According to Wikipedia, Rice bran wax is the vegetable wax extracted from the bran oil of rice (Oryza sativa).
It’s most commonly used in paper coatings, textiles, fruit & vegetable coatings, candles, molded novelties, electric insulation, waterproofing, carbon paper, typewriter ribbons, printing inks, lubricants, crayons, adhesives, and more.
When used for woodworking projects, rice bran wax can be applied as a natural finish that doesn’t go rancid like other food-based oils.
It can also be combined with other waxes to create a custom finish for your wood surfaces.
Rice Bran Wax
Rice bran wax is a natural, hard wax that is derived from rice bran oil. Rice bran oil is extracted from the husks of rice grains and then dewaxed to produce both dewaxed oil and crude wax.
The crude wax can be further refined to create pure rice bran wax.
Rice bran wax is pale yellow in color and has a high melting point of between 79 and 85 degrees Celsius (174-185 F).
This makes it a popular ingredient in cosmetics and candles, as it can withstand higher temperatures than other natural waxes, such as beeswax.
Rice bran wax is also non-sticky, which makes it ideal for use in lip balms and body butter.
In addition to its cosmetic uses, rice bran wax can also be used as a food additive, as it is non-toxic and has a neutral flavor.
It can be used to create a variety of textures in food, from smooth gels to hard candy.
Rice Bran Wax for Finishing Wood
Rice bran wax is a non-drying oil that won’t harden in the wood pores, so it’s not ideal to use on its own as a protective finish.
However, when used in conjunction with other finishes, it can help to keep surfaces hydrated and prevent other components from going rancid.
A good example is a product by the Real Milk Paint Co. that combines rice bran wax with palm-fruit oil, refined almond oil, and hemp floral wax.
This is a low-luster finish that can effectively work to protect your wood boards in the kitchen, along with giving them a beautiful natural sheen.
You can also use the rice bran wax on its own as a final step in the finishing process to buff out the surface and give it a more polished look.
To do this, simply apply a small amount of wax to a lint-free cloth and work it into the wood surface in a circular motion.
Allow the wax to dry for a few minutes, and then buff it out with a clean cloth.
Rice Bran Wax for Other Woodworking Projects
Aside from using it as a finish, rice bran wax can also be used in woodworking projects as a natural lubricant.
It can help prevent sticking and binding when you’re working with small pieces that need to slide against each other.
A good example is when you’re building a dovetail joint. You can rub a small amount of rice bran wax on the surface of the wood before you start fitting the pieces together.
The wax will act as a barrier between the wood and will help to prevent any sticking or binding.
When you’re ready to glue the pieces together, simply wipe off the excess wax and proceed with your project.
Other than that, refined rice bran wax can also be used as a mold release agent.
Let’s say you’re casting concrete or plaster into a wood mold; you can rub a thin layer of rice bran wax on the surface of the mold before you pour in the material.
This will create a smooth surface on the finished product and will also make it easier to release the mold once the concrete or plaster has dried.
Waterproofing outdoor projects
Rice bran wax can also be used to create a natural waterproofing seal for outdoor projects.
It can be applied to wood surfaces that will be exposed to the elements and will help protect the wood from moisture and rot.
To do this, mix equal parts of rice bran wax and beeswax. Melt the waxes together and then brush or rub the mixture onto the surface of the wood.
Allow it to dry for a few hours or overnight, and then buff it out with a clean cloth.
This will leave a natural waterproof barrier on the surface of the wood that will help to protect it from the elements.
Is Rice Bran Wax Biodegradable and Sustainable?
Crude rice bran wax oil-in-water emulsion (named CRBWE) was first fabricated by the agent-in-water method. This is non-toxic and biodegradable.
Although rice bran wax is highly environmentally friendly, it’s important to be aware of its history. There is currently no Fairtrade or organic rice bran wax available on the market.
The fact, however, is rice bran wax is a sustainable alternative to beeswax and other plant-based waxes.
The production of rice bran wax adds good value to the supply chain because of the fact that it makes use of crude materials that would otherwise be thrown away as waste.
Even if rice bran wax wasn’t a commodity in itself, the same energy would be spent in producing refined rice bran oil, so the wax is certainly an upcycled product.
The rice bran wax can even be used as an alternative to hydrogenated tropical oils that are currently used in products such as peanut butter.
Switching out the hydrogenated palm oil or cottonseed oil for rice bran wax would create a more sustainably made peanut butter.
Rice Bran vs. Carnauba vs. Candelilla Wax – What’s the Difference?
Rice bran wax, carnauba wax, and candelilla wax are all plant-based waxes that can be used for a variety of purposes, including woodworking and wood finishes.
The basic difference between the three lies in their hardness and the ingredients they are made of.
Carnauba wax is the hardest of the three, followed by candelilla wax and then rice bran wax.
Also, rice bran wax is made from the husks of rice grains and is refined to create a white, semisolid wax. Carnauba wax, on the other hand, is made from the leaves of a Brazilian fan palm tree and has a brown color.
Candelilla wax is also derived from plants and is made from the leaves of a type of Mexican shrub. It has a yellowish color and is softer than both carnauba wax and rice bran wax.
Once you know the difference between rice bran wax, carnauba wax, and candelilla wax, it’s easier for you to choose the right one for your specific project.
For example, if you need a hard, durable wax for a woodworking project, carnauba wax would be the better choice.
If you’re looking for a natural waterproofing agent for outdoor projects, rice bran wax would be a good option.
And if you need soft wax for cosmetic products or candles, candelilla wax would be the best choice.
Rice bran wax is a natural, versatile product with a wide range of uses. Whether you’re looking for a cosmetic ingredient or a food additive, rice bran wax is a good choice.
Also, if you’re looking for a natural way to finish your woodworking projects, rice bran wax is a good option to consider. It’s easy to apply, and it won’t go rancid like other oil-based finishes.
Just be sure to use genuine rice bran wax in combination with other finishes for the best results.
Hi, I am Mark Garner a professional carpenter, woodworker, and DIY painter. I live in the small city of Peoria, Arizona as a semi-retired woodworker. I have started this blog with a simple motive to help you with my wood experience in this sector. If you like to know more about what I love doing and how it all got started, you can check more about me here.