I was trying to remove the wax. I don't really know what kind of wax is used. It is not listed as an ingredient. That's a mystery for another day. Nor do I know if it is harmful to eat but I thought I would remove it and enjoy an apple. I read a 10 second soak in boiling water and then I scrubbed with baking soda.

The apple skin felt dull and slightly able to be shifted so I assume all the wax was gone. I put the apple aside for an hour or so and it was bleeding a tear shapped sticky substance that I rinsed off with hot water. I sat the apple down and a few hours latter the same thing, Bleeding a sticky substance. I washed it off again and finally ate the apple. Does anyone know what the substance might be and why is it bleeding out?

A word of warning, You will need a heavy duty scrub pad for your pot if you boil apples in it. After the pot dried there was a sticky substance which I asssume is some unknown type of wax that covers the sides of the pot. I was able to get most of it off but not all of itf. The pot is stainless steel with copper bottom.

  • 4
    What color is the sticky substance? If it's clear, my guess is you cooked the outer surface of apple and split the skin at the same time, so you have apple juice leaking out.
    – csk
    Feb 23, 2021 at 4:22
  • @csk....It is clear in fact and that makes sense since most of the wax was in the pot and it kept weeping clear drops. I think you solved my mystery. Thank you and have a great day..
    – Sedumjoy
    Feb 23, 2021 at 15:39
  • Haven't tried myself, but you might see if wiping with oil or alcohol gets the pot clean.
    – ariola
    Mar 15 at 12:33

1 Answer 1


There are two types of wax on apples, both of them are from natural sources and are safe to eat. Occasionally other types of sprays are used on apples, including polyethylene (a type of plastic), which is derived from ethanol made from fermenting corn.

The first type of wax is produced by the apples themselves, and is called a bloom. These natural waxes are produced by the apple to protect it from drying out and from allowing fungal spores to penetrate and cause rot in the apple (this would damage the seeds and hence the chance of the plant reproducing successfully). The wax in blooms contain a bunch of chemicals (as one might expect), including ones found in petroleum.

Sometimes these waxes are removed from the apple by washing at the producer/growers after the apple is picked. In order to preserve the apple so that it appears on the shelf in a manner that most people like to eat, the apples are sprayed with the second type - a very fine wax coat which consists of about 3 milligrams of wax (3/1000ths of a gram, or 0.0001 oz) per apple. The waxes used here are from natural sources such as carnuba oil, candelilla wax or even shellac from the lac scale bug.

Boiling the apples as you did probably resulted in partial cooking of the apple (if the skin was loose at all, cooking is certain), this could result in releasing some of the fruit juice, much as you would when making apple sauce. As I am sure you know, apple sauce is sticky from the sugars in it, and this is likely the source of the sticky droplet - every time you picked up the apple or applied pressure to it, it squashed out some of the sticky sugar sauce.

Exactly what needs to be declared as a food additive is dependent on where in the world you are and often on the amount of additive added. It is quite likely that what you washed off the apple is a natural coating.

There is a basic description and some explanation of apple waxes at McGill University

  • @bob1.....I enjoyed learning this. Thank you. It pretty much answered all my questions. And I might add in excellent detail with added resources, links and definitions.
    – Sedumjoy
    Feb 24, 2021 at 2:05
  • @Sedumjoy You are welcome.
    – bob1
    Feb 24, 2021 at 2:09

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