Can I Use Lime Essential Oil In Place Of Lime Juice? The Answer


A zingy splash of lime juice is perfect for all kinds of recipes. Home DIY Beauty, your favorite vodka cocktail, and in a gorgeous Key Lime Pie! But what if you haven’t got any to hand? 

Many keen aromatherapists often wonder whether you can use essential oil in place of lime juice? So today we are going to get the definitive answer!  

In this article, we will find out whether lime oil and lime juice can be good substitutes.

Generally, lime oil can be used in place of lime juice. Lime oil has a very woody, herbal, and intense flavor and taste, so do not use as much lime oil as lime juice. Lime oil is more similar to lime zest. Use 1 drop of lime essential oil in place of 1 teaspoon of fresh lime juice. 

Ok, so that’s the short answer in place. So you can get started with your uplifting lime soap, candle or drizzle cakes, let’s delve a little deeper.

How much lime essential oil equals lime juice?

It takes around 4 -5 limes to make a tablespoon of lime juice. 

Lime essential oil in contrast needs at least 30 tablespoons of lime peel for just 1 teaspoon of lime juice! 

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It’s easy to see how concentrated lime oil is in contrast to lime juice! 

So for anyone using lime essential oil in place of lime juice, one drop equals a teaspoon of lime juice. 

This richly condensed and concentrated oil needs only a drop if you are substituting lime oil for lime juice. 

Essential oil has more aroma than acidic content. So it’s always recommended to use essential oil at the end to preserve most of the flavor and aroma. 

It’s best to add lime oil in the final stages before serving in desserts or add it to your cake batter before baking.

“So for anyone using lime essential oil in place of lime juice, one drop equals a teaspoon of lime juice.” 

fresh lime juice

It’s also worth noting that some processes especially those involving heat, such as baking will lessen the overall intensity of lime essential oil and also like juice. 

Take this into account. That way you can make sure you get the right flavor or aroma you need for a lime dessert recipe or a refreshing lime face mask! 

Lime essential oil vs lime juice 

The short answer is that both lime oil and lime juice can give a lime flavor and aroma. 

Let’s investigate some of the similarities and differences between lime essential oil and lime juice. 

This way we will be able to more easily discover whether lime essential oil can be used in place of lime juice. 

  • Lime oil is more concentrated: You can use lime essential oil as a substitute for lime juice. However, it’s important to understand oils are more concentrated.
  • Like juice is lighter: Lime juice is a much lighter lime product and comes from a different part of the fruit than lime oil 
  • Lime oil is therapeutic: Lime essential oil has therapeutic benefits because of how concentrated it is.  So although you can use lime juice in place of lime essential oil in a diffuser, juice won’t give the potency of lime oil. 
  • Lime oil is longer lasting: Freshly squeezed limes will last around 2 -3 days in a fridge, whereas lime oil can last up to a year if stored correctly.
  • A different product: Fresh lime juice is usually available as single-strength juices or as concentrates which differs from lime essential oil. 
  • Extracted from a different part of a lime: Lime juice is made usually by an extraction method. This method presses the fruit and the pulp to extract the juice. Lime essential oil is also made from extraction ( cold-pressed. If you are thinking of using lime oil instead of lime juice, it’s important to understand lime oil is made from the rind of the lime.

Limes are an acidic fruit. This is why they give that zing to our recipes and essential oil blends. 

Lime essential oil cannot 100% duplicate the acidity and lighter flavor that you get from lime juice. Do they smell the same? read on to find out.

lime taste and flavor

Read on to find out. 

Does lime essential oil have the same aroma as lime juice? 

As we’ve discovered lime essential oil is made from the rind of the lime rather than the fresher juice and pulp of fresh lime.

Lime essential oil has a more concentrated aroma and scent. 

The reason for this is because lime essential oil is a mix of both oil and small amounts of alcohol which intensifies the fragrance. 

Lime juice smells weaker than lime oil

Lime juice which is sold as a condiment on a store shelf is mixed with water. This will also result in a weaker smell than both fresh lime and lime oil. 

  • Similar smell: Unlike substituting lemon essential oil for lemon juice, where the aromas are different, fresh lime juice and lime oil do share a more similar aroma profile. 
  • Depth of aroma: However, As lime oil is more concentrated, the aroma is more pronounced with a depth that lime juice does not have. 
  • Similar to lime rind: Lime essential has a smell more similar to lime rind than lime juice. 
  • Woody and herbal: Lime essential oil has a fruitier more ‘herbal’ and ‘woody’ aroma than fresh lime. 
  • Lime zest Lime oil smells more like lime zest ( the skin of the lime) rather than lime juice. 

So if you are using lime oil in place of lime juice, it’s important to remember that the smell of the oil will be more intense, herbal, and fruitier aroma. 

“As lime oil is more concentrated, the aroma is more pronounced with a depth that lime juice does not have.”

Does lime essential oil substitute lime juice flavor? 

The flavor of fresh limes is generally quite sour. This is why they are great for adding a citrus tang to your recipes. 

So for anyone who wants to know if lime oil can be used in place of lime juice, the taste will be an important consideration. 

  • Sourer: Lime oil also gives an extra hit of sourness in contrast to its lime juice counterpart. So you could say it tastes a little more ‘ripened’ than fresh lime juice. 
  • Stronger flavor As we discovered earlier, lime oil is made from the rind of the fruit. This gives a stronger flavor and similar to lime oils aroma, it has a distinctly herby and woody flavor. 
fresh lime juice

Lime oil is a great alternative to lime zest!

So from our findings, it’s pretty clear that it’s perfectly fine to use lime oil in place of lime juice. However lime oil’s best substitute is for lime zest.

Lime zest has a more concentrated flavor and aroma than juice. 

So if you are looking for a lime zest substitute in a batch of cupcakes lime oil works well. 

This is of course, only if you want the flavor and taste of lime zest. 

So you wouldn’t be able to use it as a decoration or to make your batch of lime soap look appealing! 

If lime zest is required to add a flourish of citrusy lime on top of your bath bomb, then only lime zest will do! 

“So if you are looking for a lime zest substitute in a batch of cupcakes or even in a bath bomb, lime oil works well” 

And finally…

So there it is! The definitive answer as to whether you can substitute the beautifully zingy lime essential oil in place of its fresh counterpart! 

Always remember that all essential oils are super concentrated and a little goes a long way! 

But feel free to reach for your aromatherapy oils! if you are making a refreshing face pack, adding to a batch of cupcakes, or even in a mojito! 

If you love a citrus burst, don’t forget to check out my other articles. Here you will find lots of orange essential oil blends. You can also find out whether you can substitute orange or lemon oil for fresh juices. 

This content has been checked and verified by a medical professional or aromatherapist The article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication by our editorial policy.

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