How to Make Essential Oils From Orange Peels

By Jenny Seyfried

According to editors at Green Living Tips, "limonene, which comprises 95 percent of the oil in an orange's peel is being used in all sorts of applications." Orange oil has many purposes. It's a natural insect repellent. It's used in bath and body products and cleaning solutions, mainly for its scent but also for its mild cleaning properties. You can make orange oil at home, using orange peels that would have otherwise been discarded. While this doesn't yield as high a quality oil as cold pressing, it's an easy do-it-yourself activity to do at home!

Cleared of peel orange
credit: Maria_Lapina/iStock/GettyImages
How To Make Essential Oils From Orange Peels

Lay out your orange peels on a paper towel. Allow them to dry out until they are hard. This usually takes one or two days, depending on the humidity in your house. This process goes faster if you tear the orange peels into small, one-inch pieces.

Place the dried orange peels into a food processor with a sharp blade. Grind the peels to a coarse consistency. When they reach a course consistency, stop processing. Over-processing can cause the peels to lose oil. Place the ground peels into a clean glass mason jar with a tight fitting lid.

Cover the peels with grain alcohol. Vodka is a good option. Place the bottle of vodka into a bowl filled with hot tap water to heat the alcohol. You want the vodka to be warm but not hot. Pour the vodka into the jar until it completely covers the orange peels.

Screw on the lid and shake the jar. Shake it vigorously over a period of several minutes. Do this several times a day for at least two or three days. The more you shake it and the longer you leave the peels in the vodka, the more oil you will get.

Strain the peels into a shallow dish using a coffee filter. Squeeze any excess liquid out of the filter. Cover the dish with a kitchen towel. Be careful not to let the towel fall into the liquid. Let it sit for a few days: when the alcohol has evaporated, what remains will be orange oil.

Tips

  • Depending on how much you make, it could take several days for the alcohol to completely evaporate.

References