How To Store Essential Oils
Every bottle of essential oil is precious. It requires pounds of plant material to make a relatively small amount of oil. Millions of Jasmine blossoms are required to produce one kilo of absolute. Every drop counts, so it’s imperative to try and get the most out of your oil. Proper storage of your bottles will help elongate the shelf life of the essential oils and help retain their potency.
WHAT CAUSES A SHORTER SHELF LIFE
Some essential oils are more susceptible to expiration than others. Oils that are classified as monoterpenes, such as citrus oils, are susceptible to oxidation and have a relatively low shelf life of 1-2 years. But even oils classified as the hardier monoterpenols and sesquiterpenols can experience degradation. Oxygen, light, heat, and moisture can easily compromise the integrity of essential oils.
Since oils decay with oxidation, we recommend storing oils in a cool, dry and dark area. Refrigerating oils is an efficient way to keep oils fresh as it meets all three of these requirements. We suggest placing oils in a bag or container in the fridge, so your food doesn’t begin to taste like essential oils.
We recommend storing the oils in a chest, portfolio or essential oil bag. Essential oils can also be stored in cupboards away from heat sources, or on an aesthetically pleasing shelf away from direct sunlight.
To prevent oxygen from interacting with your oils, you may continuously move oils to smaller containers to keep oxygen out. For example, when you use half of a 10 ml bottle, transfer the rest of the oil to a 5 ml bottle to keep out as much oxygen as possible. This is not necessary, but suggested if you wish to extend the shelf life of your oils.
- Keep the cap twisted tightly to avoid evaporation and exposure to air.
- Purchase only the amount of oil that you plan to use within the shelf life.
- Oils that you suspect to be past their prime can still be used for cleaning and oftentimes diffusing.
- Carrier oils also tend to have a longer shelf life when stored in the fridge.