how to make wax dirt

Wax dirt, also known as “waxed dirt” or “trapping wax,” is a common material used by trappers to make animal trapping sets. It’s a combination of soil or dirt and wax, creating a waterproof and scent-neutral medium for setting traps. Here’s how you can make wax dirt:

Materials You’ll Need:

  • Dry, fine-textured soil or dirt (preferably from the trapping location)
  • Paraffin wax or beeswax
  • A large pot or double boiler
  • A stirring utensil (such as a wooden spoon)
  • A heat source (stove or campfire)
  • A container for storage (such as a plastic bucket or bag)


  1. Collect Soil or Dirt:
    • Start by collecting dry, fine-textured soil or dirt from the area where you plan to set your traps. The dirt should be free of debris, rocks, and organic matter. Trapping in the same area where you collected the dirt can be advantageous because it retains the local scent.
  2. Break Up the Wax:
    • If you’re using paraffin wax, break it into smaller chunks to facilitate melting. Beeswax can be used as an alternative, and it can add a natural scent to the wax dirt.
  3. Melt the Wax:
    • In a large pot or double boiler, melt the wax over low to medium heat. Keep a close eye on the wax to prevent overheating or scorching. Stir the wax occasionally to ensure even melting.
  4. Combine with Soil:
    • Once the wax is fully melted, gradually add the dry soil or dirt to the wax. Stir the mixture thoroughly, ensuring that the wax coats all the soil particles. The goal is to create a consistency where the soil is fully saturated with wax.
  5. Adjust Consistency (if necessary):
    • Depending on your preference and the specific trapping conditions, you can adjust the wax dirt’s consistency. If it’s too dry and crumbly, you can add more melted wax. If it’s too wet, you can add more soil. Aim for a texture that holds together when squeezed but crumbles when broken apart.
  6. Cool and Solidify:
    • Allow the wax dirt mixture to cool and solidify. You can spread it out on a flat surface or pour it into a container to cool.
  7. Store in a Dry Place:
    • Once the wax dirt has cooled and solidified, store it in a dry place, such as a plastic bucket or bag. Seal the container tightly to keep moisture out.

Wax dirt is valued by trappers for its water-resistant properties, which help maintain trap effectiveness in wet conditions. Additionally, it’s scent-neutral, making it suitable for trapping various animals. Always check local trapping regulations and ethical guidelines when using traps, and practice responsible trapping methods.

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