Essential oils are very useful for refreshing the body before leaving for work, scenting the room with the aroma of oranges, even for cooking or making crafts. Essential oils are also easy to make at home with just a few simple ingredients.
Method 1 of 2: Extracting Oil with Cold Press Technique
Step 1. Wash all ingredients, including your hands, and the fruit to be extracted
In the cold press technique, no chemicals are needed. So you have to wash the whole fruit properly to get rid of the bacteria.
With this technique, you will need about 25 oranges to produce enough oil. So, prepare in advance
Step 2. Peel the fruit
Use a paring tool or knife to peel. You can also peel by hand if you want. However, peeling the fruit by hand will make the pulp and other fruit parts carried into the oil so it must be separated later.
- The highest oil content in most fruits is found in the outer layer of the skin. Meanwhile, the thinner skin layer contains less oil.
- You can use an electric fruit peeler to remove the skin of the fruit. However, this method will take more of the flesh than if you peeled it by hand.
Step 3. Take advantage of the remaining fruit skin
Once you're done peeling, you can use the skin of the fruit in recipes or even eat it. Even after the oil is extracted, the skin of the fruit can still be used in various ways. Instead of letting it compost, you could try:
- Store the skin of the fruit in a small bag and hang it as a room freshener.
- Make insect repellent. The content of limonene oil in orange peel can repel some types of insects.
- Put a few pieces of fruit peel into the garbage filter, then grind them to freshen the smell of the sink.
Step 4. Extract the oil from the skin of the fruit
Using a pressure device, such as a sieve, squeeze the skin of the fruit over the jar. High pressure will remove the liquid from the skin of the fruit. It is this liquid that contains the oil you are looking for. Press the filter firmly, but be careful not to damage the tool you are using. The oil should start to come out of the fruit's skin after a few seconds of pressing.
- This technique requires you to exert quite a bit of force to produce what appears to be a small amount of oil. However, there is no need to be disappointed because the effect of this oil is quite strong.
- An easier option, use a garlic crusher to lightly press the skin of the fruit. A pestle and mortar can also be used, although they are more difficult and require more effort.
Step 5. Separate the oil
Let the liquid from the skin of the fruit for a few moments. This oil will separate from the other liquids and can then be collected. You can also use a centrifuge to separate oil from other liquids.
- An easy way to separate oil from other liquids is to freeze it in the freezer. The oil will remain liquid while the other liquid freezes. That way, you can just take the oil.
- The oil extracted in this way has a fairly short service life. So, try to spend it within 6 months.
Step 6. Use as needed
Save the extracted oil in the bottle for later use. Spritz the oil onto the surface of the skin to get its aroma, or add it to dishes that require essential oils. You need to remember that this oil content is very concentrated so that the effect is strong even if you only use a small amount.
Method 2 of 2: Distilling Essential Oils with Alcohol
Step 1. Peel the fruit and let the skin dry
Air the skin of the fruit until the texture is rough to the touch. You may have to wait between a few days and a week for the skin to dry. So be patient.
Avoid using a dehydrator or other drying techniques because they can damage the oil content in the fruit skin
Step 2. Cut the skin of the fruit into small pieces
Once completely dry, cut the skin of the fruit into small pieces. You can use a knife, vegetable cutter, or even a food processor. But be careful, don't cut the skin of the fruit too small because it can damage the oil content.
Cuts that are too small will make the fruit skin look wet and lumpy. Try not to let the liquid in the skin of the fruit come out before the distillation process
Step 3. Put the pieces of fruit peel in a jar and soak with ethanol (ethyl alcohol)
Pour in the alcohol until the fruit is completely submerged. Instead, pour the alcohol until it reaches about 2 cm above the pile of fruit peels. Leave it for a few days.
- You can use vodka in the distillation process. However, the aroma of the oil produced may be slightly affected by the type of vodka used.
- Place the jar in a place that gets a lot of sunlight to help the oil separation process.
- Shake the jar several times a day to help separate the oil from the skin of the fruit.
Step 4. Strain the liquid from the skin of the fruit
After a few days, strain the liquid in the jar with a coffee filter, then put it in a different jar. Place a coffee filter or cloth over the new jar and allow all the alcohol to evaporate. The time required is a week or so.
The evaporation rate of oil is much slower than that of water or similar liquids. While oil can technically evaporate too, the water will evaporate first, leaving only the oil behind
Step 5. Use as needed
Once all the alcohol has evaporated, all that's left in the jar is oil. Put the oil in the bottle for later use. Apply the oil to your skin for a refreshing scent, or, use it in recipes that call for essential oils. You need to remember that this oil content is very concentrated so that the effect is strong even if you only use a small amount.
- When using the oil for the first time, try using a small amount first and see if your skin reacts.
- Keep skin exposed to orange oil out of direct sunlight. Orange oil is phototoxic. This means that exposure to direct sunlight can trigger burns, blisters, and other dangerous skin problems.