This is an experiment I’ve been meaning to conduct for ages. For as many DIY concoctions I’ve made over the years, I still found myself wondering how much beeswax to add to something to get a certain level of hardness or thickening. So, one short winter day I set out to settle that once and for all, and here’s what I learned.
I started with eight little stainless steel bowls with ratios noted on the side—1:1 through 1:8. The “one” was always beeswax, the second number olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada). As always, I worked in weight, using a unit of 1 gram. So, 1:1 was 1 gram of beeswax and 1 gram of olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada). 1:4 was 1 gram of beeswax and 4 grams of olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada).
I melted each little pot of beeswax and oil together using a double boiler, and let them all harden for several days (because the weekend ended and I had to go back to work, haha). I did everything in my house during the winter, with an average ambient temperature of about 20°C. So, if you live somewhere drastically warmer than I do, you will likely find these observations a little on the harder side.
Now, for my observations. Here’s what I was looking at:
- How hard was it? I tested this by pressing on the surface of the mixture with my fingertip (as you would to apply a salve or lip balm), and then scraping with a fingernail.
- How quickly did it melt? This was pretty easy to observe by simply handling bits of each mixture.
- How sticky was it? I rubbed the mixtures into my arm and tested to see how tacky they were.
- How was the slip? I tested this by rubbing bits of the mixture on my lips as they are more sensitive than my arm, and also very familiar with lip balm.
Here’s what I noticed:
1:1—Equal parts beeswax and olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada) yielded a very hard mixture. I could not push through it with my finger, and it didn’t start to melt at all as I tried. I was able to scrape it up with my finger nail. When handled, it was quite tacky/sticky and hard, with terrible slip (it skidded) and a high melting point.
1:2—I still could not push a finger through the surface. Sticky, poor slip, high melting point.
1:3—I could make a dent in this one with my finger, though it took quite a bit of effort. It’s wasn’t sticky (nothing from here out is), but still too hard for a salve. This one was body butter bar territory, or perhaps a harder lip balm for hot climates.
1:4—I could easily press my finger through this one, and it melted on contact with the skin. Good slip, not sticky. This one would be good for a hard salve. This is also the last decidedly solid one.
1:5—Quite soft—this is the first one that gives to finger pressure without the mixture cracking. This ratio makes a nice soft salve. Melts quickly on contact with the skin. Good slip, not sticky.
1:6—Very soft, though the beeswax seems to have floated to the top a bit on this one as it is hard on the surface, but soft underneath. Melts quickly.
1:7—I stopped noticing big differences around this point. Again, very soft, melts quickly, absorbs easily.
1:8—Melts almost instantly on contact with skin, very soft. It’s about the consistency of thick lip gloss.
So, lessons learned:
- 1:1 and 1:2 are pretty much useless for skincare, so avoid recipes that use more than 33% or so beeswax, and don’t try to “save” something by adding boatloads of beeswax
- Use 1:3–1:5 for most salves and balms
- After about 1:6 you’re just thickening to varying degrees
Next winter day u have you must recreate the lemongrass citrus fragrance stuff exclusive to wynn hotels in Las Vegas. Best smell ever! Please!
Hey Marsha—I’ve actually made up a form for recipe requests. BUT… I don’t know about you, but I can’t smell things through the internet 😉 I simply cannot recreate the scent of something I’ve never smelled!
Hi Marie my names Marie too! This is a great page!
Hi Marie! Thanks for reading 🙂
Love all your you tubes videos and your web page too!!!
So Appreciative of your time, knowledge & beyond AWE-some hard work..
Can’t wait to go scouting thru what other awesomeness you have going on…
So, excited- ty
Hello, I am currently making a balm cleanser where I am using Shea butter kokum butter and oils, I didn’t want to add a wax. My question is since it’s coming out extremely soft I may need to add wax, but I am a little confused to determine the ratios. When you say 1:2,1:3 etc what does that mean exactly ? Especially if my product is all oils and butters
Hi! Look into cetyl alcohol + stearic acid—I’ve done experiments like this one with both of those ingredients 🙂 Happy making!
Hi. I want to make a salve that contains bees wax, olive oil, and castor oil. Any idea on the ratios?
In the ratio of 1:8, did you observe any separation?
You’re very welcome! I hope you find this guide useful in the future 🙂
My 23 yr old daughter has severe eczema and I wanted to make a salve using Beeswax, honey, arnica, and possibly frankincense essential oil could you please help with the ratios? Have a Blessed Day
Kimberly, Arnica is great for bruised but should NOT be put on broken skin, which is what you’re dealing with with eczema. I have dishydrotic eczema (on my hands). There are different subtypes of eczema, but either way, you’re looking for something to soothe and heal. I can tell you a salve with just oils and beeswax is not enough – you need Shea butter. nothing heals or soothes as well. For myself I make what I’d call a creamy Balm using 1/4 cup shea butter, 1/4 cup almond oil (avocado oil would work too) and 1 Tbsp beeswax. To that I add tea tree, lavender and rosemary essential oils. You could add some frankincense too but I tried it in something else once and found it so overpowering even in tiny amount and was put off by it. I will at some point try experimenting with it again, but haven’t found the courage yet On another note – the soap you use is very vital. It has to be REAL SOAP – NOT the usual detergent based hand soaps and shower gels. An if she has it on her body then bathing with epsom salts is a must. You’ll want to try some dead sea salts for the minerals too.
Hope this helps you get started.. Good luck. 🙂
Thank you so much for this. It is very helpful.
You’re very welcome, Heather—I hope this guide helps your future formulations & experiments 🙂
My beeswax becomes hardened overtime and than separates, so i have the oils and chunks of wax
What kind of timeline are we talking about here? Minutes/hours/days/years?
What are your thoughts on combining beeswax and carnauba wax with mineral oil for cutting board finish? Thanks
I just spoke to my carpenter friend who said that a mixture of beeswax, carnauba, and mineral oil would work well as a finish but because of the film forming properties of the wax and with that the combination of food, he suggests just mineral oil or linseed oil. Hope this helps!
Very helpful! I’ve been struggling to get a good mixture for a long time. I will settle on 1:5, as it suits my purposes the best. Thank you for doing this experiment!
You’re very welcome, Carolyn—thanks for reading!
What ratio would you recommend for a solid perfume compact that wont melt in a handbag
1:3.5 to 1:4 should be about right 🙂 I use 1:4 in my solid perfume recipe, but if you live somewhere quite hot, 1:3.5 might be a better choice for you.
I’m glad you found the time on a cold winter day to try this. Useful experiment and results. Love your blog and DIY recipes. Thank you for posting.
Thanks so much, Leslie 🙂 And a big thank you for reading & supporting my wee blog!
I just want to tell you how grateful I am for your hard work. I am relatively new to making skin care potions, so this will be so very helpful! Thanks 🙂
Thanks so much, Robin 😀 Have fun with all your new potions & concoctions!
Excellent post! I am always experimenting with beeswax and it seems like I can never come up with a standard ratio from one recipe to the next. This chart is very helpful. Thank you.
Thank you, Jennifer! I can definitely relate—I can’t count how many times I’ve referred to this chart already. A big thanks for reading & DIYing with me 🙂
Thanks for doing the work and letting us in on the results. This is going to be very helpful as I continue to more products for myself.
You’re very welcome, Patti 🙂 Have fun with all your future DIY projects!
Yet another wonderful post Marie. Thank you.
Thanks so much, Mary 🙂 I hope it helps you in your future DIY adventures!
YOU ARE MY HERO!!! You have made my life so much easier. THANK YOU for this post!! I would have never thought to experiment this way. I would have just thrown my hands up in the air and sold off every bit of wax and oils I own out of pure frustration! YOU ARE THE BALM! 😉 *giggle
Thanks so much, Jennifer 🙂 I’m thrilled to be so helpful! Have fun with all your new DIY projects & thanks for reading & DIYing with me!
Hey my beeswax ointmet makes a tunnel or little hole when it dries can you give me any ideas why?
Give this a read 🙂
I just did this same experiment last month! I discovered that I actually really like a 1:2 ratio of beeswax to coconut oil as a lip balm base… my lips tend to be dry and cracked, and the more dry they are, the higher the ratio of wax I prefer… I even keep one tube of lip balm that’s 1:1 for the really cracked and dry days, though on the average day I can’t even apply it because it’s so hard! I also keep a tube of 1:3 for those rare smooth lipped days lol 🙂 ,
Ha! I’ve been thinking I should repeat it with shea butter and coconut oil as well since those are two other not-quite-solid oils that I love to work with. And I totally get you on the different lip balms for different days—my bayberry lip balm is my tackiest lip balm, and it’s the only thing that works when it’s craaaazy dry. For other days my shea butter and naked ones are great. Summer is perfect for my cocoa butter lip balm, which is the thinnest one.
I get your newsletters and have loved every single one. I have been making some of them. I have only been getting your newsletters for the last 3 or 4 months now, and have just been loving every single one. Such great ideas, and information you share for free. It just blows me away that you do that for us. I was wondering why you don’t put it in a book and sell it. I know I would buy it and so many others. I really liked this one on bees wax. I am going to make the lotion and the body butter ones. And the wood polish. I know how good it is for wood. Also, my cousin has quite the moustache, and I found the gift for him. Thank you for all you share. I absolutely love it, very informative on so many things too. Most appreciative!!! Karen Liked you on facebook.
Thank you so much for your kind words, Karen 🙂 I would LOVE to have a book! As a graphic designer book design is my dream 🙂 I actually did design and make a book once—it’s a cookbook. You can check it out here. Unfortunately there are no more left as I bound each copy by hand, which took about 5 hours per book. It was a really fun project, though. I’d love to do one on DIY projects, but I would really need some financial help to get it off the ground. Since I work full time I’d basically need a source of income that allowed me to quit my job and work on the book—they are a SERIOUS undertaking (and I would want mine done properly and beautifully designed with wonderful photos, of course). So, if you have any friends who are millionaires/publishing champions, please put me in touch! In the meantime, I’ll work on publishing content here 🙂
Thanks so much for reading & DIYing with me, it is much appreciated!
This was so informative! Thanks for conducting this experiment, it’s definitely going to help me formulate some of my cosmetics.
You’re very welcome, Sophia—thanks so much for reading 🙂
Very very useful information, many thanks! You are saving a lot of work to many of your fans haha…! I personally have experimented very little with beeswax…
Thanks again 😉
Thanks, Dechen! I hope you (and others) find this guide to be useful in your DIY adventures.
Thank you so much for sharing. This will help me so much to get the consistent results I want in my recipes. I truly appreciate your generous sharing.
You’re very welcome, Tamiam—thanks so much for reading & DIYing with me!
I love your blog. I get your letters every day and read them 3-4 times. Thank you for all your hard work, it’s really appreciated
Thank you so much, Ervena—I really appreciate the support 🙂 Thanks so much for reading, DIYing, and subscribing—it means a lot to me!
Thanks for sharing this experiment with us! I’ve been wondering the same thing sometimes when creating or testing new recipes.
You’re very welcome, Signe 🙂 Thanks so much for reading!
I am constantly amazed at how clever you are, and I am sure we would all agree you go above and beyond. Have you thought about a donation button on your blog? I would contribute. From the amount of money I have spent at NDA because of your blog surely they could sponsor a book!!! Your dreams will become a reality one day because you share so much. Keep up the fabulous work, I’m hooked
Thank you so much, Kim 🙂 I suppose I have kind of thought about a donation button, but I guess I’m rather humble(bee… ha) about asking for money. Perhaps it’s the Canadian in me 😛 Too polite for my own good (and the good of my pocketbook, haha). You can always mail me a cheque, if you’d like 😛 In the meantime, I’ll just keep sharing and doing (and dreaming about that book)—it’s what I love! Thanks for reading & DIYing with me, as always 😀
Excellent experiment, I’ve always struggled with this ratio. Can’t wait to see your next experiment!
Thanks, Melanie—I hope it helps you in your future DIYs 🙂
Marie, I love receiving your updates. I’ve been pondering the beeswax ratio lately and I am happy to know you were musing over the same dilemma. I am glad to have company in these thoughts! I greatly appreciate the specific method you took too. You save us all so much time.
Thanks so much, Rachel 🙂 With the success of this post I’ll have to do some more experiments like this as well. Thanks for reading!
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. This information is very helpful.
You’re very welcome, Lorraine 🙂 Thanks for reading!
Great ratio reference!
Thanks, Noel! I hope you find it useful in the future 🙂
You are a genius! Thank you for doing this 🙂 I love using beeswax in salves but I never know how much! Thanks again! 🙂
Thanks so much, Nicole! May all your salves be easy-breezy, guess-free successes from now on 😉
Oh my gosh……..You are amazing. This was on my list to do something exactly like this, and you have now done it for me. You rock……….I love you. I will bee organizing our first demonstration open to the public at our local college, College of Lake County, March 20 4-7 room C002. I will also be running a personal enrichment program August 2, Honey Extraction and Wax Crafting class. I will be making all of these. What you did was part of my homework. I almost feel like I owe you something. Special Bee would love to employ you for your services someday in the future? Doing events/crafts/Bee talks at local libraries, schools, colleges, etc………………. Would you bee interested? Do you have a personal e-mail where I could contact you?
Thank you so much
Aww, thanks so much SpecialBee 🙂 Your demonstration sounds wonderful, I love knowing that DIYers like yourself are out there spreading the word of getting your hands dirty! I would love to take your workshop, I’ve never been lucky enough to have bees or work with extracting honey or wax, but I really want to. Unfortunately I am a ways away, up in Canada, so I suppose I will have to learn from somebody else 🙁 You can reach me at me[at]humblebeeandme.com, but I do think the distance thing would likely interfere with my being able to work with you… that and being employed full time. I need a longer week! 🙂
You’re very welcome, Windy—I hope you find it useful in the future 🙂
Thank you so much for this very useful experiment! Well, and for your whole blog. I know you have a day job, but you could really create a wonderful business anytime you’re ready. 🙂
Thanks so much, Randi! Maybe when that 9 day week kicks in I will 😛
Excellent! Thank you so much!
No worries, Jerica—I hope this helps you one day 🙂
Wow this became so useful today! When I first saw this post, I figured, “I don’t know when, but I know one day this is going to become super useful…”
Well today was the day!
I was making a wound salve with infused olive oil and raw beeswax and this table was absolutely PERFECT for concocting my own recipe, since I’m usually basing mine off of others. Now that I’m getting into making my own, this table will be extremely useful! Thank you for doing the dirty work and figuring this out! 🙂
Wonderful! I’m so thrilled to have helped you make your own awesome wound salve 😀 Yay! Enjoy it 🙂
That table at the end is a great reference! We did a similar experiment recently with beeswax/canola oil mixtures, and it looks like our results are in good agreement. 🙂 As a scientist, it’s always nice when the results are reproducible! We blogged about it here in case anyone is interested.
Regarding the book comments above–physical books are certainly nice, but a lot of authors are also writing ebooks. The production costs are way lower, and the author typically gets to keep a bigger fraction of the proceeds. I’m sure a lot of this blog’s content in a nicely-packaged .pdf or Kindle version would be a hit!
Keep up the good work!
Wow, your experiment is WAY more scientific than mine! Colour me impressed 🙂 I just love seeing science and DIY blend!
I am thinking about an eBook… it’s just trying to find the time for all the things I am thinking about!
Thanks for reading!
Marie, Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. I am just starting out making my own spa and beauty products and trying to make it into a small business. I think of all the things I have read, yours are the most thorough and helpful. Thank you again and God Bless!
Thanks so much, Susan! Good luck with your new business 🙂
Wow, for a non-scientist you certainly have a VERY methodical and scientific approach !!!
This is exactly something I have been experimenting with…..using beeswax and jojoba oil….so it was perfect timing to come across your results. I am a scientist, and I had in mind that perhaps I was tending towards using too much oil when I reached the 1:3 stage, but my results, like yours suggested otherwise.
Thanks, Mike! I took some science in university—enough to develop a solid appreciation for scientific principles when it comes to experiments. I’m a big fan of repeatable results and understanding what does what in a recipe, and experiments like this are definitely a part of that. I’m glad your results replicated mine 😀 Thanks for reading!
That’s great experiment.. Thanks.. I am very new to all this and your post will definitely save lot of money…
Thanks, Tanny! Have fun with your DIYing 🙂
I’m wondering what these little metal dishes are exactly?
And where can I find some? I imagine they could be very useful! 🙂
I got these from Lee Valley—they don’t sell these exact ones anymore, but these are pretty close 🙂
Ahhhh….I realize this article is almost a year old but this is EXACTLY what I was looking for!! I tried my hand at solid perfume for the first time yesterday. Every recipe I have found says 1:1 ratio of beeswax and jojoba (or other) carrier oil. It turned out so hard I can’t use it….and this was the only article on the Internet I could find that would help me decide how much oil to use. THANK YOU! I am going to try the 1:4 ratio tonight.
So happy to help! I love these guides, I refer back to them often as well 🙂
Thank you SO MUCH for this tutorial. I am going to attempt to make lip balm with beeswax, coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, sea hawthorn and peppermint ee. So this helps me immensely!
You’re welcome 🙂 Have fun!
I had recently read your experiment with coconut oil and beeswax and after having gone to a local bee farm and buying 6 lb of beeswax- Imm thinking I waaay overbought! lol!
anyway – am wanting to make a “paraffin” dip for my salon and want to be economical AND good for the skin so trying to decide if I should do olive or coconut. The bee wax seller suggested olive…..
The mixture will stay in a complete liquid state in the warmer- the feet/hands will get dipped, rest in baggies and terry mittens, cool and then get pulled off (with hands rubbed with lotion- the paraffin (with added oil of some sort) -slips right off…..
Wow, 6lb! That should keep you in good waxy business for a while 🙂 And since it’s going to be wiped off I’d go with whatever carrier oil is reasonably cheap and easy for you to acquire—Costco’s cheaper olive oil will likely fit the bill 😉
I have had a very hard time mixing up a beard balm that is not to hard or does not crack on top.??????
Have you tried mine? I have found that most wax hardened balms will have a slightly harder top than the rest of the tin, but cracking shouldn’t be a constant problem. If you are experiencing both cracking and it being too hard all the time, those are both classic signs of using too much wax, so try using less.
So what ratio would you recommend to use as Mustache Wax? I have been told that it has to be stiff and sticky?
I’d probably start by playing in the 1:3–1:4 range and seeing what you think 🙂
Marie, I have to say thank you for your hard work. 🙂
Thanks so much, Dominick!
Hello! I have been having great success with a coconut beeswax and essential oil blend Salve. However, I bought some 2oz plastic push tubes and the salve is just too liquidy for the tubes it seems.
After reading your page, I see I probably need to add more beeswax, however in each recipe you and others mention to add the essential oils last, after heat.
So, my question is, can I put all this too soft salve back on the stove and add more beeswax EVEN THOUGH my essential oils are already added?!? Do I need to change my recipe to pour into a metal tin vx pouring into a plastic 2oz tube?
Thank you!! 🙂
Hi Bridget! Heat destroys essential oils, which is why I recommend adding them last. You can reheat the balm to add more wax, but you will damage the EOs in it.
HI Marie, What temperature would you recommend adding essential oils at? We’ve made several balms with the same amount of the same essential oil, but some of them you can barely tell if it’s there. Thanks for your help!
This one’s a bit tricky. Yes, many of the chemicals that make up essential oils are quite volitile, and heat exposure can damage them or cause them to dissipate. However, we also have to dilute them to use them safely, and in order to do this in a product that will be solid, the EOs must be added while it’s still liquid. So… aim for about the coolest you can get before adding them, after you’ve removed the pan from the heat. Extended heat is much more damaging than added while hot and then immediately cooled. Hope that helps!
Another grateful reader.
How long did you cook the oils? was it using a double boiler method or microwave? I’ve read that if you don’t melt the oils for at least 20 minutes that it gets grainy. Have you dealt with that? Thank you.
I did them in a double boiler, and just until everything melted. Click here for more resources on grainy body butters 🙂
Incredibly useful article, thank you. I’ve come back twice now for reference. It prompted me to do my own experiment, as I’ve been interested in making solid perfumes with beeswax and fractionated coconut oil. I’ve noticed that very small changes can really make a difference in the quality of the final product (texture, absorbability, etc.) Thanks again for the inspiration.
Happy to help, John! Have you checked out my experiment using coconut oil as well? I realize your coconut oil is fractionated, but I was surprised at the start differences between the texture of coconut oil and beeswax vs olive oil. Happy experimenting!
How can I use shea butter in my 4:1 ratio? Is it considered a oil?
Shea butter is not a liquid oil since it’s solid at room temperature. Read more here 🙂
Any recommendations for formulating a blend to use as a substitute for paraffin in hot baths (to dip hands and feet)? Paraffin is nasty stuff, but works wonderfully to coat dry hands and feet. I am seeing private spa blends online with everything from soy, beeswax, jojoba, coconut, and shea but no DIY recipes for getting the right mix for this purpose at home. Thanks!
Hi Bernadette! My recommendation is that it’ll probably require quite a bit of experimenting :/ You’ve got a fairly long list of ingredients (so lots of variables) and a really specific melting point and texture that you’re aiming for. Having never had a paraffin treatment, and with all those ingredients, I’d be stabbing wildly in the dark if I took a guess. I would recommend looking for a wax that has a lower melting point than beeswax to use in the mix (on its own or with beeswax)—I think soy wax is your only natural option. Good luck!
Hi! I just wanted to thank you so much for doing this – and especially for doing it buy weight. Recipes calling for “3/4 cups beeswax” make me crazy!
My lesson for this afternoon is, beeswax is a comparatively soft and low-melting wax, and not to expect recipes made with other waxes to be the same. Which I knew, of course, and yet failed to apply to practice. The solid perfume I just attempted at 1:4 of rose floral wax (real rose, but so much more affordable than attar of roses) and jojoba turned out not just firm but hard like unto a rock, and did not melt thoroughly on my skin even when rubbed vigorously. But then, floral waxes (or at least rose and tuberose which are the ones I’ve tried so far) are *hard*.
So, I’m taking notes, waiting for my much-too-solid solid perfume to cool, at which point I will break it in half and try again on each half with more oil. And in the meantime, I have this page bookmarked for when I’m actually using beeswax. 🙂
Hey! You’re very welcome 🙂 And I’m 100% with you on weights, I’ve never understood how people can expect consistent results when trying to measure solid objects by volume… it would be like telling somebody that you’re “15 gallons” instead of your weight LOL.
How interesting that your floral wax is hard :/ I have rose wax and it’s roughly the same texture as coconut oil, so it’s completely useless as a wax.
Thank you for doing this post (and the others like it)! I find myself returning again and again to it as I’m making up my own recipes. I really appreciate that your assessment includes multiple qualities of the resulting mixture since depending on what I’m making different characteristics are more important than others. I also love that the amounts are by weight, not volume. Again, thank you for doing all the hard work and sharing the results!
Happy holidays to you and yours!
Thanks, Jen! I use these experiments all the time, too 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing this! I’m always frustrating myself “guesstimating” the ratios so I always end up with different consistencies for my balms. I would have never taken the time to do this test myself so it is so generous of you to share and save time for people like me! 😉
You’re very welcome—enjoy! 🙂
Do you suppose Burt’s Bees hand salve is 4 : 1? I would like to get that firmness, texture, and consistency. Thanks.
Having never touched the salve I really have no idea, but 4:1 is a good salve consistency 🙂
Hi, where would you say your dreadlock wax fits in this scale?
Hey Chris! Making a direct comparison between the two isn’t really possible because the ingredients are pretty different. The dread wax is 20% beeswax, so 1:4, but the oils aren’t all liquid, and some of that is honey, so it’s not a great comparison.
Hello! So I’m very new to this, and I’m trying to make chapstick using almond oil, Shea Butter, castor oil, vitamin E oil, beeswax, coconut oil, and peppermint oil. However I have no idea what ratios to use of each, and I don’t have the ingredients with me right now to test the solidity, consistency, etc of each.I was wondering if you could help me out? Thanks a bunch!
Have you looked at the oodles of lip balm recipes I have published? That would be a good place to start 🙂
Marie M. – that’s whole lot of different ingredients. Any reason why you want to use them all? Castor oil in particular is probably going to be a little strange to work with – it’s very thick and sticky, and it’s strange stuff in how it affects the skin, too. It can actually be drying. (No, not sure how a vegetable oil can be drying to the skin, but that’s been my experience with it.)
If you’re new to this, like you say, I’d really recommend doing a simple oil-and-wax blend. Looking at the ratios above, I’d say you could try 1:4 beeswax:almond oil (by weight, natch), and peppermint oil for scent.
I make a lip balm using vegetable butters rather than wax to make it solid, but it took me a lot of work, time, experimentation, and documentation to get the consistency to work (otherwise it goes grainy and horrible), and even after doing it for years, I still sometimes get it wrong. Putting wax in will help stabilize it, but…I really recommend starting simple. You’d be surprised how good a lip balm that will make. And then once you have a foundation, you can start experimenting with other ingredients to see what you like.
okay if this has already been asked, i applogize, i didn’t read each of the comments only a couple. so when it’s 1:8 that might as well be like 1t beeswax to 8t oil/water/whatever. correct? i’m starting to make a few homemade items, but need it to be more on the liquid side of things when mixed with hot water.
could you use coconut oil or just an olive oil?
Hey Katy! Everything here is by weight (along with a good 90% of my recipes), so ditch that teaspoon; it has no power here! ;P But yes, that is the general idea; it’s always 1 part beeswax with however many parts of liquid oil. Don’t use water (or other liquids), that won’t emulsify and will yield very different results (likely chunks of beeswax in a bit of water).
I did a different experiment with coconut oil 🙂
I love your post, planning to try one of your lip balm recopies today.
Thanks! Have fun making 🙂
Thanks for the wax/oil ratio chart, very helpful!!
I’d love it if you but a bitcoin donation link so we can donate to you. When I find something useful online I always like to donate as a thank you and bitcoin is so easy to do that. (there are a bunch of ways to do that, the first that come to mind are coinbase and bitpay, but google for a simple how to…)
Hey Matthew! Thanks so much for reading, and happy to help 🙂 I currently have a Patreon account that you can donate through (which I’d hugely appreciate, of course!), but it looks like they don’t accept bitcoin at this point (though they said they were launching it two years ago and apparently didn’t). I took a look at BitPay and I’d have to collect $100 CAD before I’d get paid, which seems unlikely to happen within the next… ever :/
Im trying to figure out what ratio to use for a cuticle cream/salve that I will be putting in those slidey tins. Not really sure?
I’d probably start around 1:3.5, but you should really do your own experiments to figure out what you like 🙂
It’s the annoying guy from YouTube comments 🙂
I read both of your guides and I am thinking about the combination of all 3 products. I want to make a hair pomade. I think I will start with 1:3 ratios and take it from there. That’s 1 beeswax, 1 coconut, 1 castor oil. Maybe slightly less castor oil. Not looking for very shiny finish.
I would love to hear your thoughts about it.
Hey Jim! Readers are never annoying 😉 I’d say try it—start small, take notes, and just DO IT! I’ve never tried that particular recipe and I don’t use hair pomade, so all I can say is get out your ingredients and make yourself a wee mess 😀 Happy making!
Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to do this and the kindness and thoughtfulness to share it with everyone. I am going to make this today and was unsure of the exact ratios………………… not any more.
love from Scotland
No worries! This experiment has likely been just as helpful for me as it has been for anyone else, and I’m more than happy to share 🙂 Happy making!
My first batch turned out perfect, so again a big “Thank you” !
This stuff has got to be the best moisturiser ever. I can’t believe how quickly it has softened and healed my dry chapped hands.
That is so awesome! With that success under your belt I’m sure you’ll start falling further down the DIY rabbit hole in no time 😉
So helpful, thank you.
No worries—happy making! 🙂
I’m making a bodybutter for babies/children, and I’m doing a 1:8 ratio (almond+beeswax), since it needs to melt/rub off pretty fast.
I do also have cocoabutter and sheabutter in the mix. Do you know/think if the mixture gets affected differently when there’s sheabutter/cocabutter in it as well. (Meaning the cosistensy).
I’ve made the recipe with far more wax before (around 1:4), but the cosistensy gets pretty hard, and it’s like the beeswax clutters in the mix so you need to rub the cream a lot between your hands before it melts properly.
Hey Peter; Yes, if you include a thicker butter in a concoction, that will impact the consistency. I’ve done quite a few different experiments including different butters and waxes that you should check out—here 🙂
Thank you so much for this! I have just whipped up my very first batch of lip balm and it’s wonderful!
Yay! I’m so glad 😀 Enjoy!
After feeling oh so inspired by your blog, guess what I’m doing right now. Attempting to render my own beeswax scrapings. I stopped in at a local Mennonite farm, (here in Southern Ontario) and asked if I could have some beeswax. I think they thought I was an idiot, because the wax is a by-product of their production, so it was in a big pile, overflowing onto the floor. They found me a pail, and asked for 1$ for it. (I gave them 10$ instead) Right now it’s in my oven over some cheese cloth, a tinfoil roasting pan, and an old crock pot container to collect it. Here’s hoping I don’t set the house on fire, and am ended up with beautiful home done beeswax. Fingers crossed.
Oooh, how fun! I really look forward to hearing how your adventures in DIY beeswax rendering goes!
Well, it wasn’t nearly as romantic as I thought it would be. Made a few mistakes, learned a lot, and am excited for try number 2. The yeild in the end, was much less then I was expecting, but I should have enough for some lip balm, and a salve. It was a nice way to fill a rainy day.
Ah well, maybe that’s why they only wanted $1 😛
Thank you, Marie, for this article. I’ve been making my own skin lotions and diaper creams using the 1-6 ratio for over a year! I had a question, however, I tired to scale up a batch for some friends and boiled all my ingredients (beeswax, coconut oil and argon oil) in a metal pot instead of individual containers (double boiling) like I usually do and it came our so much harder than normal! Not silky and melty to the touch like normal. The ratios are right (I’ve quadruple checked!). Any idea what the issue could be? I’m using a new wax but its organic like all the others! Any insight would be greatly appreciated!
You might’ve scorched the wax—that’s pretty much the only thing I can think of, unless you are doing your ratios in volume instead of weight. If you’re working in volume scaling up tends to backfire because volume measurements are super inaccurate, and making a larger batch multiplies those inaccuracies.
Hi there! I know this is an older post, but i was wondering which ratio you would use for a good stick deodorant consistency? Thank you
Probably somewhere around 1:3.5, but that will of course vary with other additives 🙂
Hello, I’m a male, not familiar with lip gloss. I’m trying to find a ratio with a consistency similar to apple sauce. Is the 1:8 the closest to that?
Thank you for this post, very helpful!
Would you say the 1:7 or 1:8 ratio is soft enough to dispense through a bottle vs a jar? I’m looking to make something similar to Carol’s Daughter Hair Balm (comes in a bottle). Thank you for such thorough explanations that are still easy to understand. I love experimenting with raw ingredients!
Oh and if not, would cera bellina wax be better for that kind of thing? The CD Hair Balm uses beeswax along with some solid and liquid oils but I had only planned to use olive and safflower oil.
I think so, but my memory is only as good as what’s written in this post, so we are working from the same information 🙂 Try it and see!
Hi Marie from tropical island of Bali. 🙂 Since I’m living in very humid tropical island, I’ve been unsuccessful in trying to concoct a good solid perfume in a tin. I want to use beeswax, jojoba oil and shea butter. Maybe you’ll be so kind to give me some pointers on ratios? Thanking you so much. :))
Since you live in such a drastically different climate from me I’d recommend doing this exact experiment yourself and working from your results 🙂
Will the 1:8 ratio be perfect to add in my lipgloss? Will this ratio harden the gloss?
Try it and see; that’s not how I make lip gloss (search for “lip gloss” on the blog for many recipes), but you might like it 🙂
Well done,and thanks so much for that practical examples
Thanks for reading!
did you use natural beeswax for this one? can we use this for the whole body? thanks. 🙂
This isn’t a recipe; it’s just an experiment meant to guide you in creating your own recipes. As you can see in the photos, the beeswax is golden.
You are my hero! Thank you for the experiment and detailed chart of the results.
Happy to help! 😀
You’re incredible. I was about to go scour the internet for this information and lo and behold, you provided it years go!! I’m working on creating a dupe of Meow Meow Tweet’s baking soda free deodorant stick, and beeswax ratios in deodorant sticks are so hard to get right. This is a great starting place. Thank you so much!
Yay! Happy my experiments have given you a good place to start 🙂 I’ve done more of them, too—just search the site for “quick guide”!
Do you think the ratio of 1:5 would be good to get a Vick’s consistency. I wan to use jojoba, but I was told Castor oils is better for this.
I’m afraid I haven’t used Vicks in years so I can’t really say beyond what you can read in this post—you should do your own experiments and see what you think 🙂
Hey! Have you tried soy wax? Im thinking of making vegan beardbalm so a substitute for beeswax is needed.
I’m afraid I haven’t, I’ve yet to find a Canadian source that will sell me less than a kilo to experiment with 😛
I’ve read everything! I’ve ordered 1gallon of Organic Hemp oil& Virgin Coconut oil plus bees wax & Shey & Coco butter but cannot find a recipe! Do I skip Coconut oil and just use the Hemp and butter and bees wax ? I’m making or attempting to make healing salve :
Sorry, I feel like I’m joining a conversation halfway here. Why so much of those oils? Why those oils if you didn’t have a recipe in mind? Have you tried searching “salve” here on Humblebee & Me? There are quite a lot of recipes for various salves 🙂
Hello! I would first like to thank you for this amazing experiment. It has helped me a ton. But, I have one question. (And this question pertains to this aritcle and the one about the coconut oil ratio) I make a pomade and I use butters AND liquid oils. (shea butter and carrier oils) I have really been struggling with finding the right consistency. It always seems a bit too hard for my liking. So, I believe 1:4 ratio is what I am looking for and my question is: When calculating my beeswax to oil ratio, do I add the butter and oils together as my ? For example, to fill a 4oz tin, 22g Beeswax / 30g Shea Butter + 30g Grapeseed Oil + 30g Jojoba Oil = 22g / 90g (a 1:4 ratio.) Or, does the ratio only work when comparing the beeswax to butter alone.
This experiment is specifically about beeswax and olive oil; you’ll have to extrapolate from there. Something harder (like shea butter) is likely to result in a firmer end product. A liquid oil is likely to be similar, but that’s not a given. You’ll just have to try it and adjust as needed 🙂
Hi Marie, great post. Im actually looking to start a business making all-natural shoe and leather care products here in Southeast Asia, locally-made beeswax, rice bran wax and coconut oil are cheap. Im actually surprised that 1:1 wax and oil ratio (which is ideal for a shoe leather conditioner) hardens the way it did, I guess Ill have to use a solvent. Other than something like d-limonene (which is expensive here) can you recommend any other types of natural solvent? Im looking to make natural products only so don’t want yo use turpentine. Cheers.
If you’re in SE Asia you should really do these experiments yourself; I’m assuming it’s much warmer there than it is in Canada! You may find you don’t need that solvent.
I’m very glad to have found your site. I was looking for a liquid ratio for massage and body is, but the radius you’ve provided we’ll be helpful in making my cinnamon lip balm. I make sugar and salt scrubs, hair rinses, body wash, body wash, body oils, hair oils, lip balms, oil based parfumés, and mood altering essential oil blends. I’m always looking to perfect my mixtures and one day I accidentally added some granulated beeswax instead of granulated Shea butter pellets to my winter body oil blend. It kept falling out of solution, no matter how much I gently heated the mix. I added other components to try to pull it into solution but as soon as it comes, it fell out again. So frustrating… Finally, I added my essential oils and bottled the mixture. Something interesting happened once it cooled completely. Even though much of the wax did fall out of solution it imparted a honey texture to the oil blend. The oil blend has a viscosity that can only have been added because of the beeswax. In use, it creates and almost satin seal upon the skin. I live very close to Canada, in an area of harsh climate with extreme weather variability. I had defence against the cold chasing wind and snow like never before while at the same time my friends and husband commented on the change in my skin appearance and texture. I’ll have to run a series of experiments as you’ve indicated above with higher radius of my base winter oil blend to attempt to replicate my results. Thank you for your inspiration.
How interesting! It sounds like you got some wonderful added occlusiveness from the wax—I wonder if it’s possible to get a similar effect with just a very low addition of beeswax (~1%?). Hmm! Your end product sounds like a wonderful happy accident—I love it when that happens!
Very helpful post! Thank you for doing and going through all the extra work to share the results of this experiment!
You’re very welcome! I refer back to this quite frequently as well 🙂
How would I adapt the recipe if I was adding shea butter? Would I count the shea as part of the wax weight?
Shea butter would be much closer to the liquid oil—it is nowhere close to being a wax, thickening-wise. You might discount the beeswax by 5% since the shea will offer some thickening, but it won’t do too much for hardening. It’s sort of like how adding a carrot to a cake doesn’t really mean you need to reduce the sugar 🙂
I came here to ask the same thing as Noah haha! Thanks so much for all you’ve done, this is such a good resource.
No worries, and happy making!
Wondering what product you are doing your measurements with? I assume you are using some type of digital scale?
Yes, I am using a digital scale. I have more details here.
I use 1:3 bw:OO with a few drops of Tea tree oil added. I use this as a heavy duty gardening hand cream and for waterproofing my leather walking boots!
Awesome! I love multi-purpose DIYs 🙂
I just found this and it was extremely wonderful and a emotional saver. I am trying to make my own hair product using beeswax as the base and for the life of me,I could not figure out how to get it soft! This saved the day. My question is, how do I make it to where when I wet my hair it won’t become wax?
My last question is, I am trying out different oils to see what it will do to the beeswax texture. I was wondering if there was anything I could do to keep the mixture from drying out when I put it in my hair? I have made really great batches but once I put it in my hair, it leaves. It’s almost like I am missing a hydration step.
I too love these guides!!! I’ve the charts all printed out and hanging on my workroom wall for easy reference. It is wonderful to hear that you are trying out different oils to experience them and how they work together. That’s the fun part of this hobby I think! If I am reading your first question correctly, if you have a higher percentage of beeswax in your formula, it will be tricky to wash out. Your second question though, I’m not quite sure what you mean by “dry out”? Maybe this will help you out! Check out this link for various hair balms Marie has made.
Very helpful information! I am about to make my own massage medium for sports and remedial massage therapy so I need a a consistency with which I can massage my clients but also has some traction. In other words I am looking for a consistency that is consistent with that of a tub of chilled spreadable butter. Do you reckon that is the 1:5 or 1:6 ration?
Try them both and see what you think! The difference will be pretty subtle so I suspect personal preference will factor in heavily.
Im not great at conversions or even really math. For a 1:4 ratio… if I have 5 gallons of a liquid, which I believe is about 40 lbs, I would want about 10 lbs of beeswax. Is that correct?
1:4 = 1/5 = 20%. That should help with your math 🙂 Also, check out this post. Happy making!
This was a great read. birchees.ca which sells an organic leather conditioner I believe does something like this using birch tar oil and beeswax. It is similar to your 1:4 ratio melts into the leather at room temperature with just a little rubbing.
The combination of the smoky smell from the birch tar oil and beeswax is amazing, I have never wanted to actually taste a boot before!
Does this mean the 1:8 ratio can be used to make a creamy/butter texture lipgloss?
It could be a good place to start 🙂
Hi Marie! Although this is an older post, I’ve gone through all your recipes & have your book! BEAUTIFUL!!!! I’m trying & trying & trying to formulate a nourishing absorbent anti ageing face balm consistency! I simply can’t seem to get a good slip! Have the same problem with wind up deodorant recipes ♀️.. Would a different wax be a better option or would it be better to omit wax & use butters instead? I’m also really conflicted with which oils are best to use in a face balm? SOOOOOOO many to pick from & I just about have them all! Also, I REALLY HOPE you do some more recipes with MENTHOL CRYSTALS one day! LOVE YOUR WORK!!
Thanks for your hard work and for sharing it with us! I just poured my infused comfrey oil and was worried about the ratio. I found your information just in time!
So, if I wanted you make something that could be applied to the skin via deodorant tube, would you recommend the 1:3 ratio?
And, if I wanted to make a ointment, would the 1:6 9r 1:7 ratio be better? I am reluctant you use the 1 :8 ratio, for fear that the product would get away from me.
If the observations I’ve shared here aren’t quite enough, I really recommend trying this experiment yourself to see what YOU think and to gain some hands-on experience. Happy making!
fantastic experiment. your time has not been wasted . Thankyou.
Hi Marie, Thank you for such helpful information! I found your site while trying to get some guidance on making salves that contain shea butter and beeswax. Previously, I was using beeswax pellets and the consistency was perfect. I switched to a higher grade beeswax in block form and it has completely changed the consistency, making it so much more greasy. Even when adding a fraction of the amount of beeswax. Do you have any suggestions or ideas of how to remedy this? I’ve added arrowroot powder also, but am unable to recreate the original product when using the new beeswax. I would love to keep using my new beeswax as it supports my local businesses. Any suggestions you have are greatly appreciated!!
I am looking for a ratio of beeswax and linseed oil that could be applied on wooden turned bowls as a food safe product. A mix that would almost be like a syrup rather than a paste.
Do you have any suggestions?