Caring and Storage
Caring & Storage of Essential Oils
Essential oils are extremely precious and should be treated with respect - they can also be very expensive. They are damaged by ultra-violet light and deteriorate more rapidly at the blue end at the spectrum then the red. Therefore, essential oils should be stored in amber glass bottles. If you do store your oils in blue bottles they need to be kept in the dark. This is less important with brown bottles. Never decant the oils into clear glass or plastic bottles. They should never be placed in direct sunlight, so avoid sunny windowsills or shelves on radiators no matter how attractive the bottles look. Essential oils do not like extremes of temperatures. They are highly volatile which means that they evaporate rapidly. Always replace the caps immediately and ensure that the tops are tightly closed when the oils are not in use.
Pure essential oils will last for approximately three years from the bottling date. In excellent storage conditions (amber bottles in a cool place) they will keep for about five years. Citrus oils tend to have a shorter shelf-life due to their high proportion of terpenes, as do absolutes and resins which thicken even more with age and the smell of solvent becomes more noticeable.
Once essential oils have been diluted in a carrier oil, the shelf-life reduces dramatically. For maximum benefit use freshly made-up blends. A blend will keep for about 3-6 months if it is stored in an amber glass bottle in a cool place away from sunlight. If wheat germ oil is added then the shelf-life is approximately 6-9 months. If the smell alters and the vegetable oil becomes rancid then you should definitely discard it.
Do's & Don'ts of Buying & Storage
*Always buy oils in amber glass bottles. Clear glass or plastic bottles do not contain pure essential oils.
*Do not store your oils in direct sunlight
*Are the essential oils all the same price? If they are, then you are definitely not purchasing pure essential oils. For instance, pure essential oil of rose will be far more expensive then lavender or rosemary.
*If purchasing oils that are diluted, always verify the date they were blended.
*Essential oils should always be kept away from young children. If they are taken internally some essential oils can be highly dangerous.
*Never leave bottled pure essential oils standing on plastic, polished or painted surfaces which can be damaged by the chemical constituents.