Introduction: How to Make Coconut Oil From Scratch...

Picture of How to Make Coconut Oil From Scratch...

Assume you are stranded on a tropical island. You have made a temporary shelter, found a source of drinking water, learned how to catch fish, identified edible plants and also learned how to make fire. One think which you will not find in those isolated islands is oil, oil for your hair, for your body to cure sunburns & itches from insect bites and also for cooking. In any tropical island, you may normally find few coconut trees and matured coconuts fallen from the trees. The problem is you do not know how to extract oil from those coconuts...!!!

I lived in a tribal island in Andaman and Nicobar group of islands for about five years and my wife stayed with me for an year. She used coconut oil for hair and it was very hard to find it even though there were so many coconut trees in that island. We learned from the tribal on how to extract coconut oil from scratch.

This instructable will teach you how to make oil from those coconuts. You do not require any special equipment for this and you got all the time in the world.... let us get started

Step 1: Collect Coconuts

Picture of Collect Coconuts

Search around and collect few fallen coconuts. You also need couple of rocks, one may be a big boulder on the ground and the other may be smaller in size which you can lift up easily.

Step 2: Husk the Coconuts

Picture of Husk the Coconuts

Let us see how we can husk the coconuts using those rocks

  • First, remove the cap from the coconut. It can be removed by lightly tapping the cap on the rock.
  • Now place the coconut on the big boulder, uncapped portion facing down.
  • Lift the other rock with both hands and hit hard on top of the coconut.
  • After few hard hits, you will find cracks on the sides and the husk gets loosened
  • Remove the loosened husk from the nuts.

Step 3: Crack Open the Coconuts

Picture of Crack Open the Coconuts

You might have collected few utensils washed ashore. Even helmets worn by the soldiers during world war II can be found on the beach. A well cleaned turtle shell also serves the purpose.

Holding the husked coconut in your palm, lightly tap on the edge of a rock in a circular motion. Now the coconut will crack open. You can collect and drink the coconut water in the bowl or helmet whatever it may be. Here you can see four halves from two coconuts cracked open.

Step 4: Remove and Collect Coconut Meat

Picture of Remove and Collect Coconut Meat

You can remove the coconut meat using any sharp metal object. Here, you can see I have used an old broken spoon for this. You can scrap out the flesh from the nuts or remove chunks with the sharp end of the broken spoon. Just insert and twist the broken end to take out the chunks. I have collected the coconut meat from two halves, that is from one coconut and stored in the utensil.

Step 5: Grate the Coconut Meat

Picture of Grate the Coconut Meat

Search for a worn out stone like this one in the picture here along the shore. We will use this stone to grate the coconut meat. You can do it in an empty coconut shell, in a helmet, over a rock or even in a well cleaned tortoise shell. Place the chunks of coconut meat in the container and pound with the stone to grate them.

Step 6: Extract Coconut Milk

Picture of Extract Coconut Milk

Now we will extract the coconut milk from the crushed meat.

  • Add some water to the grated coconut and mix well.
  • Squeeze out the milk from the mix. You can do it with your hands, or better use a piece of cloth to filter out the milk from the mix.
  • Do it twice to extract more milk from the leftover. Do not over do otherwise you will end up with lot of water in the extract.

Step 7: Make a Fireplace

Picture of Make a Fireplace
  • Find out a place to make fire.
  • Lay two stones perpendicular to each other so that it will have enough space in between.
  • Check by placing the milk filled utensil over the stones

Step 8: Boil the Coconut Milk

Picture of Boil the Coconut Milk
  • Collect dried branches or dried coconut leaves and make fire.
  • Keep the milk-filled utensil over the fire. You can use a tortoise shell also for boiling the mix.
  • The coconut milk may boil up. Use a wooden stick or a piece of bamboo to stir the milk while boiling.
  • Carry on till all the water gets evaporated from the mix. This may take considerable time as all the water needs to be evaporated. Now you can see oil bubbling on the surface of the heated milk.
  • Remove from fire and allow the oily milk to cool down.

Step 9: Extract Oil From Boiled Coconut Milk

Picture of Extract Oil From Boiled Coconut Milk
  • When the mixture is sufficiently cooled down, you can separate the oil from the mix. You can use a small piece of cloth, the size of a hand-kerchief for this.
  • Lay the piece of cloth flat over the heated mix and lightly press with your fingers. You can note that the cloth is absorbing oil from the mix.
  • Remove the piece of cloth and fold it keeping the side facing-up out.
  • Squeeze the oil from the cloth into another container or an empty coconut shell

This oil still contains lots of coconut flesh.

Step 10: Separate Pure Oil

Picture of Separate Pure Oil
  • Keep the oil still to settle down. After few minutes you will find the pure coconut oil floating up
  • Now tilt the container and slowly drain out the oil into another container.
  • You got pure coconut oil, which you can use for your hair, on your body and also for cooking.
  • The left-over may still contain some oil, which you can use on your body to cure sunburns and for relief from itches caused by insect bite.


Faustach (author)2017-10-29

Thanks. I will try that

cecilomar (author)2016-11-14

Can you do anything with the brown solids that get filtered by the end of the process?

TosinA4 (author)cecilomar2017-01-27

You can use it to make coconut balls. Like this:

antoniraj (author)cecilomar2016-11-19

You can use it to make sweets

Antzy Carmasaic (author)2015-04-06

That's another mystery solved! Thanks for the detailed instructable!

Also I never knew I was ingesting so much oil because of choosing the malaai-wala instead of paani-wala coconut :)

thank you Antzy Carmasaic... if you are refering to tender coconuts with malai as in the pictures, go ahead and choose malaiwala, they do not have oil

OmawumiA (author)antoniraj2016-09-30

I don't know how to get that specie of coconut or how to identify it if I do see it . Pls tell us the outward characteristics so I can purchase when I do see it.

antoniraj (author)OmawumiA2016-10-06

You can use any matured coconut for extracting oil. The outer shells of immature coconuts are lighter in color. Select the dark shelled ones.

You've used coconuts which have dried malai (aka giri)?

Or is it another variety from the ones sold on streets for a refreshing drink? As far I remember, the ones sold on streets do not have any outer husks.

they are husked tender coconuts exported for consumption in other countries. this will also reduce the weight of the nuts. you can see the video here how they remove husk from tender coconuts, though you may not understand the language (it is in Tamil)

kengamine (author)antoniraj2016-01-21

I've spent three hours listening to a guy sing in Japanese and can translate it. he said

agake kutsojoku ni mamire,

tsukame sono kumo no ito,

soshite zetsubou no fuch wo,

nogare furidashi ni modore

translating to- struggle smeared in humiliation,

take that spider thread,

escape the pit of despair

and go back to the start.

I know it sounds strange, but that is getting me through sixth form

kengamine (author)kengamine2016-01-26

his name is Yuya Matsushita. listening to Bird... it ends the Kuroshitsuji musical... his voice is so romantic... type into Youtube Bird- yuya matsushita.

OmawumiA (author)kengamine2016-09-30

You watch Kuroshitsuji lol, love that manga lol!

kengamine (author)antoniraj2016-01-21

now I have to go shopping, I need coconuts because I want a curry that is home made, I usually make Thai curries, they have a nice flavour and look good with any side dish. I usually serve it with rice and mango chutney

antoniraj (author)kengamine2016-01-26


kengamine (author)antoniraj2016-01-26

Thanks. Do you know any good recipes for mango chutney? I can't find one that tastes of mango, only sugar... if possible can you send a link?

antoniraj (author)kengamine2016-01-26

there are so many recipes, sour, sweet, spicy and all... here are some links to different kinds of mango chutney

kengamine (author)antoniraj2016-01-28

thanks. i'll check them out.

puggirl415 (author)2015-04-05

Too easy to buy it but I'll try it once just to see if it works. Self-reliance is addictive.

OmawumiA (author)puggirl4152016-09-30

Also its a little better and purer as I find the other ones are mixed with other things for commerical purposes. Hence which led to this search by me lol!

kengamine (author)puggirl4152016-01-26

I do make random comments, but your profile picture is cute. is it your pug? what is it's name?

puggirl415 (author)kengamine2016-01-27

Awww thanks:) Her name is Ruby and she is an old puggy gal of 13. Pugs have their problems but the "so ugly they're cute" thing has always gotten me.

kengamine (author)puggirl4152016-01-28

aww. I used to have a Belgian shepherd cross Rottweiler. he was eight when we lost him. but our German shepherd cross corgi is about 15 now and still thinks he's a puppy. we had to give him to someone else as Bruno turned nasty towards other dogs. also the person who has him wanted him because he is small.

antoniraj (author)puggirl4152015-04-05

thank you...

FionaR17 (author)2016-07-22

Before I moved to the US, my dad and I used to make coconut oil from scratch. This brought back so much memories; the smell! Thank you for sharing. I know how much work this is. Great job explaining in such detail!!

antoniraj (author)FionaR172016-07-24

thank you... hope you still make coconut oil from scratch

piguto (author)2016-05-21


antoniraj (author)piguto2016-05-23

Thank you...

PeteyP1 (author)2016-01-16

This is how my mother use to make it for me as well as her grand daughters

antoniraj (author)PeteyP12016-01-26


sedona007 (author)2015-04-05

I can't wait to try this Antoniraj! One question, after removing the oil, can I use the remaining cooked milk in any recipes? Thanks for this instructable!

antoniraj (author)sedona0072015-04-05

thank you sedona007... I have not tried it, but I think the leftover can be used to make some sweet dishes

kengamine (author)antoniraj2016-01-26

my mother puts it in cakes as flavouring. I've started doing this, too. except mine don't work. still nice to lick the bowl out :) but who wouldn't lick out the bowls:)

fecken made it! (author)2016-01-03

i made it often to RENDANG

kengamine (author)fecken2016-01-21

nice, but I'm hungry now...

doctressjulia (author)fecken2016-01-04

That looks delicious...

fecken (author)doctressjulia2016-01-04

very delicious.... from PADANG, Indonesia

antoniraj (author)fecken2016-01-03

nice to see that...

kengamine (author)2016-01-21

I love drinking coconut milk and eating coconut in a variety of dishes. I use the milk in curries, too.

KhoaK2 (author)2016-01-11

Very delicious

antoniraj (author)KhoaK22016-01-16

thank you...

cashworth2000 (author)2016-01-12

Thanks. i have to try out this method out today.

antoniraj (author)cashworth20002016-01-16

thank you...

JustusH (author)2016-01-06

Tys dat ons mense weer ons eie dinge doen en nie net gaan koop wat gemaak is nie.

Spaar geld, word slim en laatstaan die gemaksugtigheid en vrotheid om te wil koop en nie te werk nie. Maak en skep eie toebehore en kosse en bruik ware.

danny6114 (author)2016-01-04

What is the approximate yield of two coconuts?

antoniraj (author)danny61142016-01-04

approximately you will get about 100 ml of oil from two coconuts

TeresaM7 (author)2016-01-04

Too bad I don't have a ready supply of coconuts lying around. I'd be making this in big batches. Maybe one day :)

antoniraj (author)TeresaM72016-01-04

may be one day...

mark_racal (author)2016-01-04

Very nice, although I've known this since I was 7, since every year during Lenten Season it is our tradition to make coconut oil for medicinal purposes yet, I still am amused that people from different parts of the world took time to do this.

antoniraj (author)mark_racal2016-01-04

thank you...

About This Instructable




Bio: I like to make things more simple with easily available resources. My favorite quote: A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan ... More »
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