Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bee's Wax in Soap

I don't remember when was the last time I tried adding a small percentage of bee's wax in soap, probably ages ago.  I totally forgot the reason why I ditched this ingredient, more curious why I want to give it another try.
Well, I think that jugged my old memory!  Bee's wax is very hard, it requires high temperature to melt it and stay liquid.  That is why it's being used for lip balm to maintain shape even in hot summer.  It is the same reason soapers use a small percentage in making soap, to harden and lengthen the use in shower.  Wax, any kind, is not saponifiable, meaning it would not react with sodium hydroxide (lye) like other oil and butters, it stays wax even in cold process soap, it's the reason why only a very small amount should be used or soap would start to lose lathering power.
I usually soap very cool temperature, it gives me more time to play with design as I'm slow, takes me forever and a day to finish a batch!  Well, with oil butter temperature so low it would not be able to keep bee's wax liquid.  I thought I was being a smart ass to melt bee's wax separately and pour into the soap when the batter is about thin trace.
Hot liquid bee's wax riced on me the second it hit the batter!  I had to stick blend the heck out of the pot trying to smooth it out.  I did my best, even trying to filter the bits out by running it through a mesh.  The batter got too thick it just won't go through the straining mesh 1/3 through the way.  I hurried up and added the color and FO and into the mold it went.  You can still see the tiny white translucent speckles if you look closely.  I can smell the sweetness of the bee's wax faintly through the soap.  But no way am I going to try using bee's wax in soap ever again!  I don't care how good it is, it's not going into the soap.  This is it, the very very limited batch!


  1. So true! I've used beeswax a few times and found it very difficult to keep it from solidifying. The only time that it was OK, was with a very high olive oil concentration and very hot batter (140F), but then there was no colouring, no playing, no nothing with the soap, just mix it and pour it into the mold.
    So, now, I don't use beeswax anymore. Too much trouble!

    1. I soap under 100F most of the time, so yeah, bee's wax would not work for me at all!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I tried beeswax a few times due to the fact I was having trouble with ash and I had heard that it solved that problem. I tried up to 5% but I still got Ash and along with it soap that traced in seconds with no time to do any design! I've never used it since lol :)

  4. I made my first batch with bees wax a week ago. I soaped at high temperature,which is not what I normally do,but had no big issues in the process. Except the soap strated to rise few hours after pouring,but as I was keeping my eye on it, into the fridge it went immediately! The soap is with nettle puree and goat milk and I'm preparing a blogpost about this adventure. Your soap is gorgeous Emily,it shows no signs of any problem!

  5. Still, even with the speckles, the soap looks really great to me!

    I do use beeswax successfully, though. Although I have to admit that I never thought about adding it directly to the batter. I melt all waxes with my solid butters, add the liquid oils and let it cool. Usually, I soap around 40°C (whatever that is in °F ;) ) and isn't even a problem with false trace. .

    I am not sure if you accept links to other blogs, so just have a look for "Honigbiene" on my blog (September 2012). Most of it is in German, though, so please just use the google translation thingy :).

  6. Beeswax can be a little difficult to work with if you aren't used to the higher temperatures, but I really think you did a great job in saving your soap and the design turned out looking absolutely fabulous! =)

  7. I've never added bees wax to a recipe but the specks don't appear to ruin your over all design. Your soap looks as gorgeous as always :0)

  8. Your soap still looks beautiful!

  9. It sounds like this process must have driven you crazy but I agree with the other posters - your soap looks gorgeous!