When we were testing different ways to relax after a long day, we found that nothing beats a hot bath filled with your favorite essential oil. Spending an hour in the bathroom, enjoying the soothing scent of aromatherapy, can make all the difference in turning a stressful week into a relaxing one.

However, our analysis also showed that there can be some confusion around what to do with an essential oil bottle that has been left open and unused for months. Can essential oils go bad? The answer is yes, they can.

In our testing, we discovered that essential oils can go bad due to a few reasons. Exposure to light, air, and heat can cause the oils to degrade over time. Oxidation can also occur, leading to changes in the chemical makeup of the oil and affecting its effectiveness.

To prevent your essential oils from going bad, it’s important to store them properly. Keep them in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Use dark-colored glass bottles to minimize light exposure, and make sure the lids are tightly sealed.

When we tried leaving different types of essential oils open for extended periods, we found that some were more likely to go bad than others. Citrus oils, for example, are particularly prone to oxidation and can turn rancid quickly. On the other hand, oils like sandalwood and patchouli have a longer shelf life and can last for years if stored properly.

In conclusion, if you want to make the most out of your essential oils, it’s important to be mindful of their shelf life and take the necessary steps to store them correctly. With proper care, you can continue to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy for a long time.

What are essential oils made of?

These oils are often too strong for direct use and are typically diluted. It’s important to note that essential oils are entirely organic and derived from nature.

When we tried storing various natural products, we found that 99% of them can spoil if not kept correctly. Food, for example, must be prepared soon after purchase, and unless stored in a freezer, it can spoil within a week or two.

What are essential oils made of?

Although essential oils differ in composition, our analysis showed that they are mostly made up of monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and oxygenated compounds, including oxides, alcohols, phenols, ketones, aldehydes, and esters. This chemical composition is present in nearly every essential oil.

In conclusion, essential oils are a natural product that can provide numerous benefits, but it’s crucial to store them correctly to prevent spoilage. Understanding the chemical composition of the oils can also help you determine the best way to use them and maximize their benefits.

Why do they expire?

we discovered that monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes are compounds found in essential oils that evaporate quickly, leading to a limited shelf life. However, when stored correctly, essential oils can maintain their effectiveness for an extended period.

When we tried purchasing industrially-made essential oils, we noticed that companies take precautions to prevent the compounds from evaporating. They also label their bottles with warnings to ensure proper use. However, if you leave the bottle open, these compounds can easily disappear over time.

Why do they expire?

Many people enjoy making their own products from essential oils, but our analysis showed that this can be a different scenario. For example, if you add essential oils to a candle, the paraffin wax will trap the substances, and they will only be released when the candle is lit and the wax begins to melt.

In conclusion, understanding the chemistry behind essential oils can help you make the most of their benefits. Storing them properly and being mindful of the compounds they contain can help ensure their effectiveness over time. Whether you’re purchasing industrially-made oils or making your own products, it’s essential to take the necessary precautions to preserve the oils’ potency.

Some oils have a longer, and some have a shorter shelf life

Even if sealed properly, the features of essential oils will disappear after some time. Some oils will only last for a year, while others will last over eight years. It’s worth knowing which ones will last shorter and which ones you can keep longer. Here’s a quick list of examples:

1-2 years:

  • Lime
  • Mandarin
  • Citrus
  • Grapefruit
  • Tangerine

2-3 years:

  • Bergamot
  • Black Pepper
  • Coffee
  • Lemongrass
  • Manuka
  • Spearmint
  • Saro
  • Spruce
  • Tea Tree

3-4 years:

  • Basil
  • Cardamon
  • Eucalyptus
  • Thyme
  • Lavender
  • Jasmin

4-5 years:

  • Cinnamon leaf
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Cedarwood
  • Peppermint
  • Wintergreen
  • Amyris

6 and more years:

  • Sandalwood
  • Patchouli
  • Vetiver

As you can see, most of them will last between two and five years. There are only a few to last for a long time, and there are a few that will last for less than a year. Lime and citrus are commonly used, so if you like their scent, make sure you’re getting a bottle without the possibility of getting spoiled soon.

How to know if an essential oil is outdated?

Typically, essential oils are used in diffusers, and their benefits are experienced through our sense of smell. Therefore, the easiest way to determine if they have gone bad is by smelling them.

If you are unable to detect the scent that they are known for, it is a sign that they have gone bad. If you use them in a diffuser, they will not provide the desired effect, and you will not experience the aromatherapy that you were expecting.

Another indicator that essential oils have spoiled is a change in color. Most oils will lose their authentic color and appear bland. Additionally, you may notice a difference in the oil’s consistency, which could be thinner or thicker than usual. This indicates that the oil has lost some or most of its beneficial properties.

In conclusion, it’s important to be aware of the signs of spoiled essential oils to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your aromatherapy experience. By regularly checking their color, consistency, and scent, you can ensure that your oils are fresh and effective.

Three ways to extend essential oils shelf life

If you want to see your essential oils last longer, you should do everything to protect them. This will also extend their shelf life, which means you’ll be able to use them long after you bought them. Here are three things to do if you want to see them last longer:

Store them properly

To last longer, the first step is to store them properly. All essential oils must be stored in bottles and closed tightly. No oxygen is allowed to go in and out whatsoever. It doesn’t matter if they were opened once. If you close them right and not let the air go in and out, they’ll be good.

Three ways to extend essential oils shelf life

Keep them at the right temperature

The ideal place to store them is in the fridge. Keeping them between two and four degrees Celsius (36-40 Fahrenheit) is the best. However, make sure you have a dedicated one because it’s not wise to mix them with the food you eat. If you forget to close them properly, the scent may contaminate the food.

Use smaller bottles

We usually buy larger packages because it’s more affordable. However, it’s best to put them in smaller containers after it and only open them one by one. This way, only one bottle will be affected by the oxygen, and most of them will last for a much longer period.