Jim’s Beeswax Boot Balm

Jim and his beeswax boot balm

Ok…if you follow Jim on Facebook or otherwise know him you know he has a thing for boots. After something close to a bazillion miles hiking through the years he’s learned the value of good boots – and how to care for them. To that end here’s a peek into how he makes his beeswax boot balm.

In Jim’s own words:

There’s probably nothing worse than working or hiking with wet feet. Well, you’ll actually have to ask Rich or Joe about the working thing since I try to avoid that…but the hiking thing is something I know a little about and frankly, putting down mile after mile with wet feet just isn’t fun. The best way to deal with this is to stay ahead of it and keep your boots clean and well sealed. Through the ages the one sealer/wax that shows up most often is beeswax. Luckily we have plenty of beeswax here at Springboro Tree Farms and we wanted to share with you a simple recipe for making a really good boot balm.

One version or another of this recipe has been around for a long time…as far back as the mid-1800s. With that history itIngredients’s hardly a secret and as you might imagine to have that kind of staying power, it’s as simple as it is effective. And as you’ll see below – it can be quite tasty!!!

You only need three ingredients for a good boot balm.

  1. For starter’s you need a good wax and nothing compares to natural beeswax. When it comes to keeping things sealed those honeybees really know their business. [To a related point – sorta – if you haven’t had honey in the comb (wax) you’re really missing out.]
  2. Next you’ll need a conditioner like cocoa butter or shea butter. [Ok – we like using cocoa butter because it makes our boots smell like chocolate.]
  3. And lastly, you need a good natural oil that really helps the balm soak into the leather. For an oil you can use castor oil or our favorite which is 100% almond oil. [And yes – we like using almond oil because Kathy (Jim’s wife) uses almond extract in his favorite cookies and we thought that was a worthy connection.]

The process is super simple. Measure out the three ingredients in a 1:1:3 ratio by weight…with the almond oil being the third element. For example to make a set of three “almost 3 ounce containers” measure out two ounces of beeswax and two ounces of cocoa butter and six ounces of almond oil. Doing the math, 2 + 2 + 6 = 10 ounces…which will nicely fill your three 3 ounce tins.To make the beeswax and cocoa butter measurements easy use a food grater or simply shave off the weight you need with a knife.

MeltingOnce you have all the ingredients in the right ratio the next step is to simply melt the ingredients together. Be sure to use a double boiler for this to avoid over heating/burning any of the ingredients. We like to start by melting the wax first…then add the cocoa butter and melt that in…then mix in the almond oil. Stir the oil in completely…it’s prettyFinal tin obvious when it’s well blended.

The melted balm is then poured into a small tin. We prefer those with a screw on lid for better storage. And we like the 3 ounce size because it travels well.

Once in the tins, give the mixture an hour or so to harden and you’re good to go. Make sure your boots are clean and dry…and simply work the balm into the leather using a soft dry cloth. And as a pro tip – a couple of applications is good…especially if you’re gonna be out working or hiking quite a bit in the near future.

Seal your boots often especially if you’re in them every day like we are here at Springboro Tree Farms. Frequent use of this boot balm will keep the leather soft and your feet dry.

If you don’t want to make your own, ask next time you’re visiting the Sugar Shack – we’ll most likely have some on hand.

One last thought that we’ve yet to try: I’m pretty sure the combination of beeswax and cocoa butter and almond oil will make your boots pretty tasty if things get rough on the trail and you wind up eating shoe leather.


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