Learn how to make a hydrosol with herbs and flowers from your own backyard with this easy tutorial. Then use the hydrosol to freshen your skin, linens, and your home.
What's a Hydrosol?
A hydrosol is a floral water that remains through steam distillation of plant material and is often a by-product of the production of essential oils. Since I was trimming up some of my herbs, I thought this would be a good time to make some floral water to use in our home.
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Making a Hydrosol
You've probably heard of rose water before, however, you can use any scented herb or flower to make a hydrosol.
Simply collect your plant material. I'm using lavender, mint, rose, and scented geranium. Wash them first to get rid of any dirt and pests.
Place the herbs in a large clean pot. Fill the pot with distilled water until you just cover the plant material.
Here, I'm using a crab pot that has a basin, followed by another pot with holes that fits inside the basin. You can use a veggie steamer in a large pot too. Some use a brick to weigh down the herbs and act as a shelf for the collection bowl.
Next, you need to place a small bowl to use as a collection bowl in the upper pot, on top of the brick, or steamer. If you are using a steamer you may need to place a heatproof bowl upside down to act as a shelf for the steamer to sit on. Just make sure your collection bowl is not sitting in the water.
Then, place the lid on upside down, and place a bag of ice cubes on top of the lid.
Bring the water to a boil then reduce the heat and allow it to simmer on the stove, checking every 15 minutes or so, to replace the ice as needed.
Note: It would be a good idea to freeze a few bags of water ahead of time.
As the steam from the plants rises, it meets the cold lid and condensation occurs, creating hydrosol droplets to fall into the collection bowl. Pretty cool, huh?
After about an hour I was able to collect about 4 ounces of hydrosol.
I poured it into a fine mist spray bottle and set it in the fridge.
Other Plant Matter to Try
- Try other combinations of fresh herbs such as rosemary, lemon balm, and chamomile. Or flowering plants with a beautiful scent such as jasmine.
- Try just using one plant. You could make just a peppermint hydrosol or a lavender hydrosol.
- I have not personally tried them but you could experiment with dried herbs too.
Hydrosols & Floral Water Uses
- Face spritzer or toner refreshes your skin
- Linen spray - perfect for use while ironing
- Room freshener spray
Looking for more? How about Hydrosols and 101 Ways to Use Them.
I think this would make a really nice gift, don't you?
Hydrosols - How to Easily Make Them from Your Own Herbs and Flowers
- A large pot
- steamer basket
- Plant material - herbs like mint rosemary leaves, and sage
- Flowers such as lavender or rose petals
- Distilled water
- Collect your plant material.
- Wash them first to get rid of any dirt and pests.
- Place the herbs in a large clean pot.
- Fill the pot with distilled water until you just cover the plant material.
- Place a bowl in the upper pot, on top of the brick, or steamer.
- Make sure your collection bowl is not sitting in the water.
- Place the lid on upside down.
- Place a bag of ice on top.
- Bring the water to a boil then reduce the heat and allow it to simmer on the stove, checking every 15 minutes.
- Replace the ice as needed.
- Pour it into a spray bottle and set it in the refrigerator.