Aug 13, 2011

How to extract orange oils at home

This is escapism for me. I have a very messy house and a tonne of commissioned work and kids that need tending to but it's all too much for me so I go do something totally unproductive. (and then write it on this blog - double wham!)

My book on natural cleaning says orange oils are great. How do you get orange oils, I ask? (Buy it, of course, you reply, but there's no fun in that, I say)

I read about using vinegar to get orange oils, but I didn't want to mix vinegar with Castille soap, as it reacts with undesired results (read: a pukey smell and stuff that looks like curdled milk). I read about using alcohol to extract orange oils, and while this sounds feasible, I didn't want to buy another medium just to extract the oil.  Also, I wanted the oil for cleaning purposes, and didn't need pure orange oil.

Orange oils comes from the orange peel and is usually cold-pressed when commercially extracted, says Google.

So I remove the white part - this otherwise absorbs all the oil...

remove white part of peel

And puncture the orange peel with a needle all over...

Then press it, grinding it in circular motions..
(reminder: we are talking about an orange peel here)

Grind orange peel for oil

And there it pitifully is...

orange oil

I flush it out with a little bit of water, and hand squeeze the peels, again flushing water through it. And get what I deduce is a mix of oils and water...

Orange oil in water

Then, I mix a little bit with Castille soap.

Orange oil with water and Castille soap

Of course, this is the one and only time I'm ever doing this because
a) it's too much work
b) we don't eat orange, and I bought an orange so I could get the skin and puncture holes in it
c) my curiosity is sated

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