Make citronella oil
Photo by Anna Shvets on

How to make citronella oil in 8 steps

If you like DIY projects, then this article is for you. You can make citronella oil from scratch and enjoy many benefits of the versatile citronella grass.

Some common uses of citronella oil in households are insect repellent, aromatherapy, air freshener, natural cleaning agent, candle making, skin care, pet care, flavouring agent, bath and body products, and hair care.

To make citronella oil at home, you will need the following ingredients and equipment.

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What you need to make citronella oil at home


– Fresh citronella grass (leaves and stems)

– Carrier oil (such as olive oil, coconut oil, or almond oil)


– Cutting board

– Knife

– Blender or food processor

– Cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer

– Glass jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid

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Step-by-step guide for you to make citronella oil

1. Harvest the citronella grass

Find fresh citronella grass, which is typically available at nurseries or speciality stores. Alternatively, you can grow your own citronella plant.

2. Prepare the citronella grass

Wash the citronella grass thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. Once cleaned, chop the grass into small pieces on a cutting board.

3. Blend the citronella grass

Place the chopped citronella grass into a blender or food processor. Pulse or blend until the grass is finely chopped and releases its oils.

4. Infuse the carrier oil

Transfer the chopped citronella grass into a glass jar or bottle. Pour the carrier oil over the grass until it covers it completely. Use enough oil to ensure the grass is completely submerged.

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5. Store and steep

Seal the jar tightly with a lid and store it in a cool, dark place for at least 2 weeks. This allows the oil to infuse with the citronella fragrance. Shake the jar occasionally to agitate the mixture.

6. Strain the oil

Line a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth over a clean container after the steeping period. Pour the oil and citronella mixture through the strainer, allowing the oil to pass through while filtering out the solid bits of grass.

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7. Squeeze out the oil

Gather the edges of the strainer or cheesecloth and squeeze out any remaining oil from the citronella grass solids. This helps extract the maximum amount of oil.

8. Transfer and store

Transfer the citronella oil into a clean, dark glass bottle or jar once strained. Ensure the container has a tight-fitting lid. Store it in a cool, dark place to maintain its potency.



Your homemade citronella oil is now ready to use! It can be used as a natural insect repellent, in candles, for aromatherapy purposes, and has many more uses. Remember to conduct a patch test before applying it to your skin to check for adverse reactions.


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