Want to reclaim and reuse plastic queen cups? It’s easy. Just use melted beeswax as a cleaning solvent.
- clean, pesticide free beeswax
- a pot to melt the beeswax in
- a strainer that fits freely inside the pot
- a clean working surface
The beeswax must be as uncontaminated as possible. And that includes any beekeeping miticides, like Fulvalinate, and especially Camophous.
The pot must be large enough to allow free movement of the strainer. And tall enough to handle the increased volume of wax plus cups. A good/stout handle on the strainer prevents burns and eases the work.
Heat the beeswax using all the normal beeswax melting precautions.
- no open flames
- no flammable surfaces
- away from kids and pets
- and have an appropriate fire extinguisher nearby
Use a hotter beeswax melt than is used for dipping or candle making.
How It’s Done
- fill the strainer about half full
- immerse it in the hot melted beeswax
- let the cups warm up
- then swirl them around in the wax
The hot beeswax acts as an effective solvent. And swirling/agitating the cups loosens most of the foreign debris which settles to the bottom of the pan.
When sufficiently agitated:
- remove the strainer
- vigorously shake/rotate/ swirl the cups in the strainer, above the wax pan, to remove any excess wax
- dump the cups out on a clean surface to cool
The cups should be transparent and shine without any drips. After cooling, the cups become translucent with a dull/mat finish. And without any visible beeswax.
If some cups aren’t clean enough, process them with the next batch.
Cleaning cups this way is fast and easy. Using conventional kitchen sized pots and strainer, a thousand cups can be reclaimed in about 15 minutes. I’ve reclaimed tens of thousands of plastic queen cups this way.
Reusing the Beeswax
If the same beeswax is reused, propolis and pollen eventually darken the wax. Darken beeswax is OK.
Most of the solid debris settles to the bottom of the pan and stays there. But eventually the beeswax must be strained. Just use a hot grease filter. Restaurants use them to strain fryer oil. Commercial kitchen suppliers sell them.
I reclaim JZ BZ plastic queen cups. They can take the heat when immersed in melted beeswax. Other brands might use a less heat tolerant plastic. It’s probably a good idea to run a small test when reclaiming other brands.