DIY Grapefruit Oil: from Scratch Without a Still

How to make grapefruit essential oil without all the distilling equipment! This is the method I use for making grapefruit-infused oil from scratch, that doesn’t require distilling.

After having such success in making my own lavender oil from the fresh lavender out in my garden, I wanted to take it a step further and make my own grapefruit oil!

Doing this method won’t produce what is technically a “true” essential oil, as steam distilling is required. To make an authentic essential oil, you’d have to distil the grapefruit peel, capture the steam, and condense the steam into a liquid. This process requires heat, pressure, equipment and a lot of patience. To make true essential oils, you’ll need the proper equipment.

But for those of us whose kitchens aren’t filled with essential oil distilling equipment, flower/herb/fruit-infused “essential” oil is as close as we get. Keep in mind that this oil will be less concentrated than true essential oil.

Grapefruit oil benefits

Grapefruit essential oil has many health benefits, including:

  • Promoting hair growth: May help get rid of dandruff and promote the growth of healthy hair follicles!
  • Encouraging healthy skin: May prevent and treat skin conditions like acne, due to its potent antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
  • Promoting relaxation: Studies have found citrus essential oils that contain the same compounds as grapefruit oil (limonene) may help provide calming and anti-anxiety effects.

Before we get started in learning how to make this homemade grapefruit oil – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my email newsletter at the bottom of the page to keep up to date on the latest recipes, DIYs, gardening and health tips I share!!

Before and after; after two weeks of infusing, you can see the oil has taken on the colour of the grapefruit peel.

If you make this grapefruit oil, please let me know! Leave a comment below, and if you take a picture and share it, please tag me on Instagram @simplynaturalnessa or use the hashtag #simplynaturalnessa so I can see! I’d love to know how you went!

DIY Grapefruit Oil

Avoid the white under skin of citrus peel when making oil, as it will produce an acrid oil. Use a very sharp knife to carefully remove the outer peel of the grapefruit, avoiding the white under skin. You can also use citrus fruit peels like lemon, lime, orange or tangerine, and infuse them to make different citrus oils. Do not use the pulp (or fruit) of the grapefruit when making essential oil.


  • 1/4 cup organic grapefruit peel, grated or peeled (avoid the white under skin)
  • 1 cup carrier oil like sweet almond oil or grapeseed oil

To make:

  1. Wash the whole grapefruit well. Non-organic grapefruits can often contain traces of insecticides, pesticides or wax, so make sure to wash them well (even organic produce).
  2. Peel the grapefruit, only removing the orange skin, not the white pith. Compost any remaining scraps and enjoy the grapefruit as a snack. Alternately, you can use a kitchen grater and grate/zest the rind instead. Grating is more ideal as you can remove just the rind, and leave the pith behind.
  3. Spread the grapefruit zest out on a plate, and place it in a warm area with good air circulation to dry. Generally, within a couple of days the rind will be dry enough to continue making the oil. It’s really important to wait until the rind is completely dry before proceeding, to ensure your oil doesn’t go rancid later on.
  4. There are a couple of different methods you can use to infuse your grapefruit oil:

Solarinfused oil method

This method takes approximately 2 weeks, as it involves using natural sunlight to infuse. This method tends to yield a better quality oil.

  1. Fill a mason jar with the grapefruit rind or zest and add in the almond oil until it just covers the top of the rind. Avoid using too much oil or you’ll weaken/dilute the oil too much.
  2. Cover and allow the jar to sit on sunny windowsill for two weeks.

Heatinfused oil method

This method takes approximately 8-12 hours minimum, and involves using a crockpot to heat the oil and infuse the herbal properties.

  1. Place the grapefruit rind or zest in the crockpot and add in the almond oil until it just covers the top of the rind. Avoid using too much oil or you’ll dilute the oil too much.
  2. Turn the crockpot on low and cover. Allow the oil inside to heat and infuse for at least 8 hours.

Continuing on…

5. Pour the prepared oil into a bowl lined with 2-3 layers of cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. Gather the edges of the cheesecloth or nut milk bag and squeeze as much oil as you can into the bowl. Squeezing the rinds helps to extract the remaining oils within. For a stronger oil, press the rind inside the cheesecloth between two plates. Place the cheesecloth on one plate and place another plate on top. Position a couple of heavy books on the top plate and let it sit for a day or two, allowing the weight of the plates to press the remaining oils from the grapefruit.

6. Pour the oil into small, dark coloured bottlesdark bottles protect the properties within the oil, preventing deterioration. Seal with lids and store in a cool, dry place (do NOT refrigerate) for up to 6 months.

DIY grapefruit oil made from fresh grapefruit. Enjoy the grapefruit as a healthy snack after you’ve finished with the rind!

DIY grapefruit essential oil tutorial

As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products. It’s important to check with a doctor before taking this or any new product, especially if taking any other medicine or supplement or if pregnant or nursing. Be sure to check ingredients to make sure there is no risk of an allergic reaction.

Have you made essential oils before? What oil did you make? Share in the comments below

Lots of love,

🖤 Vanessa


Taylor, Glenda. How to Make Grapefruit Essential Oil. Leaf. Retrieved from

Grapefruit Oil Recipe. Hale Groves. Retrieved from

Rinkesh. 13 Phenomenal Benefits of Grapefruit Essential Oil for Skin, Hair and More. Conserve Energy Future. Retrieved from

Berkheiser, Kaitlyn. (Updated: January 30, 2019). 6 Benefits and Uses of Grapefruit Essential Oil. Healthline. Retrieved from