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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a!
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Sunday, July 31, 2011

How do you Get Beeswax Off of a Ceiling? (!) You Iron It, Of course.

As you know this has been a topsy-turvy month. I moved out of my old house and Jeff and Valerie moved into it. In the old house once upon a recent time, wax exploded in my kitchen, sending globs of wax all over the ceiling, cabinets and counter. What a mess!!

The house was going to be painted while I was at the beach this past week, so Jeff and I set upon the task of getting the globs of wax off of the ceiling. I learned a number of years ago how to get wax off of floors so I thought maybe the same approach would apply to the ceiling.

I bought a whole roll of brown paper, figuring we would need a lot.

We plugged in the iron and heated it up. I cut the brown paper into usable sizes. Even with the preparation, this was a hard task. It's not fun or easy to iron upside down like that while standing on a ladder. I had waited until Jeff could help me so I would have a spotter when it was my turn.

He's laughing in the picture - we both were - at the ridiculous nature of this task, but we managed to iron all of it off.

I told the painter about it before she came to give me an estimate. By the time she arrived at the house to do the estimate, she had checked with her painter colleagues and none of them had faced this problem before. She didn't have any idea what to do.

I told her Jeff and I would iron it off.

Imagine her surprise when she arrived on Monday to find nary a trace of ceiling wax. I immediately think of Alice in Wonderland in "The Walrus and the Carpenter" and want to say that forever more I'll read that line as "shoes and ships and CEILING wax, of cabbages and kings."

(I suppose it is important for the Walrus to talk of "sealing wax," however, among the many things.)

The miracle of ironing wax with brown paper is that the wax liquifies in the heat and soaks into the paper, leaving the ceiling altogether.

Does call for some awkward body positions, though!


I will not have this problem in my new house. I didn't like the stove that was in my new kitchen because it had a gas oven but it seemed a shame to simply replace it. So I had a plumber come and install the all-gas stove into my bee part of my new basement.

Any further explosions will not be in a pretty cooking kitchen, but rather in a basement area set up purely for bee stuff and other messy business.  I plan to harvest honey down there, make lip balm, lotion, melt wax, all the messy stuff.  I can build bee equipment down there - it's really a beekeeper's heaven.

I had the stove moved down there and put in a utility sink right beside it so I would have hot and cold water.  There's a work bench - soon I'll post pictures.  I'm going to have about 1/3 of my basement devoted to bees.

7 comments:

  1. I think I am just as excited as you about your new place. The Bee room sounds perfect! I have silly string on the ceiling of an upstairs bedroom (I had JUST painted) where my son and grandson had a silly string fight. Wonder if the iron would work for that! Good job.

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  2. That's a riot! I can't even imagine ever having enough wax that would explode but give me time. Give me time. I hope you enjoy your new space, it sounds lovely! Anna in MD.

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  3. Safety note: Wax should NEVER explode. I got water in mine as it was melting in the presto pot because the container for the wax tube fastener turned over in its hot water and without thinking I quickly grabbed it and poured the wax back into the Presto Pot. Of course it had water in it and the water then reached the boiled point and wax went everywhere. DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME! Wax and water do not mix.

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  4. I think I would have tried steaming it and then rubbing it off. The idea of holding an iron above my head sounds heavy and dangerous. Lucky you didn't get hurt by the wax and water explosion, I guess it is like pouring water on a chip pan fire. I am only a first year beekeeper so I have all this to look forward to.

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  5. I tried hot water first - steam with a hot tea kettle over my head actually felt more dangerous than what we did! But the heat with steam did soften the wax but more spread it than lifted it. Ironing onto brown paper lifts it off of the surface and it soaks into the paper - Voila, no more ceiling wax!

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  6. Ha! The title of this post really grabbed my attention!

    I'll keep the ironing trick in mind in case I spill wax myself. Though, hopefully none will end up on the ceiling!

    :)

    Thanks for sharing!

    Chris

    Show Me The Honey

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  7. i have never tried to take wax off of a ceiling but this is the way you take wax off of carpets. i have done that before but we use a small hand towel [not paper] and it just transfers the wax from the carpeting to the towel. this also works for clothing naturally and it is a good way to transfer some stains from one item to another.

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