Wax Removal


How do you go from the ugly duckling egg on the left to the beautiful pysanka on the right?  You have to remove the wax.  But before you remove the wax, you have to make sure the egg is ready.

BEFORE REMOVING WAX:  Once you have finished writing the design in wax, the egg should be dipped into the final color. The last dye bath may need to be longer than for previous colors, because, for the final color, you want good coverage of the dye and a deep, dark final color without blotches or missed spots. Dip the egg into the dye, wait 5-15 minutes, and then remove the egg from the dye, dab it dry, and let it sit a few minutes. 

You may wish to check the egg halfway along, as light areas can form in those spots where the egg is touching on the bottom of the dye container or leaning against the wall.  Emptied eggs, which float in the dye and have to be held down, can have light spots where the utensil used to hold them down touches the egg.  It is important to reposition the egg, if needed, for good, even dye coverage.  (Eggs which are heavily waxed may not have this problem, if the egg rests on a waxed area.)

Let the shell dry completely before attempting to remove the wax. You can test the dryness of the shell by holding the egg gently to your cheek or just above your upper lip: 


(Remember, only try this on an egg that has been dried already, unless you want a dye mustache.) If the eggshell feels cold and clammy to touch, it is still wet, and not yet ready.  If the eggshell feels smooth to touch, it is dry and ready for wax removal.

To be absolutely sure that the final color has set and dried fully, you might wish to wait a few hours, or even overnight, before removing the wax.

WAX REMOVAL:  How do you remove the wax?  There are a myriad of ways, but all fall into two basic categories: heat removal (melting it off) or chemical dissolution (dissolving the wax off with solvents).

On the following pages (some of which are still UNDER CONSTRUCTION), are discussions of the various techniques of wax removal:

HEAT Removal




                Oil Lamp

                Alcohol Lamp

                Halogen Lamp

                Microwave Oven

                Toaster Oven

                Hair Dryer

                Heat Gun

                Hot Oil       


                Olive Oil

                Cleaning Cloths



                Goo Gone

                Goof Off

                Mineral Spirits



       Solvent Safety


WAX REMOVAL: Finishing Up

        Removing Residual Wax        

        Removing Soot

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Removing the Wax