tacked to the shop's outside walls in only a few years, so do understand your situation. I also enjoy 'scrounging' and have everything from the supplies I mentioned above, to 12" diameter silicon wafers (and pieces thereof) discarded by hi-tech companies which closed.
                              BTW, I just noticed this on Craigslist a few minutes ago; it will probably only remain listed a short while:
                              https://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/zip...592932211.html
                              --------------
                              CL SF bay area > north bay > for sale > free stuff
                              Candle wax (san rafael)

                              11" x 14" about 2" thick

                              --------------
                              Last edited by CreakyOne; 05-21-2018, 01:39 PM.

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