How can I reuse or recycle wax from cheese?

Wax coated cheeseWe’ve had an email from Natalie:

We’ve been buying little cheese from our local farmers’ market which are covered in wax like Edam or Babybell, except they’re all different colours.

Can we use the wax to make candles?

I’ve never made candles so I’m not 100% sure but my research (reading Wikipedia) tells me that cheese wax is typically paraffin wax and that can be used for candle making (although some people prefer to avoid it…)

Apparently it can also be used for sealing jars, bottles and the like so that might be an option if you make your own preserves or pickles.

Anyone else know anything more about making it into candles? And what about other reuses?

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19 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle wax from cheese?”

  1. Delusion says:

    Use it to “wax seal” your letters :) Melt it, press it on your letter flap and then press it down with the back of a spoon.

    :) Medieval but fun!

  2. Kacy says:

    Wouldn’t the candles have a cheese smell to them? That might not be the smell you want for a candle.

  3. Please can someone give me a fantastic idea for this as my mother has been saving this kind of wax for about 20 years!

  4. sam says:

    Use it to seal letters or invitations with a stamp thing :)

  5. Roger says:

    This may be a rubbish idea, but holds sentiment6al value for me. all my friends were moving to different cities to go to uni, the last night before leaving we all burned different coloured candles on beer bottles (conveniently pre drunk) we deliberately dribbled the wax down the bottles to make the funky wax blob patterns down the side, we then drunk the night away. at the end of the night when the fragments had cooled we broke them up, and seperated them up. we now all have small bottles of friends wax and it always cheers me up when im down.

  6. julie says:

    My husband rolls them into little balls and uses them to help start fires in the woodburner. They act like firestarters.

    • Paul says:

      Brilliant. I make homemade fire starters fron dryer lint, cardboard egg containers and parrafin… Recycling the cheese coating for these would be PERFECT.

  7. Lori says:

    How about returning them to a cheesemaker? If you’re getting the cheese at the farmer’s market you are probably already pretty close to the supplier. Either they can reuse it or if they can’t, they need to figure out how to dispose of their material properly.

  8. Deb says:

    If you are worried about the smell for cadles – just add a couple drops essential oil ie lavender to the melted wax. Can make cheese coloured candles `relaxing`

  9. billabong says:

    My partner snore: how about wax ear plugs?

  10. Shorty says:

    My friends and I always play with them in the periods after lunch, knead them forever under our desks until they get soft, then pass them over to someone skilled who molds them into a star or heart, then stick them to the insides of our lockers. If you’ve done it right, they don’t smell like cheese. Soon they get hard and become a nice decoration. We’re still trying to find a way to keep them from getting dirty or “scratched”. Maybe cover them in glitter?

  11. Kimberley says:

    Melt it down (carefully) and then strain it through cheesecloth to get rid of any cheese bits that stuck to it. Then you can use it to wax homemade cheese (if you’re ambitious), or to seal wine bottles (also ambitious), or to seal letters, or to seal bottles of flavored vinegar or oil (very easy to make). It would probably also make a decent fire starter.

    I wouldn’t make candles out of it. Cheese wax is a different wax from what’s used in candles, and it probably wouldn’t burn right, and would smoke a lot.

    You could also see if anyone wants it for any of the above uses.

  12. We are currently using cheese wax to make tea-lights. I have blogged about this at: and made an Instructable about it:

  13. My son has been using cheese wax to make fantastic little sculptures. I made him a page on Squidoo to show them off if your interested in seeing what can be done. I’m sure most kids would love to receive some cheese wax for modeling, if you can’t find a way to use it yourself.

  14. JohnDorian says:

    I’ve read in the comment section on how you can seal your letters with the reused cheese wax using a spoon, and have seen a wedding invitations sealed with wax (probably not reused cheese wax, however).

    How would I go about sending an email sealed with this wax?

  15. bryan says:

    I use baybel cheese wax on drumsticks for extra grip. Works great! Just need a little though… The less you use the better just enough so that you can feel it on your hands.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I have made candles from the babybel waxes, I don’t really remember the smell but mine didn’t smell like cheese, thank goodness. If you just knead it like playdoe in your hands, it will become soft, and add a string to it, light it, and it burns. Not really the best candle ever, but it works :)
    Also, put some foil paper in a mold, put the wax (softened) in it, and remove it after a few hours. It will be pretty for a christmas tree ornament, or other stuff.
    Other fun things to do with them does include making sculptures, or pulling a prank with it (my favorite: you need an empty lipstick/smacker container, mold the wax into a shape like the original content, and give it to someone as a “gift.”).

  17. rs says:

    Edam cheese wax is extremely useful. put a tiny bit on the head of screw,and push on to screwdriver ok to get the screw out/in awkward places.other similar uses picking up small objects and holding them.
    Also usefull for thread locking,will stop screw working lose.
    Also useful for masking small areas for painting
    Sealing over live electrical connections, and for candle making.

  18. machineman says:

    When kids we would make surfboard wax from melted candles. But we added a disinfectant to combat the paraffin. This being a non hardening wax with less paraffin might be just the ticket for making board wax, to provide grip, an adhesive type non sticky grip.
    Only good for those on the coast though who have surfer friends, though maybe lake towing might work too.

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