While clove essential oil can be purchased through specialty stores and online, it is fun and easy to make your own version at home. Cloves are easy to come by and the process is fairly quick, even though there is a waiting period. But making essential oils at home can turn into a fun hobby that is beneficial for the entire family. A fresh bottle of homemade clove oil even makes a great gift.
Keep in mind that no homemade oil is as potent as a purchased oil. This is because it is near impossible to duplicate the complicated process with at home materials. Clove oil is such a strong oil though that even the homemade version is still strong enough to be effective throughout the home and on the body. The same safety precautions need to be taken since the clove itself is such a strong ingredient.
What You Will Need
There are two methods for making clove oil. Both are very similar but the second method requires a little more work. While the quality of both oils is great, the second method will provide you with a slightly more potent oil.
Try to use fresh cloves. Cloves usually stay fresh for about a year. If your cloves are older than that you can expect your finish product to be less potent. Do not use ground cloves. Once a clove has been ground up it quickly loses many properties that are desired for clove oil unless used immediately.
- Coffee Bean Grinder
If using the second method you will need something to grind the cloves. If you do not have a coffee grinder, a mortar and pestle will do the job but will be more labor intensive.
- Double Boiler
This is only needed for the second method. If you don’t have a double boiler, make your own by placing a pot inside of a larger pot filled with water.
- Large Glass Container
This is what you will make the oil in so make sure that it is big enough to hold all of the cloves and oil. It should also have a tight fitting lid. You can use an old food container as long as it has been cleaned thoroughly and is made of glass. A canning jar would be ideal.
- Olive Oil
Olive oil is recommended for making clove oil but any carrier oil will do. Make sure that its scent doesn’t mix strangely with the smell of the cloves, which is quite strong on its own.
- Cheesecloth or Coffee Filter
Depending on which method you choose, you will need either a cheesecloth or a coffee filter.
If using the second method, you will need a string to tie around your homemade tea bag. Make sure that the string will stay together during the soaking process.
- Dark Glass Bottle
This is what you will be storing your essential oil in. They store best in dark glass and will stay fresher longer this way. Try to use one with an eyedropper attached to the lid to make distribution easier. Be cautious if using a bottle that previously held a different essential oil. It can be difficult to completely clean the bottle and remove all the residue and fragrance from the previous oil, which can affect the new oil that will be placed in it.
Rinse and dry the cloves well. Place in a jar and fill up the rest of the jar with olive oil. Give the jar a little shake and place in a safe spot where it will receive enough sunlight to warm up a bit. Let the jar sit for about a week, remembering to shake the jar on occasion. The jar may be left for as long as you wish but if left for over a month, add more olive oil every two weeks.
After the soaking time has passed, open the jar and begin to strain the mixture. You will want to not only remove all of the cloves but also try and get all of the oil off of them before throwing them away. Once the straining has been completed, the oil that is left is your essential oil. Transfer the oil to a dark glass bottle and store it in a cool, dark place.
Grind at least one tablespoon of fresh whole cloves in your coffee grinder or by using a mortar and pestle. Remember to use fresh cloves. If there is no noticeable scent coming from them as you grind them, they may be too old. Once the cloves are ground, cut a coffee filter into a flat circle. The diameter should be about three inches. Cut a four inch piece of string. Scoop the ground cloves into your coffee filter circle, keeping them in the center. Pinch the sides together to make a tea bag shape and tie the top together. Make sure that none of the particles can escape.
Pour half a cup of olive oil into your glass container. Place the clove tea bag inside. Give the jar a little shake to make sure that the tea bag is completely submersed. Add more oil if needed. Make a lid for your jar using a piece of aluminum foil. Push the foil down a bit to create a convex lid. This will keep most of the steam from escaping but will not create dangerous pressure in the container.
Heat your water in the double boiler. Once boiling, add your jar and let it sit and heat for about forty five minutes. The steam will really help to release the oil from the cloves. After the time has passed, remove the jar safely and allow it to sit at room temperature. Let it sit for about a week without being disturbed. The longer the jar sits, the stronger the oil will be.
After at least a week, carefully remove the tea bag, making sure not to spill the contents. The remaining oil is your essential oil. Place the oil in a dark, glass bottle and store in a dark, cool place.
In either method, your clove oil should be used within six months. Try adding a few drops of vitamin E oil to extend the life of your the oil, if you are using cosmetically. If you are using the oil for cooking, feel free to store it in a decorative glass container to store on your kitchen counter. Just check the oil before each use to make sure that it has not spoiled.