10 Fun Wax Facts
When you think of wax, you probably think of candles or waxed paper, but there are many other uses for wax. Learn about some of the less commonly known wax uses:
1. Lava Lamps
The “lava” found in lava lamps is colored wax. As the wax is heated by an incandescent bulb, it begins to float to the top, looking like lava. On its journey to the top of the lamp, the wax blob begins to cool. As the wax gets cooler, it drops back down to the base to be heated again.
Wax can be applied to hockey pucks to improve puck control. Plus, the wax helps prevent a buildup of ice and snow on the puck.
3. Packaging Materials
An estimated three billion pounds of wax is used in North America each year. Half of the total amount of wax used is for packaging materials.
Skateboarders use skate wax on the underside of their skateboards to make it easier to perform tricks like sliding or grinding.
Candles are one of the oldest uses of wax. The Romans started creating candles in 500 BC out of tallow (animal fat). Today, many other waxes, including paraffin wax, are used to make candles.
Surfers use wax on the decks of their surfboards to provide better traction between the board and their feet.
7. Chewing Gum
The chewing gum base is made of elastomers, resin and food-grade waxes. Hard, high melt-point waxes, including microcrystalline and candelilla waxes, are commonly used.
Beeswax has healing properties. Its anti-germicidal properties can help heal minor skin cuts, abrasions, scrapes and wounds. Beeswax can also add a layer of protection to skin. Using beeswax lip balm is one of the best ways to prevent your lips from getting chapped.
Paraffin wax is edible. It is often added to chocolates to give them a glossy finish and to help them stay solid at room temperature.
Wax is added to fruits and vegetables to help preserve, protect and add shine. Carnauba wax is commonly used, but other waxes are also used.
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