How To Make Olive Oil At Home (Without Special Tools)

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Making your own olive oil gives you more control over the sort of olives used, allowing you to customize the flavor to your preferences.

In this post, I’ll show you the process I’ve used to make my first ever olive oil at home. That way, you won’t need to spend additional money on buying an oil press, etc.

I don’t do that anymore because now I take my olives to the mill, and they provide me with cold-extracted olive oil. But it was a fantastic feeling when I made my own olive oil for the first time.

Steps To Make Olive Oil at Home

making olive oil at home

What You’ll Need:

  • Olives (here’s how to know when is the right time to pick them)
  • Olive pitter
  • Mallet
  • High-speed blender or mixer
  • Cheesecloth
  • See-through container
  • Dark glass or ceramic bottle

1. Gather Olives From The Tree (or buy them)

guy gathering olives from the tree

There are at least 139 different varieties of olives available. Aside from olive variety, people prefer to choose green, unripe olives when making olive oil. Some industrial producers combine green and black olives. So, for this process, you can use either ripe black olives or unripe green olives. You can produce your own or purchase them in local markets or olive groves.

But we’ll recommend using freshly picked olives rather than the ones from the store. Keep in mind that ripe olives create gold-colored oil, whereas unripe olives yield green-colored oil. To get extra virgin olive oil, we suggest you pick greener olives. The best technique to determine the best olive ripeness is by following an olive maturity index.

2. Wash Olives in Plain Water (and remove twigs and leaves)

washing olives with water

After placing the olives in a basin, thoroughly wash them with cool running water. Scrub away any dirt with your fingers. While doing this, you should also go through the olives and remove any leaves, twigs, stones, or other junk that may have gotten mixed in with the fruit. Both the oil and the machinery used to generate it can be ruined by these substances.

Allow the extra water to drain after washing the olives, then pat them dry with fresh paper towels. It’s not necessary to completely dry olives because the water and oil will ultimately separate further in the process.

3. Remove Olive Pits

removing olive pits

There are several methods you can use to remove pits from olives. The best option is to use specialized kitchen tools. If you don’t have an olive pitter instrument in your kitchen, you can attempt a few different approaches, such as using the flat side of the knife to squash the olive. This will force the olive to split open, making it very simple to remove the pit.

Straw is another tool for removing pits. Hold the olive, and insert the straw into the opening where the stem joins the olive until you reach the pit. Then, quickly push the straw out the other side. This will work best if you use a stainless steel metal straw rather than a plastic straw.

You can also just use your fingertips. The pit will come out if you squeeze or tear the olive. But remember, the olives must be tender for this to work.

4. Mash The Olives and Blend Them

crushing olives into a paste

Put the washed olives in a large bowl with relatively shallow sides rather than flat ones. The olives should ideally be kept in a single layer. The olives should be continuously crushed into a chunky, thick paste using a clean mallet. Avoid using wooden mallets as they could soak up some of the liquid.

By this point, you ought to have a rough paste, which you can blend to get a finer paste. Add half a cup of slightly warm water to the blender to begin the blending process. Use a high-speed blender to mix the olives into a thick paste for 10 to 15 minutes. The surface of the mashed olive paste should be slightly shiny. This shine is olive oil.

5. Extract The Olive Oil

squeezing olive paste

To extract liquid, proceed by using cheesecloth. If you don’t have cheesecloth, consider using thick sheets of filter paper. Transfer the olive paste, along with any visible liquid or solid, to the cheesecloth’s center using a spoon. Create a tight bundle by wrapping the cheesecloth’s sides around the olive paste.

You can place a smaller bowl inside the strainer and on top of the olive bundle. Put some weight on the olive paste bundle. The burden must be substantial enough to exert active pressure on the bundle. For at least 30-60 minutes, let the water, olive juice, and oil drain through the strainer and cheesecloth.

Additionally, you can press the bundle with your hands to help in the extraction process.

6. Filter The Oil

filtering olive oil

After extraction is complete, pour the liquid into a glass container with a clear lid. All liquids naturally separate into their own distinct layer as a result of gravity and the various densities of each component.

Allow the liquid to rest for a few hours so that it can separate from one another. In the glass container, the olive oil should float to the top. This is how we get freshly homemade olive oil.

7. Pour Olive Oil Into Proper Containers

pouring olive oil into dark glass bottles

The best olive oil containers are made of dark glass or ceramics. But you can use a plastic container if you don’t have any other option at the moment. Remember that before you pour the oil inside any bottle, it must be well washed with hot water and dish soap, rinsed carefully, and dried. Create a tight seal around the mouth of the bottle.

Related: How To Wash Olive Oil Bottles

8. Store Olive Oil (Or Use Immediately)

storing olive oil

Finally, keep your olive bottle in a suitable location. Since your olive oil doesn’t contain any extra preservatives as commercially prepared oil, you should use it within six months for the best level of quality. Prior to placing it in the chosen storage location, label it with the date and the day you made it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Press My Own Olive Oil?

Yes, you can make your own olive oil at home by using fresh raw olives, ideally just picked from the olive tree.

Can I Make Olive Oil With a Wine Press?

Olives do not need that much pressure, so a wine, cheese, or cider press should work.

How Long Does It Take To Press The Oil?

It depends on the oil press method, whether you’re using the Cold pressed or the Expeller pressing method. Also, it’ll depend on how many olives you want to turn into olive oil. For the method above, you can make 1-2 liters of olive oil in a day.

How Long Does Home-Made Olive Oil Last?

Home-prepared olive oil goes rancid quicker, as it doesn’t contain any extra preservatives. I recommend you spend it within six months of creating it (if kept in proper containers).

Do I Need To Remove Pits From Olives Before Making Olive Oil?

You can leave the pits in if you use a heavy mechanical press to grind the olives. But, if you are making olive oil at home using a food processor, remove the pits because they might damage the blades.


Any homesteader will be proud to be able to claim that they press their own olive oil. You should definitely think about creating your own olive oil, given the health and cost benefits. We sincerely hope that this information was beneficial to you in many ways and that now you know how to make olive oil at home without any special tools.

Here’s a great video on this topic, even though I don’t recommend heating olives so much – it can degrade the quality of the oil you’ll get.