Proper Essential Oil Storage - Naturally Blended

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Naturally Blended

Proper Essential Oil Storage

By: Christina Smith, Certified Aromatherapist

Wisdom Wednesday: Proper Essential Oil Storage


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!

Download:  Plant Therapy Essential Oil Shelf Life Charts

30 thoughts on “Proper Essential Oil Storage”

  1. I wonder if there has been any research on how the colder temps of fridge affects them, if at all. I totally get the logic of it, that if we keep away the degrading heat then a fridge should be great – but I couldn’t help but wonder if there was actual data on how they fare in colder than room-temps.

    I’m also curious about blue cobalt glass. Amber and green was specified but blue wasn’t mentioned. I haven’t seen green as an option and now I’m really interested in looking for that color (so pretty!).

    Last thought- do dropper bottles (the kind with the glass pipette and rubber squeeze tops) have any more, or less, issues when it comes to oxidation? Are they known to be just as safe and secure? I didn’t know if the thin rubber top made them less air tight or anything.

    Thank you for for any helpful wisdom, in reply!

  2. I have been using EOs for several years and have never stored them in the fridge and I have never had a problem with them “going bad”. I keep mine on a bookshelf (out of direct sunlight) in my kitchen. Easy access and they are always there when I need them. 🙂

  3. Hi, all! I see that some people have posted about having trouble with condensation on the outside of the bottles, but what about the inside? Wouldn’t that affect the quality of the oil?

  4. Essential oils are mostly prone to oxidation, therefore, make sure to avoid storing it in refrigerator. You can also store oils in aromatherapy box, which will keep the oils safe from extreme temperatures. You can use products such as Cobalt Blue Boston round glass bottle and dark colored glass dropper vials to store oil.

    1. because essential oils are prone to oxidization storing them in a fridge is a great option, probably the best, especially citrus oils that are prone to quicker oxidization. Storing them in the fridge will extend their shelf life tremendously. If you cannot store them in the fridge then they need to be stored in a cool, dark location. A lot of people purchase mini fridges just for their essential oils and carrier oils.

    1. Dianne, you would want to store them the same. In a cool, dark area with the lids closed however, they can also be stored in the fridge.

  5. I’m new to EO use and recently found the need to buy a storage container for my EO’s since I’ve accumulated so many with my enthusiastic use! I’m thinking of purchasing a “Soft Cooler” Tote, possibly on wheels. I can place my essential oil box directly into the cooler. My thoughts are that the cooler will help control any extreme temperature fluctuations in the hot summer months with no AC in my rental unit. I can even place those re-usable freezer blocks in them during warmer months to keep them cooler and extend the shelf life. Any thoughts on this idea?

    1. Hi, Janie! My thoughts are that it would be fine as long as the temperature stays somewhat constant and cool. If the temperature is going to fluctuate or get hot at times, this may not be the best choice. If you have room in your fridge, you might just place the eos in a plastic box with a lid, and put them in the fridge, where it is more constant…

  6. Can you freeze essential oils to make them last enen longer than just chilling them in the fridge?

    1. It is not recommended to freeze essential oils. They are best kept at a constant temperature, preferably in the refrigerator.

      1. Intetesting! Another aromatherapist on line, Lea Harris, said “Yes” to this question of freezing essential oils. Apparently professional opinions vary on this issue.
        I asked this question because I got some extra oils on sale and wanted to preserve them longer than normal for future use.
        Any other professional opinions out there?

  7. I stole my husband’s mini fridge from his office to keep my oils cool;). He didn’t resist at all once I mixed a muscle rub for his back and he realized how well the oils relieved his pain. To prevent
    myself from knocking bottles over I bought some small clear containers that are taller than the oils so I don’t have to worry about them falling overboard. Don’t get those little office trays because they are so short that it was like a balancing act just to get them out of the fridge without one falling out. The clear containers make it easy to read the names thru the sides of the
    container if the top labels fall off and I chose ones with handles so it’s easier to pull them out. I also divide my oils by type so I can locate what I need quickly. I did have issues with the freezer section building up too much ice and making the bottles feel damp when I would pull them out so I just took the door off the freezer area (let’s face it those little freezers are a joke anyway ) and it solved the condensation problem on the bottles. I am officially hooked on essential oils and my little fridge gets a lot of use. Happy mixing everyone!

  8. Thank you so much for posting this article. I have the nice black carrying case (32 bottles) for my oils. Wouldn’t the moisture in the refrigerator damage it?

    If so, what is the best way to store the oils in the refrigerator to prevent damage, like glass breaking, etc?

    1. The only issue I have with storing oils in the fridge is if I take the box of oils out to work on DIY stuff. There starts to be condensation on the outside of the bottles as they warm up. That really only effects some of the top labels on the caps. (Some of the older white labels on caps do not seem to be water resistent.) It didn’t cause any problems with the labels around the bottle.

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