How to Store Your Essential Oils so They Last Longer
Like all good things in life, essential oils can cost a bundle, especially if you have a difficult time narrowing down the oils you want, like I do.
What’s the reason for this? It’s because lots of plant material yields very little oil, so it takes a lot of time and work to get even the smallest bottle. The good news though, is that with the better brands out there, the oils aren’t mixed with lots of artificial fillers. This means you can rest assured that you’re buying little bottles of pure goodness.
But it does come down to price doesn’t it? Just like most other things. Yes, of course you want to buy the best oils, and use the best diffusers. The question is, how do you get more for your money, without sacrificing on quality?
Easy. Extended the shelf life of your oils by practicing proper storage techniques.
Naturally, after paying so much for your oils, you’ll want to know how to preserve them so that they last as long as possible. Kind of like a fine wine.
If stored properly, most essential oils can last for at least a year and some last for more than 5 years! The number one tip is to start out with high quality oils and then just go ahead and follow the tips below.
Read our complete comparison and review of the top essential oil brands. Compare quality, blends, and prices to find oils that you love and are affordable.
Personally, I am guilty of using my oils before they expire, and maybe you do too. But there are always those singles or blends you have that take the back burner to your favorites. Store them well and you’ll be pleasantly surprised the next time you use them, even if it’s been a while.
Follow these practices
Heat and light are a no-no
Don’t keep essential oils in direct sunlight or extreme heat for long since they are flammable. Different oils ignite at different temperatures, but to play it safe, it’s important the oils are kept someplace cool, preferably at a comfortable room temperature. Keep them away from heat and light.
Now that we have ruled out flames, there is another reason to store your oils in a cool place. Heat and light change the chemical composition, evaporation rate, and efficiency of even the purest essential oils. Sunlight can also changes the oil’s color and its constituents, which means it’s better to avoid leaving your oils in the car, on the window sill, above a range or wood stove, near any heat source, or near windows for too long.
Keep your oils in one place
My favorite place to keep oils is in an essential oil box. This ensures they’re stored properly and keeps them all together. Don’t you just hate it when you’re trying to find a particular blend and can’t find it anywhere? This solves that problem. If you only have a few, or are already organized, other suggestions to store your essential oils is in kitchen or bathroom cupboards, or on any shelf away from direct sunlight.
Dark is cool
Store your essential oils in dark, amber or cobalt glass bottles. This limits the oil’s exposure to light, heat, and oxygen, which can break the oils down and trigger skin irritation. Amber or cobalt bottles are better than plain, clear bottles, because they protect the oil from damaging UV light. And glass is strong enough to hold even citrus oil, which can dissolve plastic.
Many brands already ship their oils in these bottles so you have nothing to worry about. If they don’t, they’re easy to find here.
No plastic bottles
Never make the mistake of storing concentrated essential oils in plastic bottles, as most oils are corrosive and will melt plastic. The only exception to this is, diluted massage oils and lotions can be stored in plastic bottles because of their low concentration compared to essential oils.
If you’re not sure, don’t take the chance. Plus glass just feels better doesn’t it?
Store in small airtight bottles
If you tend to buy essential oils in bulk, for instance in 4oz capacities, it’s best to transfer the oil from the larger container to almost empty smaller 1 or 2 oz. bottles. This reduces the chances of oxidation of the oil. Essential oils keep longer in containers with less air. Again, think of it like wine.
You want to make sure there isn’t any extra room for air to get in and mix with your oils, more than is needed. The bottle has to be airtight, as essential oils are volatile and can evaporate rather quickly if not capped properly. Keeping the essential oils’ lids on when not in use also prevents unnecessary oxidation.
Over time you will use more and more of the oils, so there will be some air in the bottle too, but by transferring them to smaller containers, it minimizes the oxidation process.
Keep out moisture
Moisture is bad for pure essential oils, so don’t leave lids off for too long. If you do, there is a chance of water beading up at the container bottom, or of the oil getting cloudy if water or moisture enters and interacts with the oil.
Just add the oil into your favorite diffuser, bath, or as you like when you’re using it and make sure to cap the rest when you’re done. Simple as that.
Droppers are not lids
Glass droppers prove helpful for handling thick oils. But don’t use the dropper as a lid; the bulb is made of pliable rubber, which can quickly break down with citrus oils especially. Even if you use a glass dropper for the oil, always replace it with the bottle’s original lid for storage purposes. You then either clean the dropper with alcohol for future use, or, if you will be using it frequently, just label it for that particular oil.
Ready, Set, Store!
Try implementing these 6 tips on storing essential oils and you will notice a dramatic increase in their shelf life. In fact, even the aromas and the quality of some oils even improve over time. Use your favorite oils with a diffuser for the best results for you, your family, and even your children.