Regular vs. Cold-Pressed Castor Oil

Friday, March 18, 2022

When you're looking for the right castor oil for your needs, you'll likely run into a few different options. Alongside the regular, expeller-pressed castor oil, you can also find castor oils that come from pale-pressed, cold-pressed and chemical extraction methods. One of the best-known alternatives to standard castor oil is cold-pressed castor oil, so you must know the differences between them before making your choice.

Learn more about what castor oil is, how chemical and pressed castor oil extraction methods differ and why there's a distinction between regular and cold-pressed castor oil. You might also be interested in learning more about pale-pressed castor oil and some of the overall benefits of using castor oil.

What Is Castor Oil?

Castor oil is a vegetable oil regularly used in hair and skin care products, digestive aids, soaps, lubricants and pharmaceuticals. Since there are various extraction methods for the oil, you can find a few types of castor oil on the market today. No matter the type of castor oil you pick, it will have come from processing the seeds of a Ricinus communis, more commonly referred to as a castor plant.

Difference Between Chemical Extraction and Pressed Castor Oil 

You can find several different methods for extracting castor oil available today, but they mostly fall into two categories — chemical extraction and pressed extraction. The pressing method for extracting castor oil comes in various forms, but it will incorporate a device that crushes seeds to remove the oil. The pressing process may involve low or high temperatures, depending on the type of castor oil a company wants to make.

While pressing castor seeds can result in significant oil yields, it will generally leave some oil behind. After a company crushes the seeds, these seeds will form into a brick or cake-like substance. A company can then extract more oil from the castor cake using a chemical solvent. Some of the most popular solvents include petroleum, hexane and heptane. The chemical extraction method allows companies to remove most of the remaining oil in the cake, giving them the chance to derive maximum value from their castor seeds.

Expeller-Pressed vs. Cold-Pressed Castor Oil


One of the common types of castor oil is expeller-pressed oil. Since expeller-pressed oil is so popular, you might hear people call it regular castor oil. To create expeller-pressed oil, a company will press the castor seeds through a cavity, using pressure and friction to extract the oil. This process doesn't involve any added heat, but the pressing process required to remove the oil generates a temperature around 140 to 210 degrees Fahrenheit.

Having completed the pressing process, a company will remove the oil, resulting in expeller-pressed castor oil. The seeds' remains will form into a hard, brick-like substance that makes excellent animal feed. While much of the seed gets used in expeller pressing, this process leaves a significant amount of oil behind, leading to higher costs for expeller-pressed castor oil products.

What is cold-pressed castor oil? Cold-pressed castor oil is another popular type of castor oil. It comes from using a press to extract oil from castor seeds at a temperature under 122 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold-pressed castor oil manufacturers can't use heat later in the refining process.

Since the cold-pressed process retains the castor oil's aroma, flavor and natural antioxidants, cold-pressed castor oil is ideal for skin and hair care products. Due to the lack of heat, the oil tends to retain more nutrients and antioxidants, providing additional health benefits.

As you decide between expeller-pressed and cold-pressed castor oil, it's essential to note that both are useful for different applications. For example, cold-pressed oils usually provide more health benefits, making them an excellent choice if you're creating oils for consumption. However, it's possible to produce expeller-pressed oils faster, since they don't need extra equipment and processes to keep the heat low. Expeller-pressed oils are often ideal for soaps, lubricants and metal workings.

Pale-Pressed vs. Cold-Pressed Castor Oil

Another alternative to standard pressed castor oil is pale-pressed castor oil. Manufacturers create this oil by only using the initial pressing of castor seeds to extract the oil rather than a longer pressing process. Newly extracted pale-pressed oil looks much more pristine than cold-pressed or expeller-pressed castor oils since it has fewer impurities due to the extraction method.

Compared to cold-pressed castor oil, pale-pressed castor oil comes with lower acidity and is much thinner. Since this oil has a transparent appearance, it's ideal for products such as printer inks and lubricants for specialized machinery. These qualities also make it a popular product for hair and skin care products.

Benefits of Castor Oil

No matter the type of castor oil you choose, you can receive several benefits from using it. Since castor oil has ricinoleic acid, it assists with skin moisturizing, making it an excellent choice for skin care products. It also features anti-inflammatory and moisturizing characteristics ideal for hair care products that promote scalp and hair health. Many companies use castor oil in their ointments and creams, as it has healing properties.

Another remarkable benefit of castor oil is its ability to help reduce pain and inflammation from conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. Some companies use castor oil in their laxatives to provide constipation relief. Due to castor oil's antimicrobial properties, it also can help alleviate acne symptoms.

Choose 18c by Acme-Hardesty for Your Castor Oil Needs


18c by Acme-Hardesty is an excellent alternative to buying castor oil in bulk, as we sell the oil in smaller quantities. Some of our bestselling castor oil products include AQTIV™ Organic Castor Oil, No.1 Castor Oil, Jamaican Black Castor Oil and Hydrogenated Castor Oil. When you need castor oils in the quantities and sizes you require for your manufacturing operation, we can get them to you quickly and affordably.

Review our selection of castor oil today. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

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