Condo Blues: How to Make Lavender Essential Oil Extract




Sunday, July 17, 2011

How to Make Lavender Essential Oil Extract

how to make lavender essential oil extract
The mix of crisp morning air with an end note of the mid day heat to come makes morning my favorite time of day during the summer.

When I can, I grab a cup of coffee and sip it while I watch the bees enjoy the lavender in my flowerbeds.

It feels so decadent to start my Saturdays this way.
I wish I could enjoy my fresh lavender in the dead of winter too.

I can if I use my  fresh lavender to make lavender essential oil extract!


How to Make Lavender Oil Extract

Technically this tutorial makes a lavender tincture or extract which is less potent than a pure essential oil. I'm OK with it because I use my lavender extract to add a nice smell and an antiseptic oomph to my homemade cleaners. It works just as well as a pure essential oil but I have to use a little more of the lavender tincture since it is not as strong. No biggie since the tincture costs tons less to make than buying a teeny bottle of lavender essential oil.


how to make lavender essential oil
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To make a real essential oil you have to distill the lavender buds, capture the steam, and condense the steam into a liquid. I stay away from home distilling because it can get explody and I don't want anyone to think I am making illegal distilled goods (booze) when all I want is lavender essential oil.



You will need

  • Grain alcohol or vodka (a cheap grocery store brand such as Popov vodka is perfect for this project because it tastes wretched if you drink it in a yummy Cosmo.)
  • Two glass jars, one should have a tight fitting lid
Disclosure: Affiliate links appear in this post for your convenience. 

Make it

  1. You can use either fresh or dry lavender buds for this project. I didn’t remove my lavender buds from the stalk. The stalks have some of the same fragrant oils as the flowers/buds but not as much.
  1. Pour the lavender into the bowl or mortar and use the back of a spoon or pestle to crush the buds to release the oil. Do not over process the buds until they are mushy or you will lose the oil in the flower.
how to use  fresh lavender flowers

  1. Add the crushed lavender buds to the jar with the tight fitting lid and cover the peels in grain alcohol or vodka. Warning: Do not try to isopropyl/rubbing alcohol for this project. It has an extra odor that will not evaporate. Your essential oil will smell like rubbing alcohol instead of essential oil. Guess how I know? Blurgh! 
how to make lavender essential oil tincture

  1. Shake the jar to release the oil several times a day for several days. The longer you let the lavender flowers steep the more lavender oil you will extract. I let mine sit in a sunny spot on my kitchen counter for a weekend. 
  1. Use a coffee filter to strain the liquid from the lavender buds and into the second jar. Congratulations! You made lavender flavored vodka!

how to make lavender essential oil extract tincture

  1. Place a clean coffee filter or cloth on top of the jar of liquid and let it sit undisturbed to allow the alcohol to evaporate from the jar and make lavender essential oil. I let my jar sit for one week.
  1. Optional: I had sediment in the bottom of my jar of DIY lavender essential oil after one week. I strained the lavender essential oil a second time with a clean coffee filter into my lidded storage jar. A dark colored jar such as a repurposed yeast jar will keep sunlight from degrading the essential oil.
  1. What you have left is a jar of lavender essential oil extract!
Enjoy!

If you'd rathr buy than DIY, check out the following - and more! - ideas below!

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39 comments :

sooz said...

Wow thats clever! Thanks for sharing! :)

Just Jaime said...

Great idea!

Emily-Claire Ballou said...

I'm going to have to try this! Thank you for sharing. My eye immediately went to your post on the link party because we both posted about lavender. It's such a relaxing, wonderful scent! :)

Angela said...

Thanks for sharing! I just bought lavender from www.DriedDecor.com because I love the scent! I'll have to make some essential oil with it!

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

What an absolutely adorable DIY! Well done.

I hope that you will stop by and enter my giveaway.

Happy Monday!

Kristin said...

Thank tou for sharing this! I have to give it a try. Stopping by from {jue something i whipped up}.

Anonymous said...

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www.hannahhandmade.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hannah-Handmade/200408909971427?ref=ts

Darci said...

This is SO much easier than every other extraction method I've seen for lavender oil. Thanks for sharing!!

Lisa said...

I have three very large lavender bushes I would love to use to make this but when do you pick the flowers? After they are done blooming? Can you email me if you know: something_clever(at)msn(dot)com

Condo Blues said...

Lisa You can pick them either when they are blooming or when they stop. If you wait until after they stop, there will be a little less oil but not enough that I noticed anything different when I made my lavender essential oil.

Christine said...

Wow, this looks so easy! I suppose that I could do this with lemon peels too?

Condo Blues said...

Christine - It IS easy! You can do it with lemon peels but you have to dry them first. If you follow the directions in my Make Orange Essential Oil out of Orange Peels you'll be all set http://condo-blues.blogspot.com/2011/04/how-to-make-orange-essential-oil-from.html

claudia b said...

I am SO going to make this - thank you!

Cristy said...

oh, I just typed a wordy comment, and when I tried to submit, it disappeared and a new box popped up, empty, with a captcha underneath :(

Anonymous said...

And, after I was over on your other blog, here I see this one. (From Time Travel Thursdays). Between the two reads, I read your "about" page. Fun photo. I love lavender essential oil. Its great for so many things. I'll have to put making it on my to-do list! Thanks, Jenn

Shelly @A Creative Space said...

I have a ton of lavender! Thanks for the idea!!!

Tami said...

I'm so curious to know how much lavender you used- and how much oil you got. I'm thinking about Xmas gifts but wondering if my poor lavender bush can supply me with enough buds.

Thank you so much for this post!!

Condo Blues said...

Tami - I don't have an exact amount of lavender and vodka I used in my tutorial. I filled a salsa jar with as many lavender sprigs as it would hold. I poured vodka over the buds to the top of the jar. I got 2 cups of lavender essential oil.

Gail Humble M.D. said...

Epic idea, I'm trying it now, I'm into part 2 (sitting in jar for a week to let vodka evaporate). My question is threefold. !. How do I know when it's ready for sure? Does it not smell like alcohol anymore perhaps?

2. When it's done, is there an oily consistency (hence the name "essential oil"), or is it more like water with a lavender scent?

3. during the week in the jar (after straining), do you put it in the sun, or not? Thanks. Mike.

Mike said...

Great idea, trying it now. 2 questions:
1. How do you know when the oil is ready, does it lose the alcohol smell, or perhaps get an oily consistency (hence the name "essential oil"), or should I just assume it's done after a week?

2. When I leave it out for a week with the filter on, should it be in the sun or not? Thanks. Mike.

Christine said...

I tried this three different times, but all I end up with is a jar full of liquid with a light oil sheen on the top...???

Laura said...

This isn't an essential oil. It's an extract.

Anonymous said...

I think you've created a lavender extract, or tincture,not an essential oil. You really do need heat and lots LOTS,LOTS of lavender flowers to make an oil.

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is actually a tincture. An essential oil is typically produced by steam distillation.

Anonymous said...

this is a tincture, not an essential oil. tinctures are still extremely useful, but i wouldn't recommend using this tincture in recipes calling for essential oils.

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

I stand corrected this is a tincture and not an essential oil. I'm keeping the post title because that's how it's bookmarked by a bunch of people on Pinterest, etc. I use this tincture in my homemade cleaners and room spray just as I would an essential oil I bought in a store. There isn't a difference in performance between the two. My version doesn't smell as strong as an essential oil which I prefer over a naturally made lavender essential oil. In this case I use a few more drops of my version in my room spray recipe and it smells just as it does when I use an essential oil. To each their own!

Apsolutely Me! said...

That's a neat idea! dropping in from Tip Junkie.

-Aparna
http://apsolutelycrafts.blogspot.in

Aimee - The Crazy Craft Lady said...

Thanks for sharing. Lavender is definitely on my farmer's market shopping list for the weekend.

Dragonfly Treasure said...

Awesome!! Off to pick my lavender!
*hugs*Deb

Buffi Neal said...

very clever !
New follower from the Blog Hop
-Buffi
My Wonderfully Dysfunctional Blog

Leanne said...

I love this idea. I just started blogging, but I'm featuring this idea with a link to this page on Monday as one of my favorite pins on Pinterest, I hope that's okay! It will be up on June 25 @ planprepareandprovide.com.

Claiming Our Space said...

This is great. I have been thinking of moving to more natural cleaning products and lavender essential oil is usually one of the ingredients. Thanks so much for sharing on Tout It Tuesday! Hope to see you next week.

Serendipity Refined said...

Thanks for the great information! I've been using lavender oil to fragrance my room sprays and linen spray. I'm going to make this tincture now instead!

allisamazing said...

This is fabulous! I can't wait to try it :) Off to buy some vodka today!

Anonymous said...

I followed these instructions, but after straining and then covering the jar to let the alcohol evaporate, I still have lavendar scented vodka. No oil. How to recover??

Anonymous said...

Can this tincture be made with roses as well?

JLB said...

oooo roses!! lol I'm going to try that this summer since I have managed to grow roses but do not yet have lavender

Saffron Butterfly said...

This is awesome, but as a point of interest soapers should not use tinctures in their lye soaps. Something in the alcohol causes soap to set incorrectly. However, you can do something similar but using glycerin instead of alcohol. This creates a glycerite which is soap-safe :)

Anonymous said...

If you read the first paragraph of her directions, you will see whre it says this is more of a tincture or extract.