Well, it’s been raining for days and in barely a week temperatures have dropped from nearly tropical to 13 celsius. I’ll have to face it, it’s autumn. Time to waterproof my stuff. I read a lot about Greenland wax and otter wax, and though: “that shouldn’t be hard to make”. Turns out, it isn’t! These waxes that are used to waterproof fabrics rarely contain more than two ingredients. I made a three ingredient recipe that smells great and is easy to make.
To make 105 grams of wax, you need:
50 grams (or 1 part) of beeswax
50 grams (or 1 part) of parrafine
5 grams (or 1/10 part) of essential orange oil
Melt the beeswax and the parrafine in a double boiler. When everything is clear and liquid, add in the orange oil. Immediately take off the heat and pour into containers or brush on fabric. when treating large pieces of fabric, I like to brush on the wax and then melt it in with a heat gun. Be careful not to put on too much, though, or it will seep through when heating and it will make a mess. Better put on too little and touch up later. I use bars of wax, like on the picture above, to treat small pieces of fabric and touch up previously treated pieces.
You should be able to get these ingredients for a lot less than you’d pay for a bar of pre-made wax. The parrafine, for example, I got from old candles that were made of pure parrafine, which weighed exactly 50 grams per piece.. Do make sure it is pure parrafine if you’re going to recycle candles, though. Some candles contain different ingredients such as stearin or microcristallne wax, which are not suitable for this recipe. If you know any beekeepers in your area, you can probably get some cheap beeswax from them.
Most recipes you’ll see on the web won’t have the essential orange oil. Some do contain turpentine. It is used as a thinner to make application easier. The orange oil does the same in this recipe, but smells a lot nicer. Turpentine is a terpene based solvent. This is a type of organic compounds that forms an important part of many natural essential oils, such as orange oil. I’ve been experimenting with replacing turps with orange oil in some recipes and it seems to work fine. it is also quite cheap when you buy it in the right places. You can buy it at some stores as a natural degreaser and cleaning product. Don’t buy the tiny bottles sold for aromatherapy.
I just finished a bag made with linen waxed with this stuff. Works perfectly.
By the way, this recipe also makes some awesome scented candles.
Update: Another bag I made with fabric waxed with this wax..