As versatile as wax-resist is, it can also be costly as well. This is especially true if you don’t work on bulk projects. Purchasing wax resists in small quantities can be draining for your wallet. But, the good news here is that wax-resist can be reused.
In this blog, we will understand the best practices to reuse wax-resist. Even if you are in the position to purchase more wax resist, it is important to understand that reusing and recycling is crucial. Directly or indirectly, these practices promote a habit that helps you lead a better lifestyle and save the environment from unnecessary waste as well.
So, let us check out the key tips to help you reuse wax resist.
Tips To Reuse Wax Resist
1. Reusing Water-Based Wax Resist:
A water-based wax-resist is the easiest to reuse and revive after being used for pottery waxing purposes. You can revive the same by using some water. If you have additional wax that has dried off and cannot be reused, you can melt it off with the help of some water.
Start by collecting all the wax scrapes and remnants in one bowl. Make sure the bowl isn’t porous, or the water can be absorbed easily into the same. You can either use a glass container or ceramic bowl to initiate the process.
Now, boil some water in a kettle or water pot. Make sure the water is at its boiling point. This will help the wax-resist melt faster. Do not pour all the water at once, or it can dilute the wax to the point that is beyond revival. So, make sure you pour water bit by bit and continuously stir the same.
Once you think that the consistency has been achieved, make sure you stop adding any more water to the mixture. If this method doesn’t work for you, you can try and heat up the remnants a bit. Remember, wax resist rehydrates better if it is warm, better yet hot.
2. Check The Wax Resist’s Shelf Life:
If your wax resist has surpassed its designated shelf life, it is beyond salvaging. Normally, any water-soluble wax-resist, when kept in an air-tight container, has a potential shelf-life of 5 to 10 years. So, if you are someone who tends to indulge in pottery art on a regular basis, you can purchase wax resist in gallons and even reuse it as you deem it fit. However, you should ensure that the wax resist isn’t exposed to very low temperatures that might cause freezing.
Wax resist that has frozen cannot be used. Moreover, the wax-resist also cannot be used beyond its shelf life as it loses its prime features.
3. Clean Up Your Jar And Brushes:
Another way you can reuse wax resist is to scrape the wax from the brushes and jar. Use a felting knife to remove the gummed-up wax from these items and place it inside a container where you can store the wax resist. Once you have scraped off most of the wax resist from your brushes and containers, there is a trick to reuse the remaining wax resist.
Start by placing your brushes inside a clean bowl and gently pour some warm or hot water into the same. Make sure you do not add a lot of water, or the wax will become diluted and lose its effectiveness. Once you see that the wax has become warm and is melting off, you can stop adding water and gently wiggle the brush to release any remaining wax.
Now, pour this wax into a storage container and use it as needed. Make sure you store it in an air-tight container.
4. Microwave Your Wax-Resist:
The easiest way to reuse wax resist and maintain its consistency without diluting it is to microwave the same. Remember that wax-resist can burn off at high temperatures. So, it is important that you mustn’t microwave it for more than 30 seconds. To get things done faster, make sure you break up the chunks and globs into smaller bits.
Keep in mind that the temperature is below 200-250 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure that the wax resist doesn’t burn off and becomes unusable.
5. Add Any Emulsifying Agent:
If you feel that your wax resist clumps up in the water method, there is another technique to do things the right way. You can mix in a good-quality emulsifying agent to make things simpler. This emulsifying agent could be some rubbing alcohol. You can use the Solimo Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol with 91 percent concentration. Add this slowly to the wax resist and once you achieve the perfect consistency, stop adding the same. You will observe that there isn’t any more clumping.
Ensure that you keep stirring the wax resist to prevent any possible clumping in the process.
How Can You Prevent Wax Resist From Cracking?
If your wax resist is way too thick for use in your pottery pieces, you can add some water to the same. This is applicable when repurposing your wax resist. When you heat up the wax resist, it could lead to the evaporation of water from the mixture.
So, the key is to add some water to reduce the thickness of the wax. A thick wax layer tends to crack as it dries out. Keep in mind that nothing should be rushed when it comes to pottery. Ensure that the layer is evenly applied and isn’t too thick.
Here are some more ways to prevent wax-resist from cracking.
|Do Not Apply A Thick Layer
|Thick Wax Resist Layer Tends To Dry Out Slow And Hence Cracks
|Do Not Make The Wax Resist Too Watery||Watery Wax Resist Dries Very Fast With Paper-Thin Layers, Causing Cracking
|Do Not Add Multiple Layers||Multiple Wax Resist Layers Can Cause The Layers Beneath To Dry Late, Causing Cracks On The Upper Layer|
|Introduction Of Air Bubbles||If You Observe Air Bubbles During The Application Process, It Can Cause Cracking On The Wax Resist
Your wax-resist can remain unused for years & tend to harden if exposed to air. If you do not plan on using the wax resist right away, you can also gift it to a friend in need. Ensure that you always use colored or tinted wax resist so that scraping or collecting the remnants is easier.