Wax Removal



What is an adjunct?  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary:  ad·junct Noun   /ˈajəNGkt/  A thing added to something else as a supplementary rather than an essential part.  So adjuncts are helpful, additional, but not necessarily essential items.

OILS: There are many pysankary that use adjuncts when removing wax.  The most common is oil.  Some swear by olive oil, and others feel canola oil works just as well. I take no stand on this issue.

When is oil helpful?

When you are removing wax using a candle, a thin coating of oil (not so much as to make the egg slippery) is felt by some to make the wax “run” off much more easily.  It slips off more easily, requiring less rubbing to remove the wax.

Others find it quite helpful when using a microwave.  They note that a nice coat of wax will allow the beeswax to run off the egg and puddle below it, making the egg much easier to wipe off.

Oil appears to be most useful when working with etched eggs.  Many suggest drenching the egg with oil before attempting to remove wax, no matter which method is used.  Others apply a drop or two of oil. In either case, the oil saturates the bare, etched areas of eggshell, preventing the dirty black beeswax from staining them in the removal process.

CLEANING “RAGS”:  Although I would argue that cleaning rags are actually an integral part of the wax removal process, they should be discussed somewhere, and this seems as good a place as any.  As noted before, our ancestors used old, soft rags, and then saved them for their magical/medicinal value.  Most of us today depend on penicillin for curing erysipelas, so we can use other types of cleaning cloths.

I use paper towels, and find them to be perfect for my needs.  They are sturdy, and don’t shred and leave little bits of tissue embedded in the remaining wax like facial tissues can.  I like to be as green as possible, so I use paper towels that I’ve used as work area covers (I work on a stack of paper towels, and the wax and pencil from the eggs rubs off onto them).  I also use paper towels that were used for drying freshly dyed eggs in my classes.  Once the paper towels dry out, the dye does not rub off.  I fold them into quarters, stack them up, and have them ready when I need them.

Other people swear by facial tissue or toilet paper.  Both are less expensive than paper towels, and the cheap, generic (store brand) types are actually better than the expensive ones, because they are firmer and tougher, and less likely to shred. I generally use tissues only for residual wax removal, applying a few drops of Goof Off or Goo Gone to an egg with one.

  Hot Oil  

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Removing the Wax: Adjuncts