To say I love lavender is an understatement. I have lavender dish soap, hand soap, laundry detergent, lotion, creams and perfumes. About eight or nine years ago I started making my own lavender linen spray. I just wasn’t going to pay the steep price for a bottle from a fancy store. Making it at home is inexpensive and easy to do.
How to Dry Lavender
Where I live, there are several lavender farms and the summer is the perfect time to visit and cut some fresh lavender to dry. If you have a lavender farm near you, or a lavender plant growing in your yard (or know someone who does) it’s a great time to take advantage of it. Dry a few bunches to enjoy for the rest of the year.
When you cut fresh lavender, make sure to cut the stems about the same length to make drying easy. Grab a handful of stems about 4 inches above the bottom of the plant and make a clean cut with sharp garden shears. Lavender can be dried in a single layer on a cooling rack or similar type surface to allow the air to circulate.
I prefer creating small bunches, tying them with string, and hanging them. Loosely cover the buds with cheesecloth, if needed, to keep bugs out of them as they dry. Making smaller bunches is important so the stems and buds don’t grow mold. Drying the lavender outside in a shady spot is fine, as is a garage, or even a basement or kitchen. I prefer not to dry the bunches in a hot, sunny spot because I feel like the heat is too damaging. The goal is to keep the natural oils from dissipating.
After three to five days, depending on the size and freshness of the bunch, the lavender should be completely dried. If you want to use only the buds, run your fingers over the dried flowers and they should come right off. Store in an airtight container. The dried whole lavender stems should be stored somewhere dry, preferably covered (unless they are a decoration) to prevent spiders and pests from creating a home for themselves.
- Distilled water
- Vodka or rubbing alcohol
- Lavender essential oil (or fresh lavender)
DIY Lavender Linen Spray
It takes a little longer, but you can place fresh lavender into a jar with vodka, cover it with a lid and place it in a dark, cool place for about a week. The lavender will infuse the vodka during that time. You’ll notice that the color will have transferred to the vodka. I don’t use this method simply because I’m nervous it will stain my linens. (But you could use it to make some delicious cocktails!)
The method I use is to mix about 2 tablespoons of vodka with 2 cups of distilled water and add 15-20 drops of lavender essential oil. The alcohol helps keep the oil dissolved in the solution and preserves the scent. (But I always shake it before using it anyway.) You can spritz it on bedding to freshen it up. We also use it for ironing. It makes the whole house smell lovely. If you don’t want to use the alcohol, I’ve read witch hazel is a good substitute, but I haven’t tried that yet, so no guarantees! And that’s it! Super easy. Change it up by using different essential oils – rose, geranium, citrus, herb, etc.
- 2 cup distilled water
- 2 tablespoons vodka or rubbing alcohol
- 15-20 drops lavender essential oil
- Combine all of the ingredients in a spray or spritzer bottle.
- Shake well and use.
- Will keep indefinitely.