Stove Top Essential Oil Extractor




About: Neo-Renaissance Man

 OK I made another instructable about how to build a large essential oil extractor, this is a smaller version of that you can do on your stove.
BUT let it be known, this makes a incredibly small amount of oil.
This is ow it basically works, steam goes through the plant material this separates the oils and water form the plant material with the steam.
 The steam then raises then condenses on the bottom of the large metal bowl, the drips into the small metal bowl, this water is called hydro sol, floating on the top of that is the plants oil.

Step 1: Things You Will Need

A Large metal bowl
a small metal bowl
a three part steamer pot
(commonly used for seafood)
a glass container
plant material

Step 2: Step One: Big Bowl of Ice

First fill the large bowl with water and freeze it,

Step 3: Step Two: Gather Your Plant Material

 Take you plant material this could be anything i used pine needles, normally i would use mint or lavender but its winter so all i had was pine needles for this demo.  This is good for pretty much scented candles.
or aromatherapy.

 Now fill the bottom of the steamer pot with water

Then fill the second layer of the pot with the pine needles and stems

Step 4: Step Three: Assemble the Steam Distiller

 Ok Now you have the bottom pot filled with water the second layer filled with your plant material (i e pine needles)
but i suggest using some thing like mint or lavender  or some kind of herb.
Then the Top layer of the pot you but in the center a  small metal bowl
(only use metal anything else may explode)
Now on top of that you put on your large metal bowl of frozen water

Step 5: Step Four: Turn Up the Heat

 Ok Now your distiller is all set up turn on the stove on high and let it boil
You want to boil out 99% of the water in the bottom of the pot.
This will take about 3 hours, make sure not to boil the water completely out if the pot burns this will destroy any oil you try to make
Once the ice in the large metal bowl melts and starts to get warm, replace the water with cold water and keep boiling it

Step 6: Step Five: Separating the Oil From Hydrosol

 Ok After 99% of the water has boiled out of the bottom pot turn off the heat, and take of the large bowl, the remove the small metal bowl, the water in this bowl is now called hydro sol .
    Take that water and let it cool, then let the plant material drain a little into the bottom pot.
 Then take the remaining water and pour it into a glass container with the hydro-sol. (make sure this is all cooled down before you do this)
ok now you can toss the plant material, (great compost)
and you have a glass container with hydro sol and essential oil.
 The oils since lighter then water will settle to the top, the easiest way I've found to separate the two is to freeze it.
 The hydro-sol (water) on the bottom will freeze solid. The oils that wont freeze, can be poured off the top.
 And there you go, you made a tiny bit of essential oil, its not much. But the hydro sol can used for alot of things and retain the sent of what ever plants you just used.



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    12 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Everytime I try this, I fail! Miserably. Perhaps I'm comprehending something wrong. I have a multi-cooker, pretty much the triple boiler you have there. Anyway, the stuff at the bottom turns very dark brown, and if I freeze that, it all freezes, even though you can see a little teeny bit of oil on it. Looking at the hydrosol that collects in the top container, it looks just like water, but smells of pine. I see no oil traces, no matter how long I let it settle. What the heck am I doing wrong here? I do have some comprehension issues at times, but I am by no means stupid, so this is very frustrating. I'm using spruce needles, but they are pretty much identical to what you are using in the picture. I live in Newfoundland Canada, if that helps with anything at all LOL

    2 replies

    Reply 3 months ago

    You use the water collected on top small container in which vapours converted into water and collected


    Reply 3 years ago

    What I've heard is that certain plant matter needs to be harvested at particular times in order to maximize the amount of oil output, so look up when the appropriate time to extract oil of your particular plant would be. hope this helps.


    Question 4 months ago on Introduction

    Is the oil yield on this less than what would be extracted from the same amount of plant material with a better method.

    Or is the very small oil yield because you cannot fit a lot of plant material in to the steamer


    3 years ago on Step 6

    This is the best and simplest steam distiller here.


    4 years ago

    How much Hydrosol is yielded?


    4 years ago

    The hydrosol can be use as an air freshener too... Smells wonderful or for laundry...


    4 years ago on Step 6

    thanks for this instructable,going to try it with my rosehip harvest after first frost


    Thanks for sharing this nice small home made essential oil extractor
    What's the easiest way to know that bottom pot in now at 99% level


    thanks! I always want to have one oil distiller, but they are so expensive! I will make one for shure!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Very much appreciated this. Question: What is the hydro sol good for after the fact?

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    well its just water that tastes like what ever you extracted, so i am usually making mint oil, so i make the mint oil hydro sol into mint jelly.
    I don't see much use for the pine hydro sol, but for food, or bath stuff like soap and bath salts.
    It mainly flavored water you could just consume that. If you try concentrating it see what happens.
    For more about extracting oil form plants check out my other for a lager essesial oil extractor.