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July 7, 2023
Last updated

How to Make Peppermint Oil at Home

If you’ve ever wondered how to make peppermint oil at home, we’ve got you covered. In this guide, we take you through the step-by-step process of making peppermint oil with steam distillation at home, including the tools and ingredients you need, and tips for ensuring the best results.

bottle of peppermint oil

What is Peppermint Oil?

Peppermint oil is a concentrated substance extracted from the peppermint plant, a hybrid of watermint and spearmint. It carries a strong, fresh, minty aroma and is packed with beneficial compounds like menthol and menthone.

Benefits of Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil soothes headaches, improves digestion, and boosts energy. Its antimicrobial properties make it a natural alternative for cleaning and personal care products.

Common Uses of Peppermint Oil

In addition to its health benefits, peppermint oil is also used in a variety of household applications. It's a popular ingredient in homemade cleaners and soaps, and it can even be used as a natural insect repellent.

The Benefits of Making Your Own Peppermint Oil

Making your own peppermint oil at home has several advantages:

  • It allows you to control the quality of the ingredients
  • It gives you the opportunity to customize the strength of the oil to suit your needs
  • It's a fun and rewarding project that can save you money in the long run.

Materials Needed to Make Peppermint Oil

To make peppermint oil, you need fresh peppermint leaves and a steam distillation setup. 

List of Materials

Here’s what you need:

  • Fresh peppermint leaves
  • A steam distillation setup (which includes a heat source, distillation pot, condenser, and separator)
  • A dark-colored bottle

Where to Buy Materials

Most of these materials are available in your local grocery store or online. For the peppermint leaves, consider growing your own or purchasing from a local farmer's market to ensure freshness.

Peppermint is easy to grow in most climates. To harvest your own, plant seeds in nutrient-rich soil in a sunny spot, water regularly, and wait a few weeks for a plentiful harvest of leaves to make your own essential oil.

For the distillation setup, we offer a range of high-quality essential oil distillers specifically designed for home distillation of essential oils. Our products are user-friendly and come with detailed instructions, making them a great choice for both beginners and experienced distillers.

Choosing Quality Materials

The quality of your peppermint oil directly depends on the quality of your materials. Choose fresh, vibrant peppermint leaves and a high-quality steam distillation kit. Opt for organic materials to avoid any potential pesticide residue.

How To Make Peppermint Oil At Home

Now that you have your materials, it's time to start making your peppermint oil. The process involves a few key steps: preparing your peppermint leaves, distilling the oil, and then separating and storing the finished product.

Gather Your Ingredients

The first step in making peppermint oil involves harvesting the leaves. Pick them in the morning after the dew evaporates but before the sun gets too hot. This is when the leaves have the highest concentration of oils.

Prepare Your Peppermint Leaves

After harvesting your leaves, wash them. Distilling should leave behind impurities, but if the peppermint leaves you’re using are excessively dirty, consider giving them a rinse.

Mud Your Peppermint Leaves

Before adding your leaves to the oil, consider muddling or crushing them. If you’re distilling a very small batch, this will help to release a bit more oil from within the leaves, leading to a more potent final product. You can do this with a spoon, a mortar and pestle, or even your hands. If distilling large quantities of peppermint, this may not be feasible and is not necessary.

Distilling the Oil

Next, place the leaves in your distillation pot and follow the instructions for your specific steam distillation setup. The steam will carry the essential oils from the leaves to the condenser, where it cools and condenses into hydrosol and oil.

Separate and Store the Peppermint Oil

After the distillation process, you should have a mixture of hydrosol and oil:

  • Use a separatory funnel to separate the oil from the water. 
  • Then, store the oil in your dark-colored bottle in a cool, dark place. 

  • Tips and Tricks for Making the Best Peppermint Oil

    Here are a few tips to keep in mind while making your peppermint oil at home with steam distillation: 

    Best Time to Harvest Peppermint

    The best time to harvest peppermint is in the morning when the oils are most potent. Also, harvesting just before the plant flowers yields a stronger aroma and flavor.

    How to Increase Oil Yield

    To increase the yield of your peppermint oil, consider distilling a larger amount of leaves. Remember, the more leaves you distill, the more oil you get. However, do not over-pack the still. There needs to be some space for the steam to move through the plant material.

    Ensuring Efficient Distillation

    For efficient distillation, ensure that your distillation setup is properly assembled and that there’s a consistent heat source. The steam needs to be consistent, so consider using a digital controller with a high powered heating element.

    Common Mistakes to Avoid

    One common mistake is harvesting at inopportune times. Make sure the leaves are at peak freshness and not old or dried out.

    Safety Precautions When Making and Using Peppermint Oil

    While peppermint oil is a natural product, it's still important to use it safely. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

    Safety During the Distilling Process

    When making peppermint oil, handle all materials with care. Use a clean distillation setup. If a different type of plant material was previously distilled, consider washing it out with professional brewers wash to eliminate “competing” scents. Also, be cautious when handling the steam distillation setup as it can get very hot.

    Safe Usage of Peppermint Oil

    Peppermint oil is potent and should always be diluted before use. Never apply it directly to the skin without a carrier oil. 

    Also, keep in mind that peppermint oil can be irritating to some people, so always do a patch test before using it on larger areas of the body.

    Potential Side Effects and How to Avoid Them

    Some potential side effects of peppermint oil include skin irritation and allergic reactions.

    To avoid these, always dilute the oil and do a patch test first. If you experience any adverse reactions, stop using it immediately.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Making Peppermint Oil

    How Long Does Homemade Peppermint Oil Last?

    If you store it properly, homemade peppermint oil can last up to six months. Make sure to keep it in a cool, dark place and always use clean tools when handling the oil to prevent contamination.

    How Do I Know When the Distillation Process is Complete?

    The distillation process is complete when the steam no longer carries the scent of peppermint. This usually takes an hour or less, depending on the amount of leaves you're distilling and how powerful your heat source is.

    Can I Use the Same Distillation Setup for Other Essential Oils?

    Yes, you can use the same distillation setup to make other essential oils. Just make sure to clean all parts thoroughly between uses to avoid mixing scents.


    Making peppermint oil at home isn’t only about the end product but also about the process. It's a chance to connect with nature, learn something new, and create a natural, versatile product that can be used in many ways.

    If you're interested in DIY projects like this one, you might also enjoy exploring the world of home brewing. Clawhammer Supply offers a range of brewing equipment and steam distillation supplies that can help you take your DIY skills to the next level. 

    Whether you're interested in brewing beer, distilling spirits, or making your own essential oils, we have the tools and resources you need.

    • I have a 50 lt. stainless moonshine still, would i be able to make mint oil with it

      Posted by Chuck connor on February 01, 2024
    • Thank you

      Posted by Zainab on November 06, 2023

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