AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

If you care about your well-being and the tone of your skin you might use essential oils. Those oils don’t come cheap though. For a very small volume like 15 ml, you may find yourself spending a small fortune. The truth is the extraction of oil is quite a daunting task and in most cases the process does not yield that much. In some cases one may be able to extract as little as 2 ml, depending on the type of oil. The more difficult to extract oils are the most expensive.

8928 Essential Oils 179x300 Caring For Essential OilsAfter buying such expensive essential oil you definitely want it to last as long as possible. The good news about an essential oil is one little drop of it in a carrier oil should be enough. Aside from that the oil itself tends to last for years. That said with a little care you should be able to make your oil last longer.

Shelf life of essential oil

The shelf life of an essential oil is the time it takes for that oil to lose its potency. At that point whatever is left in the bottle is not of any use. Different oils have a different shelf life. Citrus essential oils like lemon and orange have a short shelf life. Within 6 months they tend to lose their aroma. To prolong the shelf life of those you can keep them in the fridge or blend them with other oils that are known to last longer.

There are oils that have a much longer shelf life and can last for years. Oils like patchouli, benzoin, clary sage, sandalwood and vetiver are known to last for years without the need of being refrigerated. Just like wine, these oils are known to mature with age and get better.


Never buy an essential oil that is stored in a rubber bottle. Essential oils have properties that allow them to melt rubber. It doesn’t matter how thick the rubber may be. In just a matter of a few days the inner part of the plastic will melt and mix with the oil itself. For the same reason, do not go for bottles that have a rubber dropper at the top. The whole oil should always be contained in a glass container.

One other thing you need to remember is to protect your oil from sunlight. The sun will have an effect on the potency of the oil. For that reason it is advised to keep the oil in a dark bottle, preferably in amber or cobalt blue bottles. You might also want to keep the bottle in an area in your room where the sun rays don’t have access to. If you have children you also want to put the oil in a place they can’t reach.

One factor that affects the potency of an essential oil is the rate at which it oxidizes. The more often your oil is in contact with the air, the faster it oxidizes and loses potency. Obviously to use your oil you will have to open up the container but once you are done make sure to quickly close the container and keep it airtight.

Reuse of bottles

In most cases, if your oil is finished and you want to get another one you can just get rid of the bottle and buy another full one. That said if you make your own oil at home you might want to reuse the same bottle when the oil is exhausted.

By preference you want to put the same essential oil that was found previously in the bottle. But before that you have to clean the bottle first. That might not be an easy task. Because essential oils are viscous substances, they may leave a thick film on the bottle that you might not find easy to remove whether you use soap or hot water.

The trick is to use a solvent and an appropriately sized brush that can go inside. With solvents like high proof Vodka the thick film left by the oil will dissolve and you can use the brush to remove the stubborn residues that just won’t let go.

After that you can choose to sterilize the bottle that same way it is done for baby bottles. Don’t forget the caps as they need to be sterilized too.

Once your bottle is clean you can refill it with your favourite essential oil.

In case the oil has expired and you want to get rid of it, you need to know how to dispose of it.

Disposal of essential oils

Essential oils are flammable and for that reason you need to be extremely careful when disposing of it. One of the most recommended advices to dispose of it is to mix the remainder with an inert substance like sand and seal it in a proper container.  You can also dig a hole in your garden and poor the substance in it.

If unsure you can contact the waste management department in your community for advice in getting rid of the oil.

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About the author: Neil Maycock writes articles on Essential Oils and Aromatherapy for Aromatherapy Gold


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