Introduction: Homemade Citrus and Clove Mosquito Repellent Oil
As the hot climate of summer starts and rain falls on a daily basis, it is unavoidable to be confronted with clouds of hungry mosquitos who are only waiting to find a bit of exposed skin to attack, or worse: they can become a real nightmare, being the cause of sleepless nights hunting for those blood-sucking nuissances!
The mosquitos seem to like best the taste of my poor sister´s blood, so I had to find a solution for her and her little dog pet to have a good night's rest, and I'd like to share it with you :)
This oil making technique can be used to prepare almost any kind of scented oil: for relaxation, massage or even beauty treatments. All you have to do is mix the desired ingredients and add the right amount of base oil to obtain the concentration of your liking. I suspect this oils can be used in oil diffusers, but that is something I haven't tested yet.
Also, I strongly recomend to use this kind of oil only by night or in the shade, as the citrus oils can have a bad reaction on skin if used on direct sunlight. Be cautious if your skin is delicate, irritated or you have a sunburn: try a drop of the oil first on your skin to check if there is no discomfort.
I hope you have fun with this instructable as much as I had preparing it for you, so...
Step 1: Gathering Your Material
This is what you will need:
- One large orange or two if they're small.
- Two big limes, the biggest you can find. It is important you check the scent of the fruit's skin and choose the ones with the most concentrated scent.
- Two tablespoons of clove. If it is too old and the scent is not strong enough, adjust the quantity to the double.
- A mortar, blender or food processor.
- A water bath kettle or a pot deep enough to cover a glass bottle with your mix in it.
- One or two disinfected glass bottles with caps. It depends if you have a water bath kettle; if you do, you only need one bottle.
- A grater.
- A funnel. If you don't have one, just cut the top of a plastic bottle, clean it and use it. Works wonders!
- Extra virgin olive oil, enough quantity to cover your mix.
- A strainer.
Step 2: Preparing the Mix.
Rince the citrus and scrap the zest out of the entire fruits with the grater. Grind the clove, but just a little: we don't want to reduce it to dust since this can cause trouble in the final step.
Put the ingredients inside the clean kettle as shown with the help of the funnel or with a spoon. In case you don't have a kettle, use one of the dissinfected glass bottles.
To sterilice the bottles and caps just put them in a pot filled with water and let them boil for 15 minutes. Take them out with a pair of clean tweezers and place them on a paper towel to cool.
Step 3: Add Base Oil and Water Bath.
Add the base oil (in this case the extra virgin olive oil) to the kettle or bottle with the mix in enough quantity to cover the ingredients. If you don't want it to be too concentrated, add more oil. Shut the kettle or bottle and reserve.
Boil water and fill the kettle's water compartment with it. If you are using a bottle, then turn off the fire on the water pot when it boils and submerge the bottle with the mix in it. Do not let the fire on for the water bath: overheating the mix will result in the denature of citrus oils.
It is very important to close the bottle really tight so no water gets inside, if it does, the oil will be spoiled and you'll find yourself going back to the first step.
Step 4: Be Patient!
Repeat the water bath for three straight days once a day, preferably in the morning, and leave it alone til' the next day. In case you are using the bottle, let it inside the pot until the water cools. You can reuse the water from the water bath so there's no waste. From this point on, keep your oil away from direct sunlight to prevent it from spoiling.
Step 5: Strain and Enjoy!
After the three days have passed, strain the oil into a dissinfected amber bottle (If you can't find one, cover it with some aluminum foil to keep it from sunlight). You can push the mix in the strainer with a spoon to extract as much oil as you can. If you use powdered clove, it will most probably go through the strainer holes along with the oil and may be unconfortable to use. It happened to me the first time I prepared it, tried to use a coffee filter to take the powder from the oil but didn't work :(
Anyway, now you have a most efective and natural defense aganist mosquitos and other bugs, plus it will keep your skin soft!
Hint: If you are not using the oil for long periods (on winter season, for instance) keep it in the fridge ;)