I have been watching "How Clean Is Your House". In the programme they melted
in the microwave some Beeswax to polish some old furniture. It can be heated
over a pan of hot water too they said.
I ordered some from eBay and have a problem.
When I do that and leave it to go cool it goes rock hard. What do I need to
add to it to make sure the beeswax stays soft so I can use it. I am sure
they added some kind of oil to it?? Maybe wrong but they said it was the
best way to polish old furniture.
Absolutely. That programme makes me laugh. Cleaning things with vinegar &
baking soda FFS. They have absolutely no bloody idea about cleaning, they
have just jumped on the green, natural is best bollox bandwagon. They need
to pop down to Tesco & buy some decent products.
Modern polishes, hard surface cleaners & detergent sanitizers leave any of
these old wives tale cleaners in the dust. Vinegar & baking soda clean
Dave - The Medway Handyman
They're also highly damaging long-term. This electro-polishing hack is
Silver Dip (thiourea inhibited with citric acid) has the great
advantage of not being damaging to silver, even when you're cleaning
considerable sulphide tarnish off it. OTOH, it's toxic. Sainsburys
sell it, but not Tesco.
I disagree. I have cleaned lots of things with Vinegar and baking powder.
Does the tops of my cupboards much better than any supermarket rubbish.
I think the old fashioned methods are absolutely great and will always chose
to use them before any Tesco products.
On Wed, 21 Jan 2009 00:05:52 GMT, "The Medway Handyman"
....yet these ingredients are commonly used in "Modern polishes, hard
surface cleaners & detergent sanitizers"
Almost all modern household cleaning products are pure spin and
contain nothing new or improved. In many cases using products now
banned by COSHH and other namby pamby legislation produce better
Even beeswax isn't what it used to be.
Well, I'm as sceptical as you regarding most of the advice, but after 10
years of trying to get rid of an embarassing encrustation in the upstairs
loo with all kinds of commercial products (including the black Harpic
varient which claims to include HCL ) to no avail, I bunged 500ml of
distilled vinegar down it & it worked a treat after 24 hours (I'd left some
of the other stuff for days). All that was left was some sediment which
flushed away. I was on the verge of replacing the bowl.
I think the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Branded products
are often just over-priced basic chemicals but it's easier to find a
kettle descaler than phosphoric acid, and small amounts of anything are
Keeping some basic chemicals around the house is useful, whatever your
Strong alkali, caustic soda (although washing soda is adequate for most
Strong acid, sulphamic (comes in crystals, safe to handle, but still ph1)
Solvents, white spirit, meths, isopropanol.
I exclude hydrochloric acid and ammonia, both of which blow your head
off with the fumes before you've actually used them for anything, and
don't do anything the above can't. I'm going to duck now before someone
tells me brick acid is a must-have, and I must admit that I've never
tried sulphamic on cement stained brickwork.
Except when they're _cheaper_. Domestic cleaners are sold in
convenient quantities, at a price that's affordable (maybe excessive,
but not ridiculous or it won't sell) and are in purities adequate for
Industrial chemicals are often expensive (you're not usually spending
your own money), sold by outfits that scorn retail, come in quantities
that need a truck to deliver and may be of exceptional purity that you
don't need, but do pay for. Don't rule out "Mr Muscle" kitchen
cleaner, as you can't do much that's better, cheaper or more
convenient, even in a lab.
Best of all though tends to be farmers' shops. Bulk, simple chemicals,
reasonable purity and price, and a quantity that's a useful size. Best
place you'll find for NaOH, conc. H2SO4 etc.
You can't bend wood with ammonia in any concentration that's vaguely
safe to handle. You're not going to achieve much with .880, you would
(commercially) be looking at anhydrous and that's hard to work with.
I'd agree with your general point though - I use 26% ammonia for
fuming oak to darken it (another reason why it's not a good idea for
much bending) and even though ammonia is one of the few common
chemicals I'm at all sensitive to, a full-face mask (Avon S10) is all
I ever need to work with it.
Define "strong" though, as that's a little more subtle for acids than
mere concentration. I use at least five workshop acids commonly
(sulphuric, hydrochloric, sulphamic, phosphoric, acetic) and two
rarely (nitric, chromic) and you have to choose according to task, not
just pick the most concentrated.
Samantha Booth coughed up some electrons that declared:
The stuff I got was a blend of beeswax and canauba wax which seems to work
quite well from the tin (being sold as furniture polish). Given the pungent
odour, I suspect it has some solvent in it as well to keep it soft. It
certainly goes on as a paste, and then becomes harder and harder as it's
polished, which suggests to me a solvent is evaporating off.
It sounds like Sheila's turps suggestion might be on the money.
Carnuba wax is even harder tha beeswax when the solvents have gone.
Don't get taken in by all this 'feeding the wood' crap, what a wax
does is to seal the pores so that the wood doesn't dry out. Despite
being hard it still wears away.
The best commercial waxes that I know are Liberon's Black Bison range. I
use a lot of this in my workshop. The one you'd want is the 'natural'.
The smell of the solvent goes in four or five days, some love it, some
Brilliant thanks. Sounds like that's the one. Will give it a whirl. I don't
know if its cheaper to buy it ready done never thought of that. Just liked
the idea of using a raw beeswax and doing it myself really. What company do
ready made stuff?
Thanks again you peeps xxx
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