A list of uses for beeswax can be found at This Old House, which I have pared down and made two additions.
- Unstick a drawer. A thin coat of beeswax on wooden rails makes the wood drawers on Granny’s old bureau slide smoothly. It does windows, too. Use wax to lubricate sashes.
- Renew a zipper. Our tent has a long zipper for the front door, and after years of use, it just would not zip (or stay zipped if you were lucky enough to get the tab to move). It seemed irreparable. Long zippers are very expensive. After some research, we rubbed beeswax on the teeth — at least nine feet per side — and now the zipper works like a charm.
- Whip” a frayed rope. I love this tip. It’s easy and very helpful. Wrap a waxed length of string tightly around the rope’s tip about a dozen times. Tie off the loose end and trim the excess.
- Prepare screws. Georgia Beekeepers’ Association president Robert Brewer rubs wax over the threads of screws to make them drive smoothly and resist corrosion.
- Make spoon butter. Preserve woodenware in the kitchen like spoons and cutting boards and wooden knife handles.
- Polish concrete counters. Give a sealed, dark concrete countertop a muted, natural luster by rubbing melted beeswax over the surface with a chamois cloth. Let it dry and then wipe, says Fred Hueston, director of the National Training Center for Stone and Masonry Trades.
- Preserve a patina. Seal a copper sink by rubbing it with softened beeswax and polishing off the excess with a lint-free rag, says Shane Jost, owner of Mountains Edge Copperart.
- Waterproof leather. Combine equal parts beeswax, tallow, and neatsfoot oil (available online). Warm the mixture and use a rag to rub it on your work boots or gloves.