Pictures and instructions from our
2004 Hand Cream Demonstration presented by Jim and Jane Welch

What do I do with the beeswax cappings after I extract honey? How can I use them to make something useful? Can I use them to make something to sell?

Jim and Jane Welch from Brunswick answered all of these questions and more when they came to the November Knox-Lincoln County Beekeepers meeting. They showed us how to make hand cream using beeswax. The meeting was held at the Knox-Lincoln County Extension Association office in Waldoboro where there are full kitchen facilities. Several members of the KLCB chapter attended and everyone went home with a sample.

You need a stove and a microwave to make hand cream along with the ingredients. At the end of this column are a couple of recipes. Jane began the demonstration by reviewing the recipe with us and showing us the important ingredients ~ mineral oil, distilled water, borax and the beeswax. Their beeswax came in wonderful mini muffin sizes. Jane said that they use disposable cups this size, pour in the melted beeswax and then, once they’re cool, pop them out into zip lock sandwich bags for storage. It is a very neat way to handle and store the wax. These each weigh 1 ounce.

What do I need to make hand cream?
see recipe for ingredients
stove and microwave
candy or soap thermometer
paper towels
big pot for the top of the stove
pyrex 4-cup glass container (measuring cup works great)
long spoon for stirring on the stove
electric beater or whisk
containers for the finished product (1oz, 2 oz or your choice)
So, how do I make hand cream?
First, you get everything ready.
You measure all the ingredients out into containers.
The mineral oil goes into a big pot on the stove.
Put your beeswax close by so you can add it at the right time.
Measure the distilled water and borax into the glass container
Next, you heat the mineral oil in a big pot on the stove and add the beeswax.
You heat and stir this mixture constantly until the wax is melted and the mixture is 159 degrees F.
At the same time,
mix the borax and distilled water in the glass container
bring this mixture to 159 degrees F in the microwave
When both mixtures are at 159 degrees F,
pour the microwave mixture into the mineral oil mixture
add fragrance oil here if using any
mix quickly using electric mixer or whisk (it turned creamy almost immediately)
pour immediately into your containers
While waiting for the hand cream to cool,
wipe out all containers with paper towels while they are still warm
this makes clean up much easier.
When cooled, put on caps, label, and date.

Here is the recipe.

Beeswax Handcream
5 oz beeswax
1-1/3 c. distilled water
16 oz mineral oil
2-tsp. borax (the soap)*
1-1/2 tsp. fragrance oil
Follow instructions above.
* may substitute 2 tsp. sodium borate (the chemical)

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