How to make essential oils can be done in a number of ways, but it can be a difficult process for beginners.
The most popular essential oils on today’s market are high-quality volatile oils that are extracted from plant life. This is usually accomplished with steam distillation. Some DIYers actually make their own still for this purpose, however, you can also find small stills for sale online.
While it’s possible to make your own oils, in the beginning, the quality will definitely suffer. This process takes plenty of practice to get it right. The temperature and pressure levels must be closely monitored in order to prevent destroying the oil’s nutrients.
Additionally, making your own essential oils will be much more expensive compared to just buying already prepared oils. Why is this? Because to make certain types of oils you’ll need to purchase several pounds of plant material to equal one pound of oil.
Creating Your Own Essential Oils for Personal and Business Purposes
If you’re considering starting your own essential oils home business, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
You can use dried or fresh plant material from a number of sources such as fruit rinds, flower, bark, grasses, spices, and herbs.
If you’ve decided to try making your own essential oil, determine what you’ll use the oils for before you make them. If it’s for personal use, try making an oil that you’re familiar with and one that you use regularly.
Additionally, the oils you make must be one hundred percent pure, especially if you’ll be using them for aromatherapy, cooking, or body system support.
You can also create your own oils to use in bath salts, soap, perfume, candles, or even potpourri.
There are a variety of methods you can use to make your own essential oils. Heat used in many types of distilling methods can actually damage the nutrients in essential oils, weakening the potency so many beginners prefer to use infusion methods instead.
The first common method used involves cooking plant material in a crockpot on low for a period of twenty-four hours. The plant material should sit in the crock pot for one week. After a week, you can collect the oil that has risen to the water’s surface and place it in a glass container. This oil can last for a period of one year.
The next method is also pretty simple. Grind up plant material, placing it in a cotton bag. The bag should be tied closed and placed in a pot of distilled water. Allow the water to simmer for twenty-four hours, after which you can collect the oil.
Adding Carrier Oils to Essential Oil Blends
This third method is very easy to do. Use a large glass jar, filling it halfway with olive oil, coconut oil, or almond oil. Put as much plant material as you can in the jar. It should be left in a cool dark spot for twenty-four hours. Shake the jar up well. The contents should be left undisturbed for a period of three days. After this period you’ll need to strain the oil through a cheesecloth and store it in a dark glass jar. This oil should last for six to eight months.
The fourth method also involves using a type of carrier oil to make essential oil. You can use jojoba oil, almond oil, or coconut oil. Mix two cups of the carrier oil with half an ounce of plant material. Pour the ingredients into a crockpot, placing it on low for eight hours. Strain the mixture and place it in a glass container. This oil should last for nine months.
This next method uses both a carrier oil and vinegar. Start by placing one tablespoon of ground plant material into half a cup of carrier oil. Add one teaspoon of white vinegar and pour all the ingredients into a small bottle and place it in a window. The bottle should be left there for one month. This oil can last twelve months.
For this last method, take a twelve-ounce bottle of rubbing alcohol and pour it into a large bowl. Soak the plant material in the alcohol for two weeks. During this time the alcohol will evaporate. Collect the oil that’s left in the bowl and place it in a glass container. This oil can last for six months.
Distilling Essential Oils
Many types of essential oils are also steam distilled. This process involves simmering the plant material in a small still in order to produce steam. The tube is run through the cold water as the steam travels through it. The condensation that forms will consist of an oil compound and a water compound. The oil that rises is essential oil, while the water compound is used to make infused water, such as rose water or lavender water.
You can purchase your own still setup online or make your own. The size and material of the cooking chamber you use, in addition to the type of condenser and separator used, can affect the quality of the oil. As an example, the cooking chamber should be made out of non-reactive metal because reactive metals can negatively affect the quality of the essential oils.
When making your own essential oil, most experts agree that steam distillation is the best method to use because it seems to produce the best essential oils.
Essential Oil Making Tips
Learn how to use essential oils in blends so you can create your own unique products.
We also recommend using fresh plant material instead of dried. This is because dried plant material doesn’t yield nearly as much oil as fresh plant material. Try to harvest the plant material early in the morning and be sure to throw out any bug infested or dead plant life.
You’ll need to use at least four or five cups of plant material per batch. This will actually result in only a couple of tablespoons of essential oil.
Make sure you chop up the plant material in order to allow more of the essential oils to escape during the process.
Always use distilled water. Regular tap water can carry bacteria and other types of contaminants, which will ruin the batch.