Wax Removal

Hair Dryer Method


Several years ago I stopped into the Polish Art Center in Hamtramck, MI on a weekday before Easter. Joan was teaching an advanced class, and I was amazed to see her blow drying a pysanka to get the wax off.  I had never seen this done before, and it seemed like a cumbersome way to remove the wax, at least to me.

Some people do swear by this method, saying it is an easy way or removing wax without risking soot or scorching.

DO NOT use this method with full eggs; the heat can causes the liquid white to expand, and force it out through the shell.  This makes quite a mess, causing the dye to become blotchy and forming small excrescences on the egg.  Use this method only on emptied eggs.

PREPARATION:  Plug in the hair dryer, and set it on high.  Double check to make sure that the drain hole is open, with no membranes or wax plug in the way.

PROCEDURE:  There are several approaches to using the hair dryer for wax removal.  One is to hold the pysanka in one hand, while holding the dryer in the other.  It has been suggested that if you do this, you might want to place a winter mitten on the hand with the egg to keep it form getting too hot.

The other method is to place the egg on an absorbent surface (paper towel, coffee filter), and direct the hot air onto it.  Make sure the egg is in such a position that it won’t roll away.  The wax will melt and drip onto the paper surface.

In either case, when the wax gets glossy and begins to melt, wipe it off.  Then heat some more, and wipe some more, until you have finished the egg.  If there are any small smudges of wax remaining, you can choose to remove them with Mineral Spirits or Goo Gone.

I have not actually tried this method (with hair as short as mine I have no need for a hair dryer), so I cannot really tell you the pros and cons any more than this.  If you have had experience with this method, write me and let me know about it (see link below).

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Removing the Wax with a Hair Dryer