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Duck Wax vs. Paraffin Wax

Duck Wax vs. Paraffin Wax

Many people might think any type of wax will work for any project, but when it comes to getting those pesky pinfeathers off your ducks or waterfowl, you will want to use a specially formulated product for the job. Creating wax blends for specific applications is what we do at Blended Waxes, and our duck wax is one of those blends. Learn more about the difference between duck wax and paraffin wax and why choosing the right wax product for your project matters.

What Is Paraffin Wax?

Paraffin wax is a soft, white wax that has multiple uses. The wax is derived from hydrocarbons, a common ingredient in skin care products and a primary ingredient in some candles and crayons. The wax is also used to coat paper and make adhesives.

Depending on the application and formulation, paraffin wax can be used on its own or blended with another type of wax, such as microcrystalline wax. The various formulations available have different melting points and uses.

What Is Duck Wax?

Duck wax is a type of paraffin wax. It is blended with microcrystalline wax to help improve adhesion to the duck.

Hunters often use duck wax to remove feathers from waterfowl and other types of game birds. Ducks and waterfowl typically have feathers that are difficult to pluck out by hand or mechanically. Using wax to de-feather a duck is somewhat similar to using wax to remove hair from a human’s body.

Wax is melted and mixed with water. The ideal ratio is one part duck wax to one part water. The wax adheres to the bird, and once it’s dry, you can remove it in strips. Duck wax is usually strong enough to pull out delicate pin feathers entirely from the bird’s skin. The finished waterfowl will be smooth and look like it was store-bought.

Duck Wax vs. Paraffin Wax — Key Differences

Duck Wax vs. Paraffin Wax

One way to understand the difference between duck wax and paraffin wax is all types of duck wax are a type of paraffin wax. However, not all types of paraffin wax are duck wax. The key difference between the two is the presence of microcrystalline wax in duck wax.

Based on its formulation, paraffin wax serves a different purpose and is not as effective in removing feathers. It is derived from crude oil, is typically lighter in color, is odorless and has various melting points. The addition of microcrystalline wax in our duck wax blend gives that extra bit of adhesion you need to pull every last feather from your bird.

The difference between a bird waxed with duck wax and a bird waxed with paraffin wax is notable. If you use only paraffin wax when de-feathering a duck, you will likely have some tiny feathers remaining after removing the wax. You will need to pluck those out by hand or else risk preparing and serving a dirty bird.

Why Choose Duck Wax Over Paraffin Wax?

As mentioned above, paraffin wax has multiple types and purposes, but it’s not nearly as effective as duck wax at removing feathers. Duck wax is specifically made for plucking ducks and other poultry and, when used correctly, will remove all the feathers from the bird. Using paraffin wax could make the plucking process harder because of the leftover feathers. Duck wax adheres more strongly to the bird, allowing each feather to be easily removed.

Why You Should Use Wax for Defeathering

Using wax for defeathering is more effective than plucking feathers by hand. There are many benefits to using duck wax on waterfowl, including

  • Long service life: You can reuse the wax you used for defeathering by cleaning it after each cycle. Duck wax’s service life is impacted by residues, such as feathers, blood, fat or water. Leaving this residue in the mix can affect the wax’s ability to adhere to the duck. Quality wax from Blended Waxes has the proper materials and additives for an extended life, allowing you to use it for multiple rounds of defeathering with the appropriate care. Cleaning and reusing wax saves you money since you won’t have to purchase a new batch each time you defeather a duck.
  • Food grade solution: Using wax to defeather poultry exposes the bird to the wax materials for an extended period, which could risk contamination if you use the wrong wax. However, Blended Waxes has safe food-grade duck waxes that eliminate the risk of contaminants affecting your poultry.
  • Clean removal: Duck wax allows you to easily remove feathers from poultry, leaving not a single feather behind. Using this wax enables you to present a clean bird. Our poultry wax ensures you have the right blend to prevent wax from adhering too tightly to the poultry’s skin. Our wax is also a consistent blend, meaning you get dependable results each time you defeather a bird.

If you’re using wax to defeather your poultry, employ the following steps to ensure you remove the feathers as efficiently as possible:

  1. Before you start, rough pluck to remove larger, stiffer feathers from the bird and make the defeathering process easier.
  2. Melt a block of duck wax in a large pot with plenty of room for the poultry. Set aside a bucket with at least 6 inches of cold water.
  3. Hold the head of the bird and dip it into your melted wax. You’ll only want to dip it until you reach its neck. Once the bird is completely coated, slowly remove it from the wax mixture and use a stick to put any excess wax back into the pot for later use.
  4. Immediately move the bird to your cold water bucket so the wax can quickly harden.
  5. Once the wax is dry, you can crack it and peel it off your poultry, revealing a feather-free bird underneath. The bird will then be ready for any next steps to prepare it for consumption.

You can reheat and strain your wax so you can reuse it, saving money and your wax supply. You can also discard the batch of wax and start anew. Regardless of your choice, using wax to defeather your poultry will save you time and effort while giving you a quality final product.

Learn More About Waxes From Blended Waxes

Duck wax is not the only blended wax produce we produce. Learn more about our different wax products and their uses. If you need a custom wax blend, contact us today to learn more about how the process works.