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How to Make Essential Oils: 2 Ancient Methods That Work Every Time

If you had said the words ‘essential oils’ a few years ago, people would’ve looked at you funny because they would have had no clue what you were talking about.

Then the best-kept secret finally hit the headlines, everyone began experiencing their natural benefits, and big companies were born to sell these magnificent oils.

But if I’m honest, I know a lot of people are still deterred from trying them because even though they are magnificent, they are expensive to purchase.

Plus, a lot of people prefer to only apply things to their bodies when they’ve actually seen where they’ve come from and not just take another person’s word on it.

So that leads me to why I became curious about how to make my own essential oils. I’m going to share two methods I’ve found to create your own oils.

But remember, you try this at your own risk. Essential oils may be natural, but they are potent. This means that you should consult someone that is familiar with essential oils (or a medical professional) before using or applying any of them to anything. We are not responsible in any way for your results in making or utilizing essential oils.

How To Make Your Own Essential Oils:

Extracting Using Alcohol

When extracting essential oils with alcohol, it is important to note that you should use either undenatured ethyl alcohol or vodka. Do NOT use rubbing alcohol for this process.

1. Pull Out Your Ceramic Crock

To begin, you’ll need a ceramic crock (like this one.) If you decide not to use a ceramic crock, just be sure that you do not use metal. It does not work for this process.

Then you will pour your vodka or undenatured ethyl alcohol over the botanicals that you have chosen to make your oil out of. You can use plants like basil, lilac, and many others.

However, be sure that the botanicals are completely covered by the liquid, or the oils will not be completely extracted from them during the process.

Once you’ve accomplished this, then you are ready to move on.

2. Wait

This step is pretty easy. You’ll place your crock out of the way and allow the mixture to sit for anywhere from one day to two days.

However, I would recommend covering the crock with a cheesecloth. That way the mixture can still breathe, but you don’t have to worry about bugs getting into it.

When your waiting period is over, then you’ll be ready to move on to the next steps.

3. Gently Strain

With this step, you will need a wire strainer (like this one.) You just pour the mixture into the wire strainer, but be sure to have another container underneath to catch it.

Then you’ll need to gently press on the botanicals that are in the strainer to make sure that you have gotten all of the oils that you can out of them.

After that, then you are ready to move on.

4. Add Some More Botanicals

Once you have extracted as much of the oils out of your original botanicals as you can, then you will want to add fresh botanicals to the crock.

However, make sure you stick with the same type of botanical so you don’t get a mixed oil. It will be hard to be sure what purpose the oil will serve if you do this.

But once you have added fresh botanicals to the crock with the oil, then you will need to let the crock sit for 24-48 hours.

Again, you’ll want to be sure to add more alcohol to fully cover the new botanicals.

5. Strain and Press (Again)

Once the oil with the fresh botanicals has completed the 24-48 hour waiting period, you’ll need to pull out your trusty strainer and strain the mixture again.

However, be sure that you have a container under the strainer when pouring it from the crock so you don’t lose any of your homemade oil.

Again, be sure to press the botanicals to be sure that you have extracted every bit of oil that you possibly can.

6. Rinse and Repeat

Once you have your oil that has had two sets of fresh botanicals added to the process, you need to smell your oil and see if it is strong enough for your taste.

If it doesn’t have a strong enough fragrance or potency for you, then you’ll need to repeat the process again.

Then try it again. If it still doesn’t suit your preference, then do it again. You simply repeat the process as many times as necessary until you get the oil to where it suits you.

7. Store Properly

After you have finished with getting your oil to the place you prefer it, you’ll then need to place the oil in the freezer.

But as you know alcohol will not freeze.

So what happens is the oil will congeal on the top of the alcohol. You then scrape the oil off of the top of the alcohol.

Then place it in a glass container (like this one) and store in a cool dark place. You use the freezing method to pull all of the alcohol out of your oils.

Once this is done, then your oils are complete. Congratulations! You have just made your own essential oils using alcohol.

Extracting Using Oil


With this method, you will use pure olive oil. You can purchase it here. Don’t be alarmed when the steps to this process look familiar. It is pretty similar to the above method.

However, this method has fewer steps to it than the alcohol method of creating your own essential oils.

1. Pull Out Your Ceramic Crock

When creating your own essential oils it all begins with the crock. You can purchase the type of crock you need here.

But if you don’t have a crock and don’t wish to purchase one, be sure to use a glass container. Metal reacts badly with the process and will ruin your oils.

So once you have your crock, you’ll place your choice of botanicals into the crock and cover them completely with 100% pure olive oil.

Again, you can use any variety of fresh botanicals that you like. I personally grow my own lavender, basil, chives, and a few other fresh herb varieties as well. Those are usually my preferences.

But you use whatever you have on hand or whatever you can purchase to complete this homemade oils project.

2. Wait, Wait, Wait

After you have all of your botanicals and the oil in your crock, you will want to set the crock out of the way. You can leave it uncovered if you wish. It is usually my preference to cover it with a cheesecloth and secure it with a rubber band.

That way the mixture can breathe, but I don’t have to worry about flies or any other bugs being attracted to my oil blend.

Once this is done, you’ll allow the mixture to sit for 24-48 hours. When the time period has passed you are ready to move on to the next steps.

3. Gently Strain Them

Once the mixture has rested for a day or two, you’ll need to strain it. You will need a strainer (like this) to pour the mixture into.

However, be sure to strain it over another bowl. I know sometimes when I’m reading instructions, if assumed facts aren’t written out I make silly mistakes.

So that is why I stress that other bowl so much!

Anyway, you’ll need to gently press on the botanicals to make sure that you get everything out of them that you possibly can.

Once you feel comfortable that you’ve gotten all of the oil out of the botanicals, then you are ready to move on to the next steps.

4. Add Some More Botanicals

Next, you’ll want to add more of the same type of fresh botanical to the oil that you just strained.

So pour the oil back into the crock and add the fresh botanicals on top of it. You’ll want to add more oil to the botanicals to make sure that they are fully covered so they can infuse and extract properly.

Then you’ll want to cover the crock again and set it out of the way. It will need to rest for 24-48 hours again to give the botanicals time to work in the oil.

5. Strain and Press (Again)

Once the 24-48 hours has passed, you’ll want to pull out your trusty strainer and strain the mixture into another bowl.

Again, be sure to press on the botanicals to extract as much of the oils as you can.

Then you’ll need to smell the oils to see if the fragrance is what you desire. If so, then you can skip the next step.

But if not, follow the next step.

6. Rinse and Repeat

So you’ve gone through the process twice and your oils still aren’t as strong as you wish.

Well, don’t fret. Just add some more botanicals to the crock with the oil that you’ve already extracted. You’ll then cover it with some more oil so all of the botanicals are covered.

Then you’ll cover the crock and wait another day or two.

Next, you’ll strain the mixture again making sure that you extract as much oil from the botanicals as you possibly can.

Then you’ll need to test the oils again. If they are still not what you desire you just keep repeating the process until you are satisfied. When they are what you want, then move on to the final step of this process.

7. Store Properly

Once your oils are the right scent and potency that you desire, you’ll need to pour them into a glass container that is sealed or a bottle like this.

However, be sure to place them in a dark cool place so they will stay fresh. That is all there is to making your own essential oils from olive oil.

Homemade vs. Purchased

You may be wondering what the main difference is between purchased essential oils and making your own?

Well, in my research I have found that companies that manufacture essential oils use a steaming process. It is much more efficient. What I mean is that it takes less time and pulls a larger amount of oil from botanicals.

But if you find that making your own works for you, you like it, and it makes you more comfortable because you know exactly what went into making it, then why not try it?

Keep in mind, that your homemade oils can still be used in baths, making your own aromatic waters, homemade lotions, homemade soaps, and in making your own candles too. Just be sure to do research on the safety of the particular essential oils that you made.

For instance, some essential oils should not be used if you are out in the sun. Other essential oils are only meant for topical use while others can be consumed.

So it is important to do plenty of research to know how to use essential oils.

Well, you now know how to make essential oils using two different methods. As you can tell, the process is pretty simple. Learning how to use them is the most difficult part (in my opinion.)

But I’d love to hear from you. Do you make your own essential oils? What has your experience been? Do you use a different process to make them?

We love hearing from you so drop us a line in the comment section below.

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