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I originally found how to make orange essential oil from a beautiful Australian blog called Blah Blah Magazine. It was painfully simple and the first batch I tried came out better than expected.
I’ll usually eat an orange or two a day. While I’m eating them, I’ll put the peels aside on my window sill to dry.
When I’ve accumulated a large batch, I’ll process them all and make more essential oil. I store what I’ve made in a mason jar and add it to my homemade cleaning supplies to give them a natural, beautiful, clean smell.
Peel an orange with a knife, trying to get as little as the white pith as possible. Let the peel sit out and dry in a warm windowsill under dry and hard.
Tear or cut the dried peel into smaller pieces and steep in vodka or any high-proof alcohol. Shake several times a day.
After a week or so (the longer you steep the orange peel, the more oil will be extracted) strain the peel out of the vodka. Squeeze the remaining alcohol from the peel.
- Allow the remaining alcohol-oil mixture sit uncovered for a couple of days, to allow the alcohol to evaporate. Cover back up again before all of the alcohol has evaporated, though, or you risk the oil going rancid or growing mold.
This same process can also be repeated with lemons and limes, and for a fun variation, try using flavored vodkas, such as vanilla!