Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Lots of Lavendar

So, I thought I'd try my hand at making lavender essential oil without special equipment.
I have a few very very good reasons for even considering this endeavor: 

1. I'm lazy don't have time for special equipment. 

2. I need a little better smelling change periodically of something natural that I have on hand that is also 
   antiseptic for bathrooms and kitchen counters besides white vinegar. 

3. I have a shit load of french lavender because I cook and bake all the time, but I don't really care for 
    having dried lavender sachets hanging around in my closets.   

4. I figured that I could find a decent set of instructions with minimal equipment but that I could make 
    without needing to pay constant attention to it. 

5. I make limoncello and limonbuddhacello and I needed a way to finish off the everclear without 
    having to dump it.  I can't drink, so much for that idea. 
6. I'm too busy to go to the store to buy expensive cleaners that give me migraines from being in the  
    same room with the fumes even with plenty of ventilation.  Okay, I'm not too busy, but I prefer to 
    focus on buying food stuffs. 

7. I want get my little slaves wonderful children to help me clean while they still think it's fun. 
8. I'm lazy.

  I was hunting around online and read a lot of different instructions but they were just too annoying.  I finally managed to find a couple that used grain alcohol or vodka, fresh lavender, and five items that I have around the kitchen already.  You can't use rubbing alcohol because that has a strong aroma and won't evaporate as well as the grain alcohol does.  And after making limoncello and limonbuddhacello, I can tell you that grain alcohol evaporates super fast.

Easy Lavender Essential Oil: 

Things you'll need:
  • 1 weekend +1 week. 
  • 2 small dark jars, 1with tight fitting lids (like a repurposed yeast jar) so the oil stays protected from sunlight.
  • coffee filters 
  • thin soft cloth 
  • vodka or some other clear high proof grain alcohol
  • mortar and pestle or spoon and bowl
  • lavender buds
  1. You don't have to remove the buds from the stalk because the stalk also provides oil. 
  1. Put the lavender into the bowl/mortar and use the back of a spoon/pestle to crush the buds. Do not over do it or they'll end up mushy and you'll lose the oil that you're after.
    3.  Add the crushed lavender buds to the jar with the tight fitting lid and cover the peels in grain 
         alcohol or vodka. 

    4.  Shake the jar to release the oil several times a day for several days. The longer you let the 
         lavender flowers steep the more lavender oil you will extract. I let mine sit in a sunny spot on my     
         kitchen counter for a weekend. 

    5.  Use a coffee filter to strain the liquid into the second jar. From making infused liquor before, I 
          would strain two times on this step and one more time on the last to make sure you get rid of all  
          the sediment.  Viola! You made lavender infused vodka OR lavender infused ever clear.  
          Yippee!  You could use it to make lavender lemon drops.  Yum! 

    6.  Shake the jar to release the oil several times a day for several days. I will probably just do this 
          when I am making coffee, when I get my nightly tea and again before I hit the sack.  The longer 
          you let the lavender flowers steep the more lavender oil you will extract. You don't have to hide  
          it in pantry or closet.  Just set it in a sunny spot where you'll remember to shake it. 

    7.  Put the cloth you have from gathering up the materials to make all of this business on top of the 
         jar so the alcohol can evaporate all the way.  Strain one more time into the second dark jar.  Label 
         it and don't forget to put an expiration date for 1year from the date when you finished making it. 

You now have your own lavender essential oil to use for cleaning or adding to your bath or foot soak for you home mani/pedi!  Good job y'all.

Peace, Love and Chicken Grease

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