How To Soften Up Hardened Furniture Wax

My Furniture Wax Has Hardened In The Tin! How Do I Soften It Up Again?

Gilly’s waxes have an official shelf life of 24 months. However, they do actually last much longer than that, provided the tin remains airtight. Sometimes the lids don’t get replaced properly and the solvents (and in the case of creams, water) do evaporate, leaving the harder waxes. They are usable in this state but it’s much more difficult.

In the interests of reducing waste, we do have a trick to boost a tin of dried wax. There is no guarantee of perfect results but you will be able to re-create a usable product.


Follow the below steps:

How To Soften Up Hardened Furniture/Timber Wax

  1. Firstly, you need to melt the mix. We recommend the double-boil method. Sit the tin in a shallow pan of water, filled to approximately halfway up the tin’s side wall. You can do this on a stove but you need to watch it like a hawk. The waxes and remaining solvents are still quite flammable.

  2. Once the mixture is liquid, remove the entire setup from the heat source so that the tin is still sitting in the warm water. Add the solvent and/or water (see guide below), gently stirring through. The tricky bit is how much to add and this of course, depends on how dry the mix is. The ratio is 50/50 in the case of water/solvent. It’s always best to start conservatively. For a 100ml tin, add around 10ml of solvent and/or water to begin with.

  3. Allow to cool at room temperature. If still very solid, repeat the process adding a little more liquid until the hardened wax is a workable texture.

  4. Make sure you tighten that lid thoroughly so you don’t have to go through all of that again!

The table below shows what to add to each Gilly’s product:


Product

Water

Solvent

Which Solvent to Use

Cabinet Makers Wax (Dark or Clear)

No

Yes

Gum Turpentine or Mineral Turpentine

Carnauba Polish (Dark or Clear)

Yes

Yes

Gum Turpentine or Mineral Turpentine 50/50 water/solvent

Cream Polish

Yes

Yes

Gum Turpentine or Mineral Turpentine 50/50 water/solvent

Floor Polish (Dark or Clear)

No

Yes

Gum Turpentine or Mineral Turpentine

Food Safe Wax

Yes

Yes

Citrus Solvent

50/50 water/solvent

Restoring Polish (Dark or Clear)

No

Yes

Gum Turpentine or Mineral Turpentine


The Cream and Carnauba Polish, being very soft, are usually the most likely to evaporate if not airtight.

When you do eventually get to the bottom of your tins and bottles, please remember to recycle them. The tins are aluminium and the bottles are 100% post consumer recycled and recyclable (made from the plastics collected in wheelie bins from NSW - we think that’s wonderful!).

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