Hot Wax

On The Silk Painting Gallery NetworkI was asked about the melting temperature for wax. Different waxes have different temperatures in which they will melt. Short rule of thumb is to use the lowest temperature to melt the wax and stay liquid. If you see smoke it is way too hot!

I use a fondue pot with a thermostat on it to regulate the temperature. You might try a small electric skillet or a crock pot if you can see the exact temperature on it.

There have been much discussion on soy wax lately so let’s start there.

When painting or applying wax if you see it turn white as you are applying it has cooled off too much. You must paint quickly. I usually hold a plate under my brush to keep the wax from falling on silk before I intend it to.

These instructions are from one supplier: Prochemical


Please read directions carefully before starting.

Batik is an ancient form of resist dyeing. Traditionally batik is done using batik wax, a blend of paraffin wax and bee’s wax. Today we have a very user-friendly way of doing batik using soy wax, as an alternative to traditional batik wax. Soy wax comes in flake form, melts at 130EF- 150EF (54E-66EC), and produces no toxic fumes. You do not have to rely on using

perchloroethylene at the dry cleaners any more; soy wax is easily removed from your cloth in 140EF (60EC) water and a little Synthrapol. Soy wax is water soluble, therefore it does not

behave as well in an immersion bath as batik wax does, however, the end results achieve interesting partial resists. For additional information visit our web site at

Heat soy wax to the lowest temperature at which it remains liquid.

Do not leave hot wax unattended, as it is a fire hazard.

Keep water away from the wax pot, as it will splatter. Always make sure you have a fire extinguisher or bucket of sand nearby in case of fire.

Wax forms potentially hazardous vapors at high temperatures and may ignite.

Do not use open flames, such as a gas or propane burner, instead use a crock pot or electric fry pan with a temperature control.

Make sure your hair is tied back and sleeves are rolled up when using heating equipment.


Beeswax has a high melting point range, of 62 to 64 °C (144 to 147 °F). If beeswax is heated above 85 °C (185 °F) discoloration occurs. The flash point of beeswax is 204.4 °C (399.9 °F);

there is no reported autoignition temperature.

Beeswax can be classified generally into European and Oriental types. The ratio of saponification value is lower (3-5) for European beeswax, and higher (8-9) for Oriental types.

Parrafin Wax: has a flash point of 400°F (204 °C). Wax should not be heated higher than 250°F (121°C)

If you wish more in depth information you may be interested in taking the Online Silk Painting Class