See how to make lavender water! This easy step-by-step tutorial shows how to make lavender hydrosol at home with just 3 ingredients. DIY lavender water has many benefits for skincare and can be used for drinks, too.
DIY lavender water
I recently shared an easy tutorial for DIY rose water. Now, I want to show you how to make lavender water. Creating homemade hydrosols has many perks.
First, you save money if you create your own plant water. The materials for DIY lavender water are very affordable, and you can produce as much as you need.
You’ll also know exactly what’s in your DIY lavender hydrosol. Hydrosols aren’t regulated in any way. Some manufacturers sell synthetically scented mixtures, not pure hydrosols — obvi, not a worry here.
And best of all? It’s super easy and beginner-friendly! Distilling lavender water at home takes no time at all, and you only need 3 easy to find materials.
What is lavender water?
Lavender water, aka lavender hydrosol or lavender hydrolat, is a botanical water made from the distillation of the lavender plant. It is colorless and has a softer scent than lavender essential oil.
Lavender hydrosol is mostly water but contains trace amounts of natural bioactive compounds of the lavender plant. The hydrosol shares many properties of lavender essential oil, just in less concentrated form.
Commercially manufactured hydrosols are usually a byproduct of essential oil production. Essential oils contain the oil-soluble parts of the plant, whereas hydrolats hold the water-soluble components.
Lavender water benefits
The exquisite hydrolat offers many benefits for the body and mind. Here’s a brief rundown of the lavender hydrosol benefits:
- Skin-soothing: Lavender is reported to possess anti-inflammatory and analgesic qualities that can be helpful to deal with various skin conditions.
- Hydrating: Lavender botanical water is an excellent hydrator. It can help to replenish thirsty skin and promote radiance.
- Aromatherapeutic: The herbal hydrosol is deeply calming and known to encourage relaxation + sleep and reduce feelings of anxiety + stress.
- Beautiful scent: Homemade lavender water has a pleasant aroma, floral with a hint of honey. It’s a wonderful ingredient to formulate gentle room sprays.
- Natural flavor: Lavender water has a delicate lavender aroma that lends intricacy to food and drink recipes.
Lavender water ingredients
The lavender hydrosol ingredients are easy to shop for. You’ll need just 3 materials – all of which you can order online or find in organic grocery stores and some food co-ops. Here’s your shopping list:
Let’s take a closer look at these ingredients:
Distilled water is the main ingredient and acts as a solvent for the plant materials. When the water is heated, it releases the natural compounds from the lavender. These components are now bound in the steam. As the steam cools, the water continues to carry these compounds.
I recommend distilled or deionized water for this project. Tap water contains minerals and ions, which will shorten the shelf life. In some places, tap water is also chemically treated (chlorinated), and you don’t want these chemicals in your DIY lavender water.
Let’s talk about the star of the show, lavender. Essentially you have 2 options for how to make lavender water:
- Dried lavender buds: Dried lavender is available year-round and requires no extra preparations. Just open the bag, and you’re good to go. Organic culinary lavender is your best option, especially if making lavender water for drinks. Food grade lavender is subject to food regulations and free of artificial fragrances, colors, and pesticides.
- Fresh lavender: Got lavender blooming in your garden? Perfect! Harvest your crop to make this lavender water recipe. English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and lavandin (Lavandula x intermedia) produce the best aroma, but French lavender (Lavandula dentata) and Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas) will work, too. Fresh lavender is seasonal and needs more prep, but I absolutely love the scent.
How much do I need?
For my lavender water recipe, you’ll need:
- 3/4 cup dried lavender buds OR
- 1 1/2 cups fresh lavender
Dried lavender is more potent than fresh, so we only need half the amount.
Can I use lavender leaves to make hydrosol?
Yes! Commercial lavender hydrosol is made from the whole plant, including flowers, sprigs, and leaves, and you can do the same.
Be sure to rinse fresh lavender under running cool water to remove dirt + insects. And discard any leaves that are rotten or brown.
When I cut lavender from my garden, I remove all flower heads but leave some greenery behind so the plant can recover and continue to grow.
As a water-based product, homemade lavender water needs a preservative to inhibit microorganisms. Don’t cut corners here. The DIY hydrosol will become a breeding ground for bacteria, yeast, and mold without proper preservation.
I used Preservative Eco (Geogard ECT), a natural broad-spectrum preservative that will stop the growth of microbes and fungi.
In my homemade rose water recipe, you can learn other methods to preserve homemade hydrosols with citric acid and potassium sorbate.
Omit the preservative if you’re making lavender water for drinks and food recipes. Just be sure to refrigerate the lavender water and use it within a week.
How to make lavender hydrosol
You can make hydrosol with regular kitchen equipment. Let me walk you through the steps for how to make lavender water:
Step 1: Prep
- Measure the distilled water and lavender.
- Rinse fresh lavender under running cold water. Skip this step for dried lavender.
Step 2: Set up the boiler
- Place a heat-resistant bowl or glass jar in the center of a large pot. I used a 16-oz wide mount mason jar. The jar acts as a container to catch the condensing steam that will become lavender water.
Step 3: Add lavender and water
- Arrange the lavender around the jar. Fill the pot with distilled water, just enough to cover the herbs.
Step 4: Distill
- Cover the pot with an inverted lid. The lid should fully seal the pot so the steam doesn’t escape.
- Over medium heat, bring the water to a mild simmer.
- Once the water begins to boil and you see condensation on the lid, place a ziplock bag filled with ice on the lid. The ice will cool the steam so that it condensates and collects into the jar below.
- Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the water is mostly gone.
Step 5: Cool
- Using kitchen tongs, remove the jar from the pot and place it on a kitchen towel to cool.
Step 6: Preserve
- Once the jar feels cool to the touch, stir in the preservative until thoroughly distributed throughout.
- Preservative Eco is heat-sensitive, so be sure the homemade hydrosol is at room temperature before adding it.
Step 7: Store
- Transfer the lavender water into a sterilized glass bottle for storage.
How to use lavender water
Lavender water for skin care
The botanical water is a highly versatile skincare ingredient. You can use the botanical water in any beauty recipe in place of water. Cyna, for example, used the hydrolat in her lavender shower gel recipe.
Here are few more ideas to incorporate lavender hydrosol into your skincare routine:
- Face mist: Close your eyes and mist your face. I like to keep my lavender water in the fridge for a cooling effect.
- Hair perfume: Spray your freshly washed locks with lavender water to give a delicate natural scent.
- Lavender toner: The herb’s anti-inflammatory qualities make lavender water an excellent toner to soothe irritated and red skin. Apply few drops on a cotton pad and gently wipe across your face.
Lavender hydrosol for aromatherapy and home fragrance
Utilize the lovely lavender scent to refresh your home and create and calm and welcoming environment for your family and guests.
- Air refresher: A few spritzes into the air will refresh any room.
- Sleep spray: Mist your pillow and bed before going to bed and enjoy restful sleep. You can learn more about the aromatherapy benefits of lavender for sleep in my slumber spray recipe.
- Calming mist: The soothing qualities of lavender can provide comfort and calm in moments of stress and anxiety.
- Linen freshener: A few pumps will give stale linen and clothes a fresh floral scent. Since lavender water is colorless, it won’t stain clothes and fabrics.
Lavender water for drinks and food
Lavender water is a delicious way to spruce up all of your summer drinks and treats. Try these ideas:
- Lavender simple syrup: To make lavender syrup, add 1 cup lavender water + 1 cup granulated sugar to a heavy bottom saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.
- Lavender lemonade: For a quick lavender lemonade, combine 1 cup lavender water, 1 cup water, and 1/3 to 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey. Makes 6 servings.
- Lavender tea: You can also enjoy lavender water as a delicious herbal tea and drink it warm or as iced tea. You can find a dedicated lavender tea recipe here.
DIY lavender hydrosol FAQ
Is lavender water safe?
Yes, lavender water is considered one of the safest and mildest hydrosols. The floral water is safe to use in formulations for babies, children, and sensitive skin types.
However, some may still react sensitively to lavender. Perform a patch test if you have never used any lavender products before and are unsure how your skin will respond.
Can you make hydrosol with lavender essential oil?
No, I don’t recommend it. True hydrosols are made by distilling plant parts, not by diluting essential oils in water. But what about homemade?
I understand the appeal of making homemade hydrosol with essential oils. Grab water. Add an oil. You’re done. But what seems simple is deceptively difficult.
Essential oils and water won’t mix. So you end up with droplets of oil pooling on the water surface. These undiluted droplets are highly concentrated and sensitizing, making the product unsafe for skincare.
You could remedy the problem with a solubilizing agent to keep the lavender essential oil and water mixed. However, I never found a solubilizer that works properly. I tried different ones and always ended up with water-oil separation.
Storage and shelf life
How to package lavender hydrosol
Lavender water is light-sensitive. For the best shelf life, package your lavender hydrolat in amber glass bottles. Amber glass offers protection from UV rays, which would diminish the quality of your product.
I only used a clear glass bottle in the photos so you can see what this DIY flower water looks like.
You can download the printable label after the DIY card at the end of the post.
How to store homemade lavender hydrolat
Keep your homemade hydrosol airtight in a cool, dark environment, where it isn’t exposed to direct sunlight or any heat sources.
Room temperature is fine. The fridge is a good place if you like a cooling effect for skincare applications.
How long does DIY lavender water last?
Homemade lavender hydrosol has a shelf life of 1 year. Discard it if you notice a change in color, smell, the appearance of mold or if the hydrolat looks cloudy.
- Prep. Measure the distilled water and lavender. Rinse fresh lavender under running cold water. Skip this step for dried lavender.
- Set up the boiler. Place a heat-resistant bowl or glass jar in the center of a large pot. I used a 16-oz wide mount mason jar. The jar acts as a container to catch the condensing steam that will become lavender water.
- Add lavender and water. Arrange the lavender around the jar. Fill the pot with distilled water, just enough to cover the herbs.
- Distill. Cover the pot with an inverted lid. The lid should fully seal the pot so the steam doesn't escape. Over medium heat, bring the water to a mild simmer. Once the water begins to boil and you see condensation on the lid, place a ziplock bag filled with ice on the lid. The ice will cool the steam so that it condensates and collects into the jar below. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the water is mostly gone.
- Cool. Using kitchen tongs, remove the jar from the pot and place it on a kitchen towel to cool.
- Preserve. Once the jar feels cool to the touch, stir in the preservative until thoroughly distributed throughout. Preservative Eco is heat-sensitive, so be sure the homemade hydrosol is at room temperature before adding it.
- Store. Transfer the lavender water into a glass bottle for storage.
Click to download your free printable label!