When it comes to essential oil storage, we have found our customers frequently asking similar questions around this topic. As such, we thought it would be useful to compile a series of these frequently asked questions to help bust some myths circulating out there regarding optimal essential oil storage.
How long can you keep essential oils?
As soon as your essential oil encounters oxygen, for example when you open a new bottle, the process of oxidation begins.
Unlike food, essential oils don’t expire however, their composition can change over time due to exposure to light, heat, and air. We always suggest you contact the manufacturer of your essential oil to gauge the lifetime of your essential oil. Most manufactures will state a batch expiry date so, this is always a good guide to follow. Furthermore, if your essential oil is combined with a carrier oil or lotion - this will further impact its longevity.
Lastly, the type of essential oil will also dictate its shell life. Some of the more popular essential oils on the market in pure form with no carrier substances can last up to the following:
- 1 to 2 years; lemon, lime, blood orange and frankincense
- 2 to 3 years; bergamot, juniper berry, neroli and tea tree
- 3 to 4 years; lavender, cardamon, basil and thyme
These are obviously general estimations and we always recommend you contact the manufacturer of your essential oils for further clarification.
Can you store essential oils in aluminium?
This is often a debated topic as some manufacturers believe essential oils can be stored in aluminium vessels provided they have been adequately coated on the inside and, this involves laborious stability testing. For the most part, it is best essential oils are stored in amber or cobalt blue glass bottles as this protects them from sunlight and prevents deterioration. Furthermore, buying essential oils in smaller bottles is recommended to help minimise oxidation.
Can you store diluted essential oil in plastic bottles?
Yes. essential oils that are diluted in another carrier oil/lotion can be stored in plastic bottles. PET plastics are generally less expensive than glass containers. It’s important to be mindful that you have an airtight seal on the bottle to preserve the shellfire of the product.
Can essential oils freeze?
Yes. Essential oils can freeze or be stored in a fridge however, the purpose of doing this is not generally recommended and most manufactures will advise the prime storage temperatures for their oils.
How can you tell if essential oils have gone bad?
Given essential oils are mostly used for their therapeutic properties in applications such as aromatherapy, it’s essential to make sure you are only using oils that are not expired or, have been spoiled. Some great tell tail signs to indicate your essential oil is no longer of premium grade are;
- the smell of the essential oil has changed since you last opened the bottle
- the colour of your essential oil has changed or, gone cloudy
- the consistency of the oil has changed
We hope that you have found this helpful and always remember, if you have specific questions regarding your essential oils, reach out to the manufacturer for guidance.