Have you ever wondered if you can keep essential oils for years and still use them? Often, people do not realize that natural ingredients can go off and lose their effectiveness over time. They assume because they are natural, they cannot go rancid. Let’s take a closer look at what happens to essential oils.
Can Essential Oils Spoil?
The most important thing to realize is that all quality essential oils are going to have a shelf life. In other words, they are going to be beneficial to use for a while. Indeed, there are a lot of health advantages people claim they are able to offer. You can find out some of the secrets of essential oils by trying them out for yourself.
But, you will not be able to keep them forever once they are open. This is why it is recommended that you use essential oils on a regular basis. This way, you can get through the bottle before it goes off.
One question that is difficult to answer is the shelf life of an essential oil product. They are all going to be made up of different ingredients, which will affect how long they are able to last once they are open. Note that a lot of products that have preservatives in them will last longer. But, this also means that they do not contain all-natural ingredients.
Once you open the bottle, this means that oxidation will start. This is a process where the oils in the product are exposed to oxygen. So, every time you open the bottle, there is going to be more oxygen getting in. Note that there is no way to avoid this from happening completely, and it is natural.
Will essential oils become dangerous? Well, it is hard to say. But, it is likely that the oxidation process will mean they are less effective when used therapeutically. It is best to be cautious and simply get rid of the products when you think they have gone rancid.
How Can You Tell If Essential Oils Have Gone Rancid?
When your essential oils start to go off, there are going to be some signs to look out for. They will tell you that it is time to put the product in the bin. Let’s take a look at some of them.
The Smell Changes
Once an essential oil has gone rancid, the smell of that oil will likely change. Namely, it will not smell as strong as it once did or as pleasant. So, take note of what the product smells like, to begin with. After a while, you can tell that it is no longer fresh and as appealing as it once was.
The Consistency is Different
Of course, the essential oil is going to present itself in liquid form. It will easily run and be a similar consistency to water. But, if you notice that it starts to thicken up or even has chunks in it, it has started to go rancid. This is not a good sign, and it might be time to stop using this oil and get a new one.
The Color is Darker
Essential oils that have gone rancid can even change color. This might not be something that you can notice in the bottle itself. But, you should be able to notice when you use the oil. For instance, it can be cloudy and darker in appearance than it once was. Often, it is clear and translucent, to begin with.
How Can You Extend the Shelf Life of Essential Oils?
As we have mentioned, all-natural essential oils are going to have a shelf life. But, there are some things you can do to make sure that they last a long time. Let’s take a look at the things you can do.
Close the Lids
If you are someone that is guilty of leaving the lid off essential oils, this is your warning to stop doing this. This is a way that you encourage the oxidation process, and it can mean that oils go off sooner than they have to.
Store in a Dark Place
You want to keep essential oils out of the natural sunlight. This can affect their structure, which can mean that they go rancid quickly. The best place to keep them is out of sight in a cupboard. This way, it will be dark.
In addition, the temperature is likely to be cooler, which will help to keep the ingredients fresh. In fact, there are some experts that say to keep them in the refrigerator for a consistently cool temperature.