Orange oil is great for cleaning all kinds of things — and it smells fantastic. Better yet, it cuts grease and has antibacterial properties. But did you know you can actually make your own all-natural orange oil? Here’s how you can do it yourself without much hassle, and what you can do with it when it’s done.
1. What You’ll Need
2. Peel and Dry
As you eat the oranges, hang onto the peels. Just keep them on a dish on your counter, and flip them over daily until you’re ready to make your oil. When you have a lot of peels saved up, it’s time to dry them. If you have a dehydrator, this works well. If not, you can use your oven. Lay them in a single layer and turn your oven to the lowest temperature setting for 30-60 minutes. When the peels snap between your fingers, they’re ready to go.
3. Soak Time!
Once the peels are dry, put them into your mason jars. Then pour rubbing alcohol (yes, true!) to fill the space in the jar and cover the peels. Use at least a 70% solution. Cover the jars and let the peels soak in the alcohol for about 1 week. What’s the rubbing alcohol for, you ask? It draws the natural oils out. As your soak continues, you’ll begin to see the rubbing alcohol turn orange. It’s actually pretty cool.
4. Strain & Wait
Place your cheesecloth over a sieve and place the sieve over a wide bowl or dish. Next, pour the alcohol solution into the prepared cheesecloth. Once that’s done, dump the peels in there too and let everything drain. Bundle up your cheesecloth around the peels and squish as much liquid out as you can. Now you can throw away the orange peels.
Leave your bowl on your counter for about a week, covered with cheesecloth if you wish. Over this time, the alcohol will evaporate and leave you with a beautiful orange oil. Once you can’t smell the alcohol, you’re good to go.
5. Now What?
Store your lovely oil in a glass container with an airtight lid. Add a little to any cleaning agents you’d love to give a boost of citrus cleaning power. Try it in your mop water, hand sanitizer, homemade cleaners, laundry detergents, and much more. It’s concentrated, so you won’t need a lot. Enjoy!