By: Christina Smith, Certified Aromatherapist
Last week, Retha let you know what can happen over time to an essential oil. If you missed that post, read it here “Do Essential Oils Expire?” This week, let’s talk about how we can extend the shelf life of your oils by storing them properly.
Proper storage is very important!
Remember that oxygen is one of the biggest problems when it comes to keeping your essential oils fresh. In order to combat that issue you can do several things:
Try to keep the oils capped tightly unless you are using them. Always keep the reducer (that plastic plug) in the bottle, it helps with a proper seal. And, If you are using larger bottles (2 oz or more) once the bottles are half empty pour them into smaller bottles. This reduces the amount of airspace at the top of the bottle. If you are using a personal inhaler, they can last for 3-4 months before being “re-charged” with additional oil. You can reuse the wicks several times with the same blend before replacing!
Next, what you can do to combat problem number 2: heat. Keep your oils in a cool place. Personally, I keep mine in the basement stairwell on a shelf. The cooler you keep your oils, the longer they will last. Many people store them in the refrigerator! Some even have their very own mini-fridge just for storing their essential oils! Thicker oils may need time to warm briefly so they drop out of the bottle. The change in temperature and viscosity of the oil should not be a problem. If you being to notice cloudiness or a change in smell then your oil may have begun to oxidize.
Finally, to keep your oils out of the sunlight, you have several options: You can store them in a lidded box, or carrier made for essential oil storage. Also, make sure you are keeping your oils in colored bottles (amber or green). If you do use clear bottles, use a label to help keep out some light.
What does all this mean for your oil? It means that if properly used and stored, you can extend the shelf life of your oil. This means more value for your money, but it also means that you will be using your oil safely. Taking the time to figure out the best storage for you is really worth it! In summary; the best place for your oils are in a colored bottle, in a box, in the refrigerator (or another cool place). Isn’t that simple?
Here’s a link for the cases that Plant Therapy offers to keep your oil collection safe and sound: Essential Oil Storage How do you store your oils? Leave us a comment and tell us about your collection!