How to Store and Care for Essential Oils

Posted on October 26, 2015 by Kim Bagley | 0 comments

When I bought my first essential oil, essential oil storage and care was not a big concern of mine.  My one lonely bottle sat on my bathroom counter or in my medicine cabinet.  It did not take me long to realize the effectiveness of essential oils and I soon had more than one lonely bottle.  As my essential oil collection grew I wanted to know how to properly store and care for this investment.

Essential oils do not really go bad since oils do not decay in the same way as the plants they are extracted from.  However the oils can lose their aromatic and therapeutic qualities when not properly cared for.  Essential oils are often sold in small 5 milliliter or 15 milliliter bottles, but since a little goes a long way it can take years to use up an oil depending on the frequency it is used.  Depending on the type and quality of the essential oil most are guaranteed to be effective for at least a year and some are actually promoted as improving with time when they are properly maintained and stored.  The three main care items are to tightly close bottles when they are not being used, keep oils protected from light and also store them away from extreme hot or cold temperatures. Of course, it is also advised to keep all essential oils out of the reach of children since they are very potent and should only be used in small quantities.  A good essential oils organizer will effectively help with all of these care items.

Tightly closing essential oil bottles protects the oil from air.  Most essential oil bottles have a lid that acts as a dropper and a screw on lid which provides double protection from air.  Air can oxidized the oils which can cause them to loose their smell and effectiveness.  I recommend keeping any bottles you finished because that can give you extra lids if ever you lose one.  The extra bottles are also great for making your own blends of oils.

Most reputable essential oils are sold in dark glass bottles to protect the oil from light.  Light changes the molecular structure of the oil, making them less effective.  If your oil or oils are not in a dark bottles the best essential oil storage solution would be an essential oil storage case or an essential oil wooden storage box which would protect the oils from light.  If your essential oils are already in a dark bottle a more decorative essential oils display rack could be used.

Another important care item for oils is to keep them at room temperature.  Extreme cold does not ruin the effectiveness of the essential oil but it may cause the oil to take on a semi-solid state.  Extreme heat may change the potency of the oil and would definitely make applying the oils uncomfortable.  If an oil is exposed to extreme temperatures it is best to let it gradually warm up or cool down to room temperature.  If you store your essential oils at home extreme temperatures are not usually an issue.  However, if you start selling essential oils or simply like to have them on hand wherever you go your oils may be exposed to varying temperatures as you travel and keep your oils in your vehicle.  An essential oil storage case may be the best storage option for this.  Storage cases often have foam inserts that protect the bottles from breaking but also provide insulation from heat and cold.

Keeping oils out of the reach of children may not reduce the essential oil’s effectiveness, but is definitely a safety concern.  Not all oils can be consumed and young children often put things in their mouths.  Also children may try to use too much or may not diligently care for essential oils.  If your children ever do get into your essential oils you can have them drink milk or dilute anything on their skin with a carrier oil like coconut oil.  Do not try to use water, because water actually increases the oils potency.  So if you have children at home an essential oil shelf safely out of their reach may be the best storage option for you.

Another factor to consider when thinking of a storage solution for your essential oils is visibility.  Essential oil storage cases offer the flexibility of being able to carry it with you wherever you go and can be safely tucked in a drawer out of children’s reach when you are at home, but one draw back to these is it is very difficult to see the labels to your oils.  An essential oils storage display rack would more easily allow you to keep your oils properly stored in a cool, dark place while still being able to see your labels so you can quickly grab the oil you need.

Now that you have some basic knowledge of how to store and care for your essential oils you can begin browsing all the decorative and functional essential oil organizers that are available, because a good storage solution is helpful in properly caring for your oils.  My oils have moved from being haphazardly placed on my counter, to a simple storage box, to a nice wooden display rack.  I highly recommend the Essential Oil Display Large Size Rack by Bethesda Woodworking I think its simple design is just beautiful.


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