Want to learn how to make essential oils at home? This post on how to make essential oils will give you the best tips and tricks in extracting the very essence of beneficial herbs and flowers, right in the comfort of your kitchen!
Learn How To Make Essential Oils Like A Homesteader
Keeping true essential oils from plants can be frustrating, simply because it’s difficult to find authentic essential oils. That is why true essential oils can be expensive. Since I am fortunate to have my garden abound in herbs and flowers commonly used to produce essential oils, I figured I might as well make my own. If you have no idea what to do with your excess herbs (other than tossing them in the compost heap) you can learn how to make essential oils yourself here!
What You Need To Know When Making Essential Oils
- Strictly speaking, essential oils are not oils which contain fatty acids, but the highly concentrated plant essence.
- What is good in a plant is basically reflected in its essential oil so you can use it for personal care, disinfection, or healing.
- Plants such as peppermint, tea tree, lavender, lemon, and roses are extracted for antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.
- Essential oils are distinct from fragrance oils which only mimic the scents of plants and do not have the essential benefits.
- Essential oils are hard to find in localities and are therefore expensive, that’s why it’s good to learn how to make essential oils yourself.
Methods To Make Essential Oils
There are three methods that are used to get essential oils which are extraction, distillation, and expression. The distillation process is the most complicated as it requires specialized equipment and careful monitoring. As for the expression method, the product is not strictly classified as an essential oil. This leaves us with the extraction method which is furthered discussed here:
Let’s Get Started On How To Make Essential Oils!
Materials To Make Essential Oils
- Flowers or plant parts to extract (in this case rose petals)
- 120 proof Vodka
- Clear quart glass jar with a lid
- Small dark-colored bottle
- Porcelain-coated strainer
- Small glass bowl
- Tight-weave chess cloth
- A spoon and medicine dropper
Step 1. Prepare Your Choice Of Plant Or Roses
You can use different plants depending on the plant essence you want to use. In this tutorial, however, we will be using rose and the more homegrown roses you have, the better. Take note that you will need pounds and pounds of plant material to make a small amount of essence. Prepare the roses by using a dehydrator to evaporate its natural water content. The roses will be ready when they start to wilt.
Step 2. Prepare The Jar
Place the jar in a dark corner of the kitchen cupboard where it can sit undisturbed at room temperature. About three times a day, take the jar out and give it a good shake for several minutes. Repeat until you see the roses losing color which could take up to a week.
Step 3. Straining Vodka Solution
Take out the jar and prepare to strain wearing protective gloves. Using a porcelain-coated strainer, strain out the plant material from the vodka, careful not to spill any amount of liquid. Shake the roses into the cheesecloth and squeeze it out by hand to get every last bit of vodka out. By this time, the vodka will smell terrible but not to worry though, that’s just normal.
Step 4. Repeat Soaking Process
Using the same vodka, repeat the rose soaking method several more times with a new batch of rose petals. Just make sure not to waste vodka when straining. If needed, you can add a little more vodka to make sure that the rose petals are submerged. The more you do this, you will be able to extract more of the essential oils.
Step 5. Storing Vodka Solution
Once you’re done with the rose soaking, strain as usual, but this time, return the vodka into the quart glass and seal it up tightly. Put it in the dark corner of the cupboard again, leaving it undisturbed for a day or two. By this time, you will some separation starting to occur. The vodka will separate from the essential oils and other plant matter.
Step 6. Freeze Solution
Place the jar in the freezer and let it freeze. This is the cool part–vodka does not freeze, so only the essential oils and other plant materials will solidify.
Step 7. Strain Solution
Now, you will have to move fast and but extra cautious before the essential oils melt. You will need a piece of cheesecloth laid inside a glass bowl, another piece of cheese cloth secured around a clear canning jar so that it dips inside the neck. You will also need another small glass bowl and a small dark bottle which will hold the essential oil. Have a spoon and dropper ready as well.
Step 8. Harvest Essential Oils
Remove the jar from the freezer. Skim the gunky plant material off the vodka and place it on top of the cheesecloth laid inside the bowl. Pour the vodka into the other glass jar with the loose cheesecloth. Move quickly to pick out any frozen bits and using a dropper, place them inside the small dark bottle. The frozen bits are the essential oils. Don’t be surprised if you only harvest a little bit.
You can follow the step-by-step guide on how to make essential oils in this video:
Now you’ve got a pretty good idea about how to make essential oils on your own. With time, you will be able to master your way into making essential oils effectively. Who knows how you will be able to make more out of this new and amazing homesteading skill!
Did you find these ideas and tips on how to make essential oils helpful? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.
Talk about essential oils, learn how to freeze basil in olive oils here to preserve basil’s essence and flavor!
This post was originally published in January 2016 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.