I have mentioned this several times on various threads. Thought I'd just put a thread up with the information for those who are interested.
Some EO's have very short shelf life (all the citrus, pine types, tea tree), some last for a few years (leafy herbs), others last forever and perhaps improve with age (sandalwood, patchouli, vetiver, opponax, spikenard, frankincense, myrrh, etc).
These are the actual steps I take to ensure that I get maximum life out of my EO.
1. I add ROE to them. That is rosemary oleo resin, which is a very effective antioxidant. Some people use Vitamin E. You ever keep vitamin E around for any length of time? Yep, it oxidizes after about a year. After a few years, it begins to smell rancid. Now how is something that itself oxidizes going to preserve something else from oxidation? It's not. Forget the E, and use ROE.
To ensure that you do not change the scent of your precious EO, add a LITTLE BIT, not a full drop of ROE! A dab of TOOTHPICK TIP in your less than 1oz EO's is plenty. For your 1lb bottles, a drop is plenty. Do 2 drops for Kg bottles.
2. Nitrogen/argon blanket. You can buy very inexpensively bottles of nitrogen gas for the purpose of preserving your EO. You can find them at various wine stores. If they can work on 100 year old wines, they're going to work on EO. If you open a bottle of wine, and don't drink it all, it can turn. This is oxidation and exactly what happens to your EO. These canned gasses are life savers, buy them online at wine dealers or at your local wine shop.
Stick the straw to the bottom, squirt and cap. Be VERY SURE to clean off the squirter (use rubbing alcohol, then dry), to prevent scent cross contamination of your EO!
3. Refrigeration. Your citrus, pines, tea tree, lavenders should all go in the fridge. These are among the most potentially dangerous sensitizers, and the temperature will help keep them from oxidizing. In conjunction with the above 2 steps, it will help stretch your oils out from months to years.
4. DO NOT OPEN them all the time. If you use an oil frequently, pour it into a smaller container, and leave the larger in the fridge under the Nitrogen blanket. This way, if you lose some of your EO, it's the smaller container being exposed to air a lot, not the bigger container. Also, to save money, downsize your EO all the time for the minimum trapped air at the top. This will save you nitrogen also.
In these days of rising costs for EO of every type, it's often cheaper to buy bulk for later. However, bulk means more potential spoilage. Do the above 4 steps for every EO and you can buy more and keep it longer:).
Ensuring Long Life for your EO
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