Many aromatherapy enthusiasts rely on their essential oils for more than pleasant scents. Essential oils are popular for home and body cleansing and may be key ingredients in aromatherapy crafts. This makes it valuable to draw out the shelf life of the oils for as long as possible so none goes to waste. There are a number of simple ways to help your materials last longer, even if you’re getting essential oils wholesale and have large quantities to preserve.
Understanding Oil Shelf Life
Essential oils don’t spoil in the traditional sense, but they can degrade over time. The ideal shelf life of a given oil depends primarily on what type it is. Lemon or yuzu oil can last approximately one year, while peppermint or allspice oil can retain effectiveness for five years. Getting the most out of your oil’s shelf life means familiarizing yourself with how long they last under good conditions. It may help to create a reference for the types of oil you use and track them individually. Then all you need is to create those ideal conditions.
Extending Oil Shelf Life
1. Buying Essential Oils Wholesale? Pre-portion
One cause of deterioration is extended oxygen exposure, which can be tricky to handle with bulk quantities of oil. A simple way to mitigate this effect is to transfer your oil, especially bulk amounts, to smaller containers. If you have the time and you use essential oils as ingredients for other products, it can be worth the effort to pre-portion your oil to the amounts you’ll need.
Separating the oil into smaller containers that won’t expose all of it to the air will help reduce oil oxidation. This may buy your oils a longer potency and is handy if you buy essential oils wholesale. The wholesale selection at Bulk Apothecary can easily be given this treatment.
2. Isolate Use of Dropper Caps
Dropper caps enjoy popularity because they can be convenient for quick applications of small amounts of oil. If you use a large amount or a large variety of oils, dropper caps should be carefully managed. The rubber seals of dropper cap lids can deteriorate over time, especially after exposure to the oils on human hands. If you have a large number of containers with slowly degrading dropper caps, your oils may oxidize before their time.
Maintain your collection mostly with regular lids and save dropper caps for containers in active use. This can help your oils stay sealed and fresh longer.
3. Keep Them out of Sunlight
Exposure to sunlight may change the makeup of your oils, reducing their overall effectiveness. The changes may include altered color, scent, and consistency, all of which affect the oil’s use as an ingredient.
Regardless of the containers you use, simply store your oils in areas not exposed to direct sunlight. Also, keep this aspect of preservation in mind for any oils you may keep on display. Bulk Apothecary offers a variety of colors for bottles that allow you to strike a balance between ideal storage and appealing display.
4. Maintain Lower Temperatures
While essential oils don’t typically need to be refrigerated, they are affected by heat. Keeping them out of direct sunlight can help with that, but for warm environments, more effort may be necessary. A designated cool, dry storage space will help your oils reach their ideal shelf life. It may be enough to store them someplace dark and separate from heated areas. A dedicated refrigerator could help eliminate this concern altogether.
Essential oils shouldn’t be stored in a refrigerator with food. Even when sealed, the aroma clinging to containers will linger, and you may not want it in your food. Thermal regulating bags can also make good storage for your oils.
5. Regularly Top Off Storage
Whether your oils are in small or large containers, avoid leaving “headspace” in them. Headspace is the empty space in a bottle or container, which grows as the contents are used. Short of vacuum sealing, there is no way to keep oxygen out of the headspace. If you leave it in your containers, then you will be sealing your oil in with oxygen. The resulting oxidation may shorten the shelf life of your oils.
A simple way to combat this is to keep your containers topped off. As you use your oil, reduce container size and combine low quantities to keep headspace from building up. Maintaining a set of containers in descending sizes can help this process.
Getting the Most out of Your Oils
By applying these techniques and being mindful of the normal lifespan of your oil, you can use more and waste less. Bulk Apothecary can help by providing a variety of wholesale and smaller portioned oils, as well as equipment and ingredients. Explore our selection today and expand your aromatherapy toolkit.