Bath + Beauty bee

Published on February 29th, 2012 | by Becky Striepe

21

Vegan Crafting Made Easy: A Vegan Beeswax Alternative

vegan beeswax alternativeWe have been all about the beeswax this week! Julie shared a recipe for natural beeswax furniture polish on Monday and then a whole roundup of beeswax crafts yesterday. I’ve got to say that as a vegan crafter, I want to get in on all this eco-friendly waxy action! But since beeswax comes from bees, that makes it off limits for vegan crafting purposes. So! I did a bit of digging and turned up a great vegan beeswax alternative: candelilla wax!

Like beeswax, candelilla wax is totally natural. Unlike beeswax, though, it’s a plant product. Candelilla wax is made by boiling the leaves and stems of the candelilla shrub with a very low concentration of sulphuric acid. The resulting wax works great in many projects where you’d use beeswax, like making furniture polish or in cosmetics. You can even use it to make candles!

Where to find Candelilla Wax

The first place I’d check for candelilla wax is your local natural foods co-op. In case you don’t have a co-op near you, I found a few online resources for this vegan beeswax alternative:

  • Mountain Rose Herbs. They were out of stock at the time of this writing, but there’s a button where they can notify you when it’s back in stock.
  • Amazon. There’s one seller on Amazon right now that stocks bulk candelilla wax.
  • Aroma Heaven. These guys also stock bulk candelilla wax.

Need Another Vegan Beeswax Alternative?

Candelilla wax isn’t the only alternative to beeswax, but it does seem to share the most properties with the stuff along with its sustainability. Here are some other beeswax alternatives I found, along with their pros and cons.

  • Carnuba wax is another vegan beeswax alternative. It comes from palm trees, though, which can be dicey. Because of the environmental problems with palm oil, I’m wary of palm-derived products.
  • Soy wax is great for making candles, and some folks say you can even use soy wax in balms and butters. My only hesitation with soy is that if it’s not organic, chances are it’s genetically modified.
  • Bayberry wax also works for candles, but from what I’ve read it has a a strong aroma. If you’re cool with that, though, it’s another good plant-based wax to look at.

I’d love to hear from vegan candle-makers and vegan bath and body crafters out there! What’s your favorite vegan beeswax alternative?

{Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by _PaulS_}


Keep up with the latest in the world of green crafts by signing up for our free newsletter. CLICK HERE to sign up!




Tags: , , , , , ,


About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



21 Responses to Vegan Crafting Made Easy: A Vegan Beeswax Alternative

  1. Pingback: Veganism Extends to Crafts | GoodVeg powered by Squidoo

  2. Pingback: Vegan Wood Waxes | Crafting a Green World

  3. Katie says:

    I want to make a body butter and beeswax is one of the key ingredients. Thanks for listing the alternatives! Candelilla wax looks good and I checked that it’s okay for bodies as well as furniture. I read that “If substituting Candelilla Wax for Beeswax in an existing recipe, reduce the amount of wax by half since as Candelilla Wax has twice the stiffening power of Beeswax.” (Aussie Soap Supplies – not my company – randomly found on google search)

    Carnauba also looks pretty good, and I don’t think you have to worry because it doesn’t look like it is from the same palm trees or plantations associated with orangutan etc habitat destruction.

  4. Pingback: Mineral Sunscreen from Sunology | Feelgood Style

  5. Pingback: Vegan Lip Gloss from Lip Glosserie | Feelgood Style

  6. Kate Brassington says:

    Hi and thanks for writing about vegan alternatives to beeswax! I’ve been making bath and body products for awhile, and many of my recipes call for beeswax. In an attempt to be more ethical though, I’ve recently made the decision to move away from using ingredients that exploit animals (including our bee friends) wherever possible. Candelilla wax is what I plan on supplementing the beeswax with. Anyway, I just wanted to add another supplier to your list! Aroma Haven and Rustic Escentuals carry it here: http://rusticescentuals.com/Candelilla-Wax-16-ounces.html (I’m not affiliated with them in any way, and I really can’t even fully recommend them, since I have not *yet* used their Candelilla Wax. But I thought I’d just pass on this link, as an FYI for anyone interested.) Thanks again for this article, and keep up the good work!

  7. yolanda says:

    Any ideas for a beeswax substitute that has the same sort of clingy/ sticky property ? I am infusing beeswax with cotton but want to find a vegan option. I have tried candelilla wax but it is too hard. Thanks so much

    • Good question! I have read good things about carnauba wax, but it does come from palm trees, and palm production is not great for the environment. You might also try to find organic soy wax.

  8. Pingback: 15 Surprising Uses for Coconut Oil | Care2 Healthy Living

  9. Pingback: 15 Surprising Uses for Coconut Oil. | FACTORY OF KNOWLEDGE

  10. Deb says:

    Thanks for this article! I’ve been looking for alternatives to beeswax and soy for natural candles. Can you tell me how you make a candle with candelilla wax? I’ve read that it needs to be mixed with paraffin but that defeats the purpose of an eco candle. Would love your thoughts. Thanks!

    • That’s a good question! I’m better at research than at candle-making, unfortunately. Could you mix it with soy wax instead of paraffin? I know that candelilla wax is softer than beeswax at room temp, so I’m guessing the mixing is to help it firm up a bit?

      • Deb Ozarko says:

        LOL…I guess it’s the blind leading the blind. I found a supplier of non-GMO soy wax and have ordered some candelilla wax so I’ll give it a try and let you know. First crack at candle-making. May as well blaze a trail for others. :)

    • Julie Finn says:

      Just to throw in my two cents–I’m going to say that you can burn candelilla wax, although it’s a pretty hard was, so it may be more difficult to ignite. I know that it’s generally combined with other waxes in order to harden them, so that may be where a lot of its association with paraffin comes from.

  11. Mari says:

    Can I use the products that you mentioned as a substitute for paraffin. I am a cosmetology educator and I teach manicuring ( and I do use cruelty free polishes and polish remover by Zoya and Elf ). Paraffin is one of the services I teach my students so it would be nice to have a cruelty free product that has the same benefits.

    • I can’t speak to that, but I think it’s worth a try! Could you give it a go at home to see how it works before using in your teaching? If it does work, you have the potential to really make a big change – teaching so many beauty professionals about petroleum alternatives! If you try it out, let us know how it goes!

  12. James Parker says:

    Looking to make my own grating wax after finding out it contains beeswax. I’ll try and let you know how it goes :)

Leave a Reply

Back to Top ↑
  • Ads and Sponsors

  • Let’s Connect!

  • Advertisements

  • Back to Basics Ebook

    We are thrilled to have a project in Jen Gale’s guide to mending. Get your copy here!

  • Crunchy Kids!

    Our very own Scott Meeks (aka Crunchy Scott) has a new book of kid-friendly green crafts. Get your copy from Amazon today!

  • Popular Posts


    Do you ever see old glass bottles, maybe at a flea market, maybe scrounged from an old dump site (we have one of those back in our woods, sigh…), and think, “That bottle would be so great… IF it wasn’t covered in 50 years’ worth of grime?” Here’s how to clean old glass bottles so they’ll look like new.

    Do you love toilet paper roll crafts as much as we do? Today we’re sharing 50 projects that you need to see!

    We’ve rounded up 25 incredible DIY crafts and activities that will make you rethink the average disk. Click through each link below and be inspired!

    We’ve put together 75 of the BEST DIY garden projects in a mega round-up. All of the garden creativity you’ll need this spring is right here at your fingertips!

    Do you love vintage sheet music? We’re sharing 40 DIY projects that you can create with your favorite recycled paper!

    Let’s celebrate spring with some spring cleaning ideas you can make from scratch. Here are 50 natural and green cleaning ideas for spring!

  • Search the IM Network

  • The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by, and do not necessarily represent the views of Sustainable Enterprises Media, Inc., its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.


Shares