Homemade Orange Oil Recipe (Easy)

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Homemade Orange Oil Recipe

This homemade orange oil extract can be prepared in just a few minutes, although you will have to wait several days before you’ll be able to use it, since the alcohol must absorb the aromatic oils from the peel skin of this gorgeous citrus. Of course, this method for making orange essential oil at home can be used to make also lemon oil extract, lime oil, etc…

The aroma intensity and taste will not be like the offered by commercial store bought extracts. It’s due to the fact these oils are very concentrated and have to be diluted before use.

Also, there’s no way we could know what they add to the commercial essential oils, very often you get a bland odor or artificial aroma from these commercial essential oil products. So, nothing better than making your own homemade essential oil, which will allow you to control and know exactly what you have added into your natural oil extract.

 

Orange Essential Oil Benefits

 

On inhalation, it helps fight against hypertension (moderate) and stimulates the immune system. There are two ways to inhale, either through the diffusion of steam (diffuser, over hot water bowl…), this is wet inhalation ; or by dry inhalation, applying a few drops of sweet orange essential oil on a cloth or on the inside of the wrist in order to breathe the scent regularly. Be careful though not to expose these parts of the skin with applied oil to the sun.

The diffusion of orange essential oil, sometimes also called citrus sinensis oil into the air immediately provides a relaxing, soothing effect, ideal at the end of the day to gently relieve your tension. This relaxation creates an environment and feeling suitable to falling asleep and helps fight insomnia.

A little tip, during the holidays, you can spray in your home warm and natural scents that will delight your guests. And the orange essential oil is a perfect choice for that purpose, especially if you made it yourself  😉

Also, by adding a few drops in the bathtub water, you will get double benefit by enjoying the benefits directly on your skin, while calming your mind and strengthening your immunity by the effect of inhalation.

Orange essential oil, like all citrus fruits, is photosensitizing, so it is not recommended to expose yourself to the sun after skin application.

Its antioxidants help fight skin aging too. In addition, sweet orange essential oil has a positive action against excess sebum. So, you can add a few drops to the shampoo in order to get rid of dandruff and care for oily hair roots. You can do the same with a moisturizer to revitalize your skin, but be careful, always use in night cream to avoid sun exposure.

Orange essential oil thins and energizes blood circulation, which is perfect for reducing cellulite, water retention and heavy leg sensations. Here is a recipe for a draining leg lotion, which is easy to make: mix 50 ml of aloe vera gel, 10 drops of sweet orange oil (see the homemade recipe below) and 5 drops of Italian helichrysum oil. — also called immortelle — and 10 ml of calophyll vegetable oil or simply olive oil and massage your legs with the tip of the fingers up to the groin.

Why you should use your orange peels and not trow them away

 

Did you know:  orange peels contain more than twice vitamin C than the pulp/flesh of the fruit? The orange skin also has many other nutrients and vitamins in larger quantities than the juice. The same applies for lemon skin and most other citrus fruits too.

So you may want to keep the peels when making your morning juice. The orange skin can be used in many ways some of which are: make an orange peel  tea(or add them to your black tea) , use them as a natural compost fertilizer for your pot plants, make candied orange peels, orange marmalade or prepare an orange oil at home as shown in the recipe below.

Also Read:  Pimento Cheese Spread Onion Flatbread Recipe

To make this orange essential oil at home we will use neutral vodka, some water and orange peel skin. I have to mention that if you want to extract more flavor and aroma from the raw material, then more alcohol should be used, as the aromatic oil components are more soluble in alcohol than in water, so you can make changes to the ratio of water and vodka used. You can also skip the water, which will give you even more concentrated oil and better extraction.

Since I mention vodka, if you are vodka fan and like refreshing cocktails you may want to look at my  cocktail category and especially the Hairy Navel Cocktail  or the Fuzzy Navel Cocktail Recipe.

You can learn a little more about vodka here.

Now, back to making the orange essential oil.

 

So, How to Make DIY Homemade Orange Essential Oil

 

And here is the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 100 grams of (neutral) vodka
  • 50 grams of water (can be reduced or skipped)
  • the peels of 1 or few large oranges (depending on how much oil you want to make). I often use the peels of 4 or 5 oranges ( depends on the size of the oranges ) or whatever is left from orange juice making or other recipes. If you are not sure how much you need you can just use whatever amount of peels/oranges you have available and add enough peels to fill a mason jar or other glass container.
  • A mason jar or tiny cute 5 ml mini glass jars which are perfect to showcase to friends or give away as a gift.

Preparation

  1. Wash the skin of the orange well, especially if it is not organic, and dry it well with a cloth. Remove the skin from the orange with a sharp peeler or knife, taking only the orange part, the orange pith or albedo (the white part) should not be used into this preparation. I prefer to use this method as other methods could expel the volatile essential oils from the orange peel.
  2. Prepare a sterilized jar or just really well washed glass bottle and weigh the vodka and water you will use to make the orange oil extract. In addition, you can make a nice little label tag, which will give your orange oil bottle a cute stylish look. You should write down and add it to the jar/bottle with general information about its contents and date of manufacture.

orange peels

  1. (Note: it’s better to first let the peels dry for a few days, this way the orange oil extract will be more concentrated.) Chop the peels into pieces and place them in the sterile bottle or other sealed container you prepared before. Once the skin is well chopped, put it in the glass jar and add the water and vodka. Add 1 part of water for every 2 parts of vodka or schnapps until the bottle is filled.
  2. Close the jar with an airtight lid and shake it well several times or better for a minute or two. Put the label on it and keep it in a dark and cool place for about a week.
  3. The approximate time needed for the liquid to absorb the taste and aroma of the orange peels will be about one week. Remember during the first few days to shake the jar a couple of times, so that the aromatic oils are distributed and homogenized(extracted)  properly by the alcohol.
  4. When your homemade orange oil extract is ready, remove the peel skin, filter and store the extracted oil in a clean tightly sealed bottle, so that the oil does not evaporate over time. It’s now ready for use, its shelf life is quite long since alcohol is a great natural preservative.

It can be used in biscuits, breads, cookies… yum, on your skin or just as nice aroma in your essential oil diffuser :-).

You can keep it in a fridge or at room temperature as long as you make sure you seal the container properly, otherwise you may end up with an empty bottle after some time.

Also Read:  Italian Vov Liqueur Recipe (Easy)

Note:

You can find methods for sterilizing glass containers here.

The same method is used to make oil extracts from other citrus fruits and make good use of their leftover peels and skins. I feel like trying making lemon oil too.

The water/alcohol ratios can vary, the more alcohol you use, the stronger the extract will be, because  more solvent for essential oils will be available. I have used 1/2 ratio this time, but perhaps in future experiments I will reduce the amount of water.

How to make orange essential oil without vodka or alcohol

You can make your own homemade orange, lemon or other citrus oil without any alcohol. Just use an organic vegetable oil preferably extra virgin olive oil. It will still extract much of the orange peels healthy nutrients and beneficial goodness without the harshness of the alcohol. Though, keep in mind that olive oil and alcohol will extract different compounds at different rates, so your olive oil orange extract may be slightly milder compared to a vodka extract (alcohol generally dissolves and extracts more nutrients that a vegetable oil does).

5 from 1 reviews
Homemade Orange Oil Recipe (Easy)
 
Ingredients
  • 100 grams of vodka
  • 50 grams of water (can be reduced or skipped)
  • the peels of 1 or few large oranges (depending on how much oil you want to make)
Instructions
  1. Wash the skin of the orange well, especially if it is not organic, and dry it well with a cloth. Remove the skin from the orange with a sharp peeler or knife, taking only the orange part, the orange pith or albedo (the white part) should not be used into this preparation. I prefer to use this method as other methods could expel the volatile essential oils from the orange peel.
  2. Prepare a sterilized jar or just really well washed glass bottle and weigh the vodka and water you will use to make the orange oil extract. In addition, you can make a nice little label tag, which will give your orange oil bottle a cute stylish look. You should write down and add it to the jar/bottle with general information about its contents and date of manufacture.
  3. (Note: it's better to first let the peels dry for a few days, this way the orange oil extract will be more concentrated.) Chop the peels into pieces and place them in the sterile bottle or other sealed container you prepared before. Once the skin is well chopped, put it in the glass jar and add the water and vodka. Add 1 part of water for every 2 parts of vodka or schnapps until the bottle is filled.
  4. Close the jar with an airtight lid and shake it well several times or better for a minute or two. Put the label on it and keep it in a dark and cool place for about a week.
  5. The approximate time needed for the liquid to absorb the taste and aroma of the orange peels will be about one week. Remember during the first few days to shake the jar a couple of times, so that the aromatic oils are distributed and homogenized(extracted) properly by the alcohol.
  6. When your homemade orange oil extract is ready, remove the peel skin, filter and store the extracted oil in a clean tightly sealed bottle, so that the oil does not evaporate over time. It's now ready for use, its shelf life is quite long since alcohol is a great natural preservative.
 

Check out my other easy homemade recipes for more inspiration.

 

Homemade Orange Oil
The orange oil looks really fancy in a mini glass bottle

 

If you enjoyed this recipe or have questions, feel free to comment below. I would be happy to help you out.

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32 Responses

  • hey, a great recipe will be trying in a moment, I just wanted to be clear on what you meant by filter the extracted oil?

    • Thank you for asking. Well, to filter the extracted oil means that once you have finished the extraction process, after a week or so, you just have to filter the resulting oil with a cloth or a fine mesh/strainer so you don’t have any particles left from the orange peels. Then you will have a clean orange oil made at home. If you leave the peels to sit and extract for longer in the vodka/alcohol, you will get even better, darker and stronger orange oil 🙂

  • Vanilla extract can take up to a year for a good outcome…what is the longest you have let orange or lemon sit in the vodka?

    • Hey Sherri, I had once orange peels extracted in alcohol(not necessarily vodka) for more than a month. Though, you don’t really need to wait that long, as after about a week or 10 days the extraction should be mostly completed. This is given you use strong enough alcohol and the peels are as thin as possible(you can even cut them in small pieces to ease the extraction). Also, don’t forget to shake the jar or container occasionally.

      Even now I have one big jar with orange peels sitting and quietly extracting, I think it has been almost a month now.
      This is because I still have orange oil from a previous batch and I often give my friends and family little bottles with my homemade orange oil, they seem to really like it. So, I make sure I always have additional supplies of my orange oil in reserve :-).

  • Hello. Do I leave the orange peels open to air in order for them to dry or should I put the lid on the jar?

    • Hi Mylani, before you start making the orange oil extract, it’s recommended to leave the orange peels for a few days to dry out. You can spread them in a thin layer on a mat or a piece of paper. If you are going to save the dry peels(in case you have large supply or eat a lot of oranges) for later batches or other usage(tea, pot plant compost, etc..) you can put the already dried peels in a jar and close it tightly.

      If you are asking whether you should put a lid on the jar during the extraction, I would suggest putting a cap or lid on the jar as this will allow for the proper extraction and will prevent the oil and alcohol from evaporating. This will also make it possible for you to shake the jar occasionally (you can’t shake an open jar right ;-)).

      Cheers.

  • Hello Jennifer first of all I like to Thank You for these Wonderful oil’s They are Awesome 🤗 “my question is can I use Tangerine peels to make oil

    • Hey Rachel, I really appreciate your kind words, I just try to share things I make at home, which are mostly easy to make, cheap and healthy i.e better than store bought products they sell to us :-).

      And to answer your question, yes, you can use tangerine peels to make a homemade oil extract. Actually you can make such oil with most other citrus fruit peels, so give it a try and let me know how it goes. I have made oil extracts from orange and lemon peels so far. You gave me a great idea for my next oil extract recipe, thanks ;-).

      I’m currently making a wonderful fizzy homemade soda with water kefir and will soon publish the recipe here, so stay tuned if you like soda, but don’t want to drink the commercially sold crap, which is full of dangerous additives (like most of our food nowadays unfortunately).

      Cheers.

  • Hello Jennifer, I read somewhere that after the extraction is over, you can place a cheese cloth over the lid of the jar so the alcohol can evaporate. I would really like to know because I am making my own oil for skincare purpose and wouldn’t want to be smelling like an alcoholic after applying my oil.

    • Hi Stephanie, you can use a cheesecloth to evaporate the alcohol of course, just make sure to use the oil soon after the alcohol is gone. Or keep it in the fridge so it keeps its beneficial qualities. Initially the alcohol serves both the purpose of extraction and after that preservation of the extracted oil. So, if you plan on storing it for longer you may want to leave the alcohol in there until you decide to use it and then allow it to evaporate, so you’ll have only the oil.

      Cheers.

  • Thanks Jennifer for this great recipe. I will like to ask if I can use the oil in my skincare product without evaporating the alcohol. And also how long will the shelf life be if I evaporate the alcohol

    • Hey Temi, you could use the orange oil on your skin, just make sure you don’t have any allergies, sensitive skin or other health issues that would be contraindicated for using such oils. If you are not sure about it, please consult your doctor first. Generally, essential oils should be applied diluted with carrier oils when used on skin.

      Please refer to this article for more information on the topic:

      https://www.healthline.com/health/orange-essential-oil-uses

      I’m not sure about the exact time range, but the shelf life of the orange oil without the alcohol will be relatively short. It will either evaporate if you don’t close the container properly or will get spoiled eventually. The role of the alcohol is exactly to preserve the oil(in addition to a better extraction when you make it at hone) for very long time even without a fridge.

      You can evaporate the alcohol from small batches of your orange oil just enough for use on a course of a few days or a week and keep the rest(if you made a large quantity) with its alcohol content intact for later application

      Cheers.

  • Thanks for the great recipe Jennifer. I will like to ask if I can use this on my skin (especially my face) without evaporating the alcohol.

    • Hi Ilene, unfortunately I haven’t tried making avocado or nut/seed oils yet. And I’m not really sure this method would work for other fruits like avocado or getting grapeseed and almond oil. The method shown in my recipe is mostly good for peels from citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, lime, grapefruits, etc..

      To make natural oil out of avocado or nuts and seeds you will need a completely different approach, which will involve much more efforts and equipment. For this you want a pressure extraction with a press, which would crush the fruit or nut/seed material and then filter out the oil from other unneeded particles. The same method/process is used for making olive oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil and any other seed/nut or oily fruit/vegetable oil.

      My homemade recipe is just a way to show you how to easily make natural homemade orange or citrus fruit oil from peels. For other type of oils you will need to use different extraction methods. Thanks for giving me an idea for a future article, I may post a recipe on making nut or seed oil at home soon, so stay tuned 😉

    • Yes, you can add this homemade orange oil in almost anything, really. If you want to make the scent stronger don’t add water during the extraction, use stronger alcohol and preferably leave it sit a little longer than the usual period of 1 week( maybe 2 weeks to a month). Or in case you prefer to not use alcohol, then you can make an orange infused olive oil with the peels too.

      Cheers.

  • How is it orange oil if it’s just orange rind and alcohol, where’s the oil?
    Seems more like a tincture.
    There’s no oil in the recipe except the minute amount coming out of the orange peels.

    Thanks for clarifying

    • Well, it’s a homemade orange oil recipe, so you probably won’t get it super concentrated like the store bought essential oils. And still, with this method you are able to extract a large portion of the natural orange oil found in the orange peels. If you have an industrial extraction equipment you will probably extract 100% of the oil thru steam distillation, but most of us don’t have access to such tools. With the homemade method you are using things that are easily found in your kitchen. You just need strong alcohol(or olive oil) and water(optional). Can’t get simpler than that, right ;-). And the result can be pretty good actually if it’s done right.

      The substance coming out of the fresh orange peel is called orange oil. It’s not exactly like a vegetable oil, but is quite similar and oily in appearance. Just try to squeeze some of this oil from a freshly peeled orange peels and rub it with your finger, you will see why they call it oil.
      If you want to actually have an oil in your orange oil you can try the olive oil extraction method I mentioned in the article. It will also extract enough orange oil from the peels and will not have alcohol on it.

      Cheers.

  • Hi Jennifer,

    I am currently making a lime and an orange oil. I let the peels dry for two days and added alcohol only (no water). They have been in a cool dry place overnight. I went to shake them today and it looks as if the rinds have absorbed quite a lot of the alcohol to where they are no longer completely covered. There is still liquid in there (about half the amount), but I’m concerned not enough. Do I add more alcohol or is this normal? I am hoping to use this oil in soy and paraffin candles. Thank you.

    • Sara, it seems that you left the white part on the peels and they are “consuming” your alcohol. The pith of the orange is like a sponge and can soak large amounts of any liquid, especially if it has been dried out beforehand. Orange pith is great for making a wonderful marmalade with sugar, but is not suitable when making homemade orange oil.

      Also, make sure your extraction container is tightly sealed, otherwise portion of the alcohol will just evaporate.

      In step 1. of the recipe I mention that the pith should not be used for your orange oil preparation.

      There’s still a chance your peels will extract some oil now if you let them sit longer and refill your extraction container with more alcohol(the stronger the better). So, before you throw them away you should decide whether you want to keep this batch and let it do its thing for a few weeks or not.

      Just remember when you make your homemade orange oil to make the peels as thin as possible (without the white part) with a peeler. I often use a potato peeler and it does a great job for this ;-). Ideally, the pith should remain on the peeled orange and you should have only the orange skin part(which is the one full of natural essential oil).

      Then, when these thin peels dry out for a few days to a week (depending on your room temperature and humidity), they will get quite smaller, lighter and hard on touch. You can cut or crush them on smaller pieces to increase surface area and ease the extraction further. Add strong alcohol (vodka is fine) and let it sit for a week or two. As time passes and when you shake it occasionally the alcohol should get darker orange in color and after some time you will notice some amount of the oils floating on top.

      After it’s ready you can remove the peels and transfer the extracted oil to tightly sealed glass container stored in dark cool place.

      Let me know if you have other questions and I’ll be happy to help you out.

      Cheers.

      • Jennifer! Thank you! I was pretty careful about making the peels thin – there was a bit of white on some parts but not too much. They also dried for two days (but perhaps should have gone longer) but they were shriveled and hard to the touch. I think it could actually be the jars as I noticed when I shook them some of the liquid did spill out. I think what I will do is transfer them to different jars, add a bit more alcohol and let them soak for a couple of weeks (as I hate to waste) and see if this works. Does that sound like a good idea? I appreciate your feedback – super helpful!

        • It’s completely OK if there is some small amount of the white pith left on the peels, no need to stress on it too much and try to make it perfect;-).

          From what you describe, it seems you mostly made it right. I can’t think of many other reasons for the alcohol to get on half of the original amount(given you filled the jar enough to cover the peels). If the peels are properly dried(and without the white pith) they won’t soak much of the alcohol, actually the difference will be very minimal. A hot environment and dry air in your house/room will possibly evaporate portion the alcohol faster, but only if you let the jar opened or not sealed properly.

          And, your idea is great actually. You can refill the jar with more alcohol and leave it sit for longer in order to extract the oils. I would do the same thing.

          Since you mention you like to take good use of leftovers(I’m pretty much the same), next time you can also keep the peels along with the white orange pith and make a homemade marmalade too. It’s a wonderful idea and you are using all parts of the orange fruit that way. I will probably write a recipe on this soon too.

          Have a wonderful evening ahead!

          • Jennifer thank you so much!!! I appreciate your responsiveness! I will do exactly that – transfer to a different jar/add more alcohol (I’m good at adding more alcohol hahaha).

            I look forward to the orange marmalade recipe 🙂

            Have a great day.

  • Hey jennifer, i would like to ask is it okay to put the oil containing alcohol into my air humifier? or i should let the alcohol evaporate first? :)))

    • Grace, it’s possible to use this homemade oil, but first check what type of air humidifier you have. If it is a heated or warm mist humidifier then it’s better to avoid adding this homemade oil to it for safety precautions as it may catch fire due to the alcohol content.

      You can use this oil in your essential oil diffuser, but again check whether it is heated, ultrasonic, nebulizing or with passive evaporation. The nebulizing, ultrasonic and the passive evaporation diffusers are generally safe for this alcohol containing essential oil, but the heated one is not suitable for obvious reasons.

      You may be able to evaporate the alcohol from the oil you made, but for this to work you will need to use a highly volatile ethanol or similar(rubbing alcohol). Vodka is also pretty volatile, but when/if mixed with water (for the oil extraction), it may need some time to fully evaporate, to have only the orange oil left in the contaiber.

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