The importance of storing your essential oils in a proper manner can be estimated from the fact that women in the 19th century would ask their jewelers to design special bottles to hold their perfumes and essential oils. Luxury apart, storing essential oils in specially designed bottles helped keep the therapeutic and aromatic properties of the essential oils intact.
It is common knowledge that most of the essential oils become contaminated or their effect gets weakened with time if they are not stored properly. Citrus oils are the most susceptible to early breakdown. They oxidize and begin to lose the aroma and therapeutic properties. The citrus oil becomes cloudy and a sweet fragrance is emitted. This signals towards the deterioration of the essential oil.
Same does not apply to oils such as frankincense, sandalwood, patchouli, and myrrh. They can be stored for a longer time. In fact, they improve with time. In the older times, Egyptians used to embalm the dead people with the essential oils of cedar wood, cinnamon etc. When one such tomb was opened in the early 20th century, traces of the oil were clearly visible.
Will you not like to keep your treasured essential oils in the same manner? Lifetime of the essential oil ranges from 6 months to several years. Through a proper storage, one can increase the shelf life of an essential oil. The following section provides lessons in storing essentials oils.
Dark amber, cobalt blue, or violet glass bottles are the best when it comes to storing essential oils. Sunlight can be very harmful for the essential oils. Ultraviolet rays, which are a part of the sunlight, weaken the essential oil. This explains the reason why it is not advisable to store essential oils in clear glass bottles. Sunlight easily passes through the clear glass bottle, thus producing reaction in the essential oil, and no longer rendering it effective.
Plastic bottles too must not be used as the plastic dissolves with the essential oil and thus is contaminated. One can use aluminum bottles to store the essential oil, but the inner surface of the container must be lined.
Your essential oils need to be kept away from sunlight as far as possible. High temperature can be harmful to the oil. Therefore, the place where the essential oil is stored must not be near any heater vent or any such heat-emitting gadget. Keeping the oil in a refrigerator can help increase its shelf life. Nevertheless, freezing is not acceptable. When cooled at very low temperatures, some essential oils will cloud. It regains its original state when brought to room temperature. Certain citrus oils continue to be cloudy even when brought to room temperature. However, this does not affect their therapeutic properties.
We tend to contaminate the essential oil in the process of using them. The following checklist will be helpful in preventing contamination:
• Never touch the top of the orifice reducer or the inside of the cap.
• Always use separate pipettes for separate oil.
• The pipettes must not be carriers of oxygen. When one uses the pipette for taking out the oil, a few drops of it remain in the pipette. This becomes contaminated when it comes in contact with oxygen outside. When the same pipette is used again, it contaminates the whole bottle.
The cap of the bottle containing essential oils must not be kept open for long. Since they are volatile, they will evaporate.
The cap of the bottle containing essential oil must be selected carefully. Rubber droppers have a tendency to turn into gum when they come in contact with the concentrated essential oil.
Keeping these points in mind, one can surely increase the shelf life of the essential oils. This might require a few extra efforts and might become expensive in some cases, but your treasured essential oils truly deserve this.