What Not to Do When Storing Essential Oils

Table of Contents

1. Refrigeration For Certain Essential Oils

When it comes to storing essential oils, it’s essential to know that some oils require refrigeration to maintain their quality.

These oils are typically more volatile and prone to oxidation. Examples include citrus oils like lemon, lime, grapefruit, and bergamot, as well as some floral oils like ylang-ylang and neroli.

Refrigeration helps to slow down the oxidation process and extends the shelf life of these oils.

However, it’s important not to store essential oils in the freezer. Freezing can cause the oils to become cloudy or solidify, affecting their consistency and aroma.

Instead, store them in the refrigerator, where the temperature is consistently cool but not freezing.

When you need to use refrigerated essential oils, it’s advisable to let them come back to room temperature before use. This can help ensure that the oils are at their optimum state and provide the desired therapeutic benefits.

2. Amber Glass Bottles For Light And Heat Protection

Another crucial aspect of essential oil storage is the choice of containers.

Amber glass bottles are highly recommended for storing essential oils due to their ability to shield the oils from light and heat. Light and heat can degrade the oils and reduce their potency over time.

The amber color of the glass helps to filter out harmful UV rays and prevent light-induced oxidation. This is particularly important for oils that are sensitive to light, such as those containing high levels of sesquiterpenes, like patchouli and sandalwood.

Opting for glass bottles also ensures that the oils are not exposed to any potentially harmful chemicals that may be present in plastic containers. Glass is a non-reactive material that won’t interact with the oils and compromise their quality.

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3. Shield Essential Oils From Sunlight And Extreme Temperatures

In addition to using amber glass bottles, it’s crucial to store essential oils away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.

Both sunlight and high temperatures can accelerate the oxidation process, causing the oils to lose their therapeutic properties more quickly.

Avoid placing essential oil bottles near windows, as sunlight can penetrate through the glass and degrade the oils. Instead, store them in a cool, dark place, such as a cabinet or drawer, to shield them from both light and temperature fluctuations.

Extremely high or low temperatures can also affect the chemical composition of essential oils. Keep them in a consistent climate and avoid exposing them to heat sources, such as radiators or direct sunlight through windows.

4. Avoid Plastic Containers For Essential Oil Storage

When it comes to storing essential oils, it’s best to avoid plastic containers.

While plastic may seem convenient, it can actually pose a risk to the quality and integrity of the oils.

Plastic containers can interact with the oils, causing them to break down and potentially leach harmful chemicals into the oils. This can alter the fragrance, potency, and therapeutic properties of the oils, rendering them less effective.

Instead, opt for glass bottles, preferably amber-colored, as they provide a safe and non-reactive storage solution for your essential oils. Glass bottles also offer better protection against light and heat, preserving the oils’ quality for a longer period.

5. Labeling And Expiration Dates

Properly labeling essential oil bottles is essential for both safety and organization.

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Labeling allows you to keep track of the oils’ expiration dates, preventing the use of expired oils that may have lost their potency or possibly become rancid.

Write the date of purchase or production on the labels, and consult the oil manufacturer’s guidelines or industry recommendations to determine the approximate shelf life of each oil. Typically, essential oils have a shelf life of about three years, but this can vary depending on the type of oil.

Labeling the bottles also helps to avoid confusion, especially when you have a collection of different oils. Clearly indicate the name of the oil, as well as any specific instructions or precautions for use.

6. Tight Bottle Lids For Oxidation Prevention

To prevent oxidation and protect essential oils from air and water exposure, it’s essential to ensure the bottle lids are tightly sealed.

Oxidation can alter the chemical composition of the oils, leading to a loss of their therapeutic properties and potentially causing skin irritations.

After each use, make sure to tightly close the bottle lids to minimize air and water contact. This is especially important for oils stored in areas with high humidity, where moisture can easily penetrate the bottles and degrade the oils.

7. Safe Travel With Essential Oils Using Carrying Cases

If you plan to travel with your essential oils, it’s crucial to ensure their safe storage and transportation.

Using carrying cases specifically designed for essential oils can help protect them from damage and leakage.

Carrying cases are usually made from sturdy materials like foam or fabric and have individual slots or compartments for each oil bottle. This prevents the bottles from knocking into each other and spilling or breaking during transit.

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When selecting a carrying case, choose one that is compact, yet spacious enough to accommodate your essential oil collection. Look for cases that offer adequate padding and insulation to shield the oils from sudden temperature changes, especially during air travel.

8. Cool And Dark Storage For Avoiding Heat And Sunlight Exposure

Lastly, to ensure the longevity and potency of your essential oils, it’s crucial to store them in a cool and dark environment.

Cool temperatures help slow down the oxidation process, while darkness protects the oils from the damaging effects of sunlight.

Find a cool and dark spot in your home, such as a cabinet or drawer, to store your essential oils. Avoid storing them in areas exposed to direct sunlight or extreme temperature fluctuations, such as near windows or radiators.

By following these essential tips for storing your essential oils, you can maintain their quality and extend their shelf life. Remember to consult the specific guidelines provided by the oil manufacturer and regularly check the expiration dates to ensure the oils are still safe and effective to use.