Essential oils are ideal for perfuming before going out for the day, bringing a good fresh smell to the house or carrying out various creative projects. You can easily make it yourself with a few ingredients that you probably already have at home.
Method 1 of 2: Extract the oils cold
Step 1. Wash the material
Wash your hands and the fruits you want to extract the oil from. Since cold extraction does not use any chemicals, it is especially important to wash the fruit to remove bacteria.
It takes about 25 citrus fruits to produce a usable amount of oil. Plan ahead
Step 2. Peel the fruit
Remove the bark with a peeler or a knife and set aside. You can also peel the fruit with your fingers, but you may end up with pulp and juice in the oil and will need to be removed later.
- In most citrus fruits, most of the oil is concentrated in the top layer of skin. The lighter layer contains much less.
- You can use an electric peeler to remove the rind, but be aware that you may end up with more pulp than using a manual peeler.
Step 3. Use the leftovers
Once you have peeled the fruit, you can eat or cook the flesh. There are also various uses for the skin, even after extracting the oil. Instead of adding it to the compost, try one of the following uses.
- Put the bark in a bag and hang it somewhere to perfume a room.
- The oil in the orange peel, called "limonene," repels several types of insects.
- Put some bark in your garbage disposal and crush it to give your sink a fresh smell.
Step 4. Squeeze the bark
Use an object like a colander to crush the citrus peels over a jar. High pressure will force the liquid out of the bark. It is this liquid that contains the oils you want to recover. Press down hard enough, but be careful not to break or damage the tool you are using. After a few seconds, you should see a small amount of fluid coming out of the skin.
- Cold extraction takes a lot of effort for what appears to be a very small amount of oil, but don't be discouraged - this oil is quite potent.
- A garlic press is handy for crushing small amounts of bark easily. You can also use a pestle and mortar, but it will take more effort and be more difficult.
Step 5. Collect the oil
Let the liquid extracted from the citrus peels sit for a few days. The oil will separate from the rest and you can collect it. You can also use a centrifuge to separate the oil from the rest of the liquid.
- To remove the oil easily, put the liquid in the freezer. The oil will remain liquid and the rest will be frozen, allowing you to pour the oil into another container.
- The oil extracted in this way does not keep very long. Try to use it within 6 months of its extraction.
Step 6. Apply as needed
Put the oil you collected in a bottle. Put some on your skin to perfume yourself or use it in recipes with citrus essential oil. Remember that she is very focused. A very small amount is sufficient.
Method 2 of 2: Distill essential oil with alcohol
Step 1. Peel the fruit
Dry the bark. Let them air dry until they are hard to the touch. It can take anywhere from a few days to a week. Be patient !
Do not use a dehydrator or other drying device, as they can damage the oils in the bark
Step 2. Cut out the bark
Once they are completely dry, cut them into small pieces with a knife, mandolin or food processor. Be careful not to over-blend or chop them, as you can damage the oils in them.
If you chop the rinds too much, they will take on a wet appearance. Avoid squeezing out the liquid before the distillation process
Step 3. Cover the bark with alcohol
Put them in a jar and add neutral alcohol. Pour enough alcohol into the jar to completely submerge the citrus peels. Its surface should be about 2 cm above the top of the bark. Let the contents of the jar sit for several days.
- You can use vodka, but depending on the type used, it may slightly alter the scent of the oil.
- Put the jar in a sunny place to promote separation.
- Shake the jar several times a day. Shake it well to help the oil separate from the rinds.
Step 4. Filter the liquid
After a few days, use a coffee filter to separate the liquid from the bark and pour it into another jar. Put a coffee filter or a piece of cloth over the opening of this jar and wait for all the alcohol to evaporate. It may take a week or more.
Oil evaporates much more slowly than water and other similar liquids. Although the oil can evaporate, the water will evaporate long beforehand, and all you will be left with is the oil
Step 5. Apply as needed
Once the alcohol has evaporated, you will only be left with the oil. Put it in a bottle for later use. Apply a little to your skin to perfume yourself or use it for recipes containing citrus oil. Remember that she is very focused. A very small amount is sufficient.
- Always test a small amount on your skin first to make sure you won't have an allergic reaction.
- Do not expose your skin to the sun after applying citrus oil to it. This oil can react with direct sunlight and cause sunburns, blisters, and other serious skin problems.