How to Express Oil from Orange Peel: A Step-by-Step Guide for Maximum Benefits

Ever wondered what you could do with those leftover orange peels? Extracting essential oil from them is easier than you might think and offers a multitude of uses, from natural cleaning solutions to aromatherapy. Orange oil not only smells divine but also packs a punch with its antibacterial and mood-boosting properties.

Key Takeaways

  • Efficient Use of Orange Peels: Extracting essential oil from orange peels turns waste into a versatile and valuable product, suitable for cleaning, aromatherapy, and skincare.
  • Right Tools and Techniques: Essential equipment like graters, glass jars, carrier oils, and cheesecloths make the extraction process seamless and preserve the oil’s quality.
  • Step-by-Step Method: Prepare orange peels by zesting and drying them, then follow a methodical expression process and store the oil in dark, glass bottles to maintain its potency.
  • Health and Cosmetic Benefits: Orange peel oil boasts antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, making it beneficial for health, skincare, and cosmetics.
  • Safety and Best Practices: Always handle orange peel oil in a well-ventilated area, use gloves to avoid skin irritation, and ensure proper storage to maximize yield and shelf life.

Understanding the Basics of Expressing Oil

What Is Essential Oil?

Essential oil is a highly concentrated liquid extracted from plant materials. Known for its strong aroma and therapeutic properties, it contains the essence of the plant’s fragrance and beneficial compounds. Steam distillation, cold pressing, and solvent extraction are common methods of extraction.

Why Use Orange Peels?

Using orange peels to extract oil is beneficial due to their abundant oil glands. These glands produce a fragrant oil, rich in limonene and other compounds providing antiseptic and uplifting effects. Orange peels also offer a sustainable option, repurposing waste from consumed oranges. By extracting oil from these peels, one creates a natural product for cleaning and aromatherapy.

Tools and Materials Needed

Tools and Materials Needed

Choosing the Right Type of Oranges

Selecting the right oranges impacts the oil yield and quality. Naval oranges and Valencia oranges work best. They contain high levels of limonene, which results in more potent oil. Choosing organic oranges ensures the oil is free from pesticides and chemicals. Larger oranges generally yield more oil due to having thicker peels.

Essential Equipment for Oil Extraction

Extracting oil from orange peels requires specific tools:

  • Grater: For zesting the orange peel, which exposes the essential oils.
  • Glass jar: For storing the grated peels and the extracted oil. Glass is non-reactive and preserves the oil’s quality.
  • Carrier oil: Such as olive oil or jojoba oil, for the cold press method. This helps to mix and extract the essential oils.
  • Cheesecloth: Used to strain the mixture after combining the grated peel and carrier oil.
  • Funnel: Helps in transferring the oil into storage bottles without spills.
  • Storage bottles: Dark glass bottles for long-term storage to protect the oil from light exposure.

Proper tools and materials streamline the extraction process and maintain the oil’s quality.

Step-by-Step Guide to Expressing Oil from Orange Peel

Step-by-Step Guide to Expressing Oil from Orange Peel

Preparation of Orange Peels

Selecting the right oranges is crucial. Navels and Valencias offer the highest oil yield. Wash the oranges thoroughly to remove any pesticides or wax. Use a grater to zest the oranges, obtaining only the colored part of the peel. The white pith beneath is bitter and contains no oil. Spread the zest out on a clean surface and let it dry for about 24 hours. Ensure the peels are completely dry to avoid mold growth during the extraction process.

The Expression Process

Gather your tools: a glass jar, a carrier oil (like almond or grapeseed), a cheesecloth, and a funnel. Place the dried peels into the glass jar, filling it halfway. Pour the carrier oil over the peels until they are fully submerged, leaving some space at the top of the jar. Seal the jar tightly and store it in a cool, dark place for about a week, shaking it daily to mix the contents. This process allows the carrier oil to absorb the essential oils from the peels.

Collecting and Storing the Oil

After a week, strain the oil using a cheesecloth to remove the orange peels. Place a funnel over a storage bottle and pour the oil through the cheesecloth into the bottle. Squeeze the cheesecloth to extract as much oil as possible. Store the final product in a dark glass bottle to protect it from light, which can degrade the oil’s quality. Keep the bottle in a cool, dark place for maximum shelf life, which can be up to six months.

Using the right tools and following the steps precisely ensures a high-quality product. Whether for cleaning, aromatherapy, or skin care, homemade orange peel oil offers versatile benefits and an eco-friendly alternative to commercial products.

Benefits of Orange Peel Oil

Health Benefits

Orange peel oil contains numerous beneficial compounds. Limonene, the primary component, offers antimicrobial properties. Studies have shown that limonene helps combat bacteria and fungi. Antioxidants in orange peel oil protect cells from oxidative damage, reducing inflammation and promoting skin health.

Orange peel oil also supports digestive health. Limonene, found in the oil, can relieve indigestion and bloating. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory properties may help alleviate symptoms of conditions like IBS.

Uses in Aromatherapy and Cosmetics

In aromatherapy, orange peel oil is highly valued. Its fresh, citrus scent can elevate mood and reduce stress. Users often diffuse it in homes or add it to bathwater for a relaxing experience. The scent promotes a sense of calm and happiness, making it a popular choice.

Orange peel oil also benefits skincare. Its antimicrobial properties make it effective in treating acne and other skin conditions. I often add a few drops to facial cleansers or moisturizers. The oil also helps brighten the skin, owing to its high vitamin C content.

In cosmetics, orange peel oil serves multiple roles. It’s used in lotions, creams, and serums for its refreshing scent and skin benefits. The natural oil also enhances the shelf life of products due to its preservative qualities.

Consistent use of orange peel oil in these areas leverages the numerous health and cosmetic benefits it provides.

Safety Precautions and Tips

Handling Orange Peel Oil Safely

Extract orange peel oil in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling concentrated vapors. Wear gloves to prevent skin irritation, as some individuals may be sensitive to citrus oils. Keep the oil away from children and pets, storing it in clearly labeled, airtight glass containers. Use a funnel to transfer the oil into containers to avoid spills, which can create slippery surfaces.

Best Practices to Optimize Yield

Choose fresh, thick-skinned oranges, such as navel or Valencia varieties. Thicker peels generally contain more oil. Use a fine grater or zester to remove only the orange-colored part of the peel, as the white pith can impair oil quality. Ensure the peels are completely dry before extraction, using a low-temperature oven if needed. Consider using a cold press method or steam distillation, as these techniques can yield higher-quality oil. Remember to store the extracted oil in a cool, dark place to maintain its potency and extend shelf life.


Extracting essential oil from orange peels is a rewarding process that offers numerous benefits. From its antiseptic properties to its ability to enhance mood, orange peel oil is a versatile addition to any wellness routine. By following the steps outlined, you can ensure a high-quality yield and enjoy the many uses of this natural oil.

Remember to prioritize safety and proper storage to maintain the oil’s efficacy. Whether you’re using it for aromatherapy, skincare, or health benefits, orange peel oil is a valuable and natural resource worth incorporating into your daily life.

Expressing oil from orange peel involves a straightforward process that can be done at home. Start by finely grating the orange peel to release the essential oils, then use a pressing technique, such as a mortar and pestle, to further extract the oils, as demonstrated in this detailed guide from Tom’s of Maine. Ensuring proper storage in a dark, cool place will preserve the oil’s potency and benefits, according to Healthline.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of extracting essential oil from orange peels?

Extracting essential oil from orange peels offers various benefits, including antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, mood enhancement, and support for digestive and skin health.

What compound in orange peels provides antiseptic and mood-enhancing effects?

The compound limonene in orange peels provides antiseptic and mood-enhancing effects.

How do I choose the right oranges for oil extraction?

Select fresh and organic oranges free from pesticides for the best quality oil extraction.

What is the proper way to wash and dry orange peels before extraction?

Wash the peels thoroughly under running water and then dry them completely in a well-ventilated area or using a dehydrator.

Why is proper storage of orange peel oil important?

Proper storage in a cool, dark place helps maintain the orange peel oil’s quality and prolongs its shelf life.

What safety precautions should I take when handling orange peel oil?

Ensure proper ventilation, use protective gear like gloves, and store the oil in a securely sealed container.

How can I optimize the yield of orange peel oil?

Choose the right orange varieties, use proper extraction tools, and store the oil correctly to optimize yield and quality.

What are the health benefits of using orange peel oil regularly?

Regular use of orange peel oil can provide antimicrobial, antioxidant, digestive, and skin health benefits, along with mood enhancement.

How is orange peel oil used in aromatherapy?

In aromatherapy, orange peel oil is used for its mood-enhancing properties, helping to reduce stress and promote relaxation.

Can orange peel oil be used in cosmetics?

Yes, orange peel oil is commonly used in skincare products for its benefits, including moisturizing and improving skin texture.