How to Make Homemade Rose Water - antioxidant and astringent diy rose water facial toner

How To Make & Use Homemade Rose Water

Rose water is a simple way to enjoy the sweet aroma and medicinal benefits of roses everyday. It’s easy to make at home with basic kitchen equipment and has an incredibly wide variety of food and medicinal uses. Use your homemade rose water as a soothing facial toner, a treatment for sunburns, and to help ease anxiety. Alternatively, use it to flavor any number of recipes from lemonade to blueberry muffins and so much more.

curly line


The Benefits of Using Rose Water
2 Simple Ways to Make Homemade Rose Water
The Many Ways to Use Rose Water

How to Make Homemade Rose Water - antioxidant and astringent diy rose water facial toner

the benefits of using rose water

Rose, the Queen of the Flowers, is a plant with many medicinal uses. For centuries, we’ve admired the rose not only for its immense beauty, but also for its many medicinal properties.

As a medicine plant, rose is:

  • nervine (helps to calm nerves)
  • analgesic (helps to relieve pain)
  • astringent (tightens and tones tissues)
  • aphrodisiac (helps open us up to experience pleasure)
  • antimicrobial
  • anti-inflammatory

As an anti-inflammatory, rose water can help to soothe irritated skin and can be a helpful treatment for eczema, psoriasis, or sunburned skin.

The smell of rose alone is enough to help ease stress and anxiety. And because a low stress, relaxed state is necessary to help experience the pleasures of life, rose is a valuable aphrodisiac. It can also help to relieve headaches and reduce irritability.

Rose water is also great for healthy skin. As an astringent, it can help to tone and tighten facial tissues, acting as an anti-aging facial toner and helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Rose’s antimicrobial properties make rose water a great option to help heal small cuts or wounds, as well as to help treat dandruff.

In fact, many people also incorporate rose water into their hair care regimen. It’s used to help stabilize hair and scalp pH, repair damaged hair, and to soften/detangle/de-frizz hair. Using rose water in your hair also leaves behind its incredible and alluring rose-y aroma.

Single rose stem (Rosa spp.)

how to make rose water – 2 ways

While there are a few ways to make rose water, the two simplest ways include a quick simmering method and a slightly more involved distillation method. Both ways are easy to do with basic kitchen equipment, although the distillation method is a little more time consuming.

When making rose water, it’s best to use distilled water for a longer shelf life and purer aroma. Minerals and other chemicals in tap water can negatively affect the quality of your rose water. Distilled water can be purchased at any conventional grocery.

Another important factor is to make sure you use roses that haven’t been treated with chemicals. Nearly all roses from the florist are heavily sprayed with chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Organic home-grown roses and wild rose are best. Use any rose that’s fragrant and the more fragrant, the better.

Wild Rose (Rosa spp.)

Choosing which method is best for you may depend on your intended usage. Here are two homemade rose water recipes.

How to Make Homemade Rose Water 2 Ways - antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and astringent diy rose water facial toner

THE SIMMERING METHOD (quickest, shorter shelf life)

This method is as simple as it gets. Rose petals are simmered in distilled water for 15-30 minutes or until the petals have lost their color and become nearly translucent.

Then, the infusion is cooled to room temperature, strained, and bottled. The final product will likely have murky color to it, like a light-colored tea. This is due to particulates left over from straining.

While this doesn’t effect how you can use the rose water, it does shorten the shelf-life. Rose water made using the simmering method should be kept in the refrigerator for a longer shelf-life and used within a few weeks.


What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup organic fresh rose petals* (or ~1/4 cup dried)
  • distilled water
  • small sauce pan
  • glass measuring cup (or jar)
  • fine-mesh strainer and/or several layers of cheesecloth or organic muslin
  • glass bottle with lid for storage

*1 cup of fresh petals = 2-3 garden variety roses. If using 5-petalled wild roses, it will take many more.


  1. If using fresh rose petals, fill a small bowl with water and add rose petals. Slosh the rose petals around in the water for a few seconds to clean off any dirt or bugs.
  2. Remove rose petals from water and add them (fresh or dried) to a small saucepan. Add just enough distilled water to cover the rose petals (~1-1 1/2 cups). Adding more water than needed will result in a more diluted product.
  3. Bring rose petals to a rolling boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-30 minutes until the petals have lost their color and turned translucent.
  4. Remove from heat and let the infusion cool to room temperature.
  5. After the rose petal infusion is cool, use a fine mesh strainer, cheesecloth, muslin, or even a scrap of clean, old t-shirt to strain the rose petals from the water.
  6. Pour rose water into a storage jar and keep in the refrigerator. Be sure to label your jar with the contents and date. If kept refrigerated, the rose water should last a few weeks or longer. Discard if the color changes, it looses its smell, or starts to smell off.
rose stem


This method, while involving a little more equipment, materials, and time, results in a much cleaner, clearer, and purer rose water that has a longer shelf life.

Setting up a makeshift distillery on your stove involve a large pot with a lid, a glass or ceramic bowl (or two) that are small enough to fit into your pot, and some ice.

Essentially, when using this DIY distillation method, you are making a rose hydrosol, sometimes also known as a flower water. This method works by way of condensation. As the rose/water infusion in the bottom of the pot heats and produces rose-scented steam, the rose water steam condensates on the inverted lid and drops into your collection bowl. Voilá! Rose water!


What you’ll need:

  • 3-5 cups organic fresh rose petals* (or 1 1/2-2 cups dried)
  • distilled water
  • large pot with lid
  • collection bowl (a glass or ceramic bowl small enough to fit into your pot) **
  • ice
  • a large Ziplock bag and/or turkey baster
  • small funnel
  • glass bottle with lid for storage

*1 cup of fresh petals = 2-3 garden variety roses. If using 5-petalled wild roses, it will take many more.

**Choose a glass or ceramic bowl that will nest into your pot. You want the bowl to have tall enough sides so that once you add the water and roses to the pot, no water is able to pour in from the sides. This will result in a diluted rose water. I try to choose the largest bowl that will fit into the pot entirely but without touching the sides. If needed, you can always invert a smaller bowl in the bottom of the pot and stack a larger bowl on top of that.


  1. To build the distillation station, place your glass or ceramic bowl inside your pot.
  2. Add the rose petals (fresh or dried) to the pot around the edges of the bowl, then carefully pour in distilled water making sure to not get any inside the bowl. Add just enough water to cover the rose petals.
  3. Place the lid on the pot upside down so that the handle is pointing down inside the pot.
  4. Add a large handful of ice on top of the inverted lid to encourage condensation. You’ll need to replace the ice as it melts, making sure to keep ice on the lid for the entire process to get the most rose water out of this method. The more condensation, the better. You can do this in one of two ways:
    1. Add ice directly to inverted lid. Continue to add more ice as it melts, using a turkey baster to remove water as needed. (If your lid has steam holes in it, use the next method so as to not dilute your rose water.)
    2. Add ice to a large ziplock bag and place the sealed bag on top of the inverted lid. As the ice melts, just pour out water and replace with new ice. This method is best especially if your lid has steam holes in it. Any water dripping into the pot from melted ice will dilute your rose water.
  5. Bring the pot to a simmer and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the rose petals have lost their color and/or are translucent. Turn off heat, remove ice from lid, and allow to cool to room temperature.
  6. Once cool, carefully remove the inverted lid making sure not to drip any melted ice water into the bowl.
  7. Then carefully remove the collection bowl full of rose water. Use a small funnel to help pour the rose water into your storage bottle. This distilled rose water can be stored unrefrigerated and will last several months. Store in a cool, dry place. For a longer shelf-life, store in a dark colored glass bottle such as amber or cobalt. And for an even longer shelf-life, store in the refrigerator. (Always remember to label and date your jar.)

how to use rose water

Using homemade rose water is extra fun simply because there are so many ways to use it. You can cook with your homemade rose water, use it in bath, body, and skincare products, as an aromatherapy spray, and so much more.

Here’s a few of the many ways to use your homemade rose water:


  • Replace vanilla extract with your homemade rose water in cookies, add it to homemade ice cream, or stir it into yogurt.
  • Stir some into your minty iced lemonade.
  • Add a splash to your herbal teas. Rose also pairs nicely with a grassy green tea.
  • Try this Cinnamon-Rose Pear Upside Down Cake.
  • Skip the rosemary in this Rose Hip Jam and add a splash of rose water after you remove it from the heat for an incredibly lovely floral hint.
  • Rose pairs well with foods like chocolate, pistachios, citrus, and other florals like lavender, chamomile, or hibiscus.


  • Make a rose water facial toner. Add your homemade rose water to a small and dark-colored glass spray bottle. Mist onto your face after cleansing or use a cotton ball to dab on to your face and neck area. You could also add a drop or two of rose or lavender essential oil.
  • Add rose water to your bath. Add ~1 cup of rosewater and a few drops of rose or lavender essential oil to your bath for an extra relaxation and skin soothing.
  • Make an anti-inflammatory spray for sunburns or other inflamed skin conditions. Add equal parts rose water and organic apple cider vinegar to a small spray bottle and spray onto sunburns or small cuts for pain relief.


  • Use your homemade rose water as refreshing floral room spray.
  • Spritz onto bedsheets and pillow cases to freshen up.

Happy rose water making! I love simple herbal medicine projects that make me feel like a mad scientist in the kitchen. This is one of those projects.

Rose water seems so fit for royalty, yet so easy to make. If you make your own rose water, I’d love to hear of your experience. Comment below or tag me in your creations Facebook or Instagram.

What are your favorite ways to use rose water?

for people & planet (botany culture blog signature)

The information given in this article is intended for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns at all, it’s always a good idea to check with your health practitioner before consuming certain herbs & medicinal foods, especially if taking any prescription medications.

Find Organic Herbs & Spices at Mountain Rose Herbs

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *