How Long Does Castor Oil Last Once Open?


Have you ever bought castor oil only to use it many, many months later? But felt you had to throw it away because you were not sure whether it’s still usable? Well, castor oil lasts much longer than you think. So you might have thrown out a castor oil that is still perfectly fine.

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Castor oil lasts about 2 years if it stays sealed. Once opened, using it within one year is highly recommended. That is, of course, if you store it properly. On the other hand, cold-pressed castor oil has an extended shelf life that goes up to 5 years.

Apart from being an essential ingredient for commercial purposes, castor oil is beneficial for health and skin. This is one of the essential oil types that finds its place in the kitchen and a chemist’s lab. 

However, just like with any type of oil, it must be used within its shelflife.

As all oils are different and thus have a different shelflife, it can be tricky to know if your castor oil has expired or not.

Does Castor Oil Expire? 

Well, all oil expires at some point. However, some can be used (or at least stored) for a very long time. Oil expires because of two reasons. One is due to the poor storage conditions, which leads to a shorter shelflife. The second is due to your oil simply reaching its expiration date, which practically all oils have.

Castor oil is usually found in containers made out of polyvinyl chloride. Once the seal is broken, it mixes with oxygen over the months of its use. Thus, by the end of more or less a year, castor oil tends to change its color and may also give off an obnoxious smell. 

Unless you are using cold-pressed castor oil, the expiration of castor oil is most likely within a short period. Moreover, it would be best if you also focused on storing it properly by keeping the bottle cap of its container closed. 

How Long Does Castor Oil Last? 

Castor oil should be used as per the expiry date mentioned on the label of the container. However, research suggests that it is best to use it within one year after opening its seal. If the seal is closed, you can easily add another year to it. As castor oil finds its usage for hair, skin, and food, it is better to use it for as long as one year, but not longer. 

This is because castor oil has shown impressive results when used within a year, especially for hair and skin. After that, it is less effective and thus minimizing its benefits. 

When it comes to cold-pressed castor oil, you can keep it up to even 5 years. 

How to Know If Castor Oil Is Expired? 

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Consumers of castor oil worldwide have reported several; however, common problems related to the expiration of castor oil. In tropical areas,

castor oil has changed its color when used for an extended period. Scientists suggest that this is possible because castor oil mixes with the air’s moisture to change its color. In other regions globally, an expired bottle of castor oil has been found to release an unpleasant smell. 

Thus, it can be said that changes in properties like the color and smell of the castor oil can help determine if it has expired or not. So depending on where you live, you might experience differently in comparison to someone else. 

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One important thing to note here is that castor oil’s texture is quite thick when stored at room temperature. Some consumers have also reported a change in its texture; that is, they have found it thickened more than its usual form. 

So, it can be implied that castor oil may show significant changes in its physical state upon expiration and is not only limited to its color and smell. 

How Do You Store Castor Oil? 

In most perishable products, its storage plays an essential role in defining its longevity and usefulness. In the case of castor oil, it also must be stored properly in order for it to be used for as long as possible. 

It would be best if you also avoided direct sunlight, as it makes your oil stale very rapidly.

Castor oil is best kept at room temperature. The ideal condition would be within 12 to 23 degrees celsius. This is because castor oil can change its property when exposed to extreme cold or hot conditions. In some households, people tend to store castor oil in the refrigerator, which is a common mistake that should be avoided.

I know that it is very typical for people to think that everything can be kept at a lower temperature, but this is not true for castor oil. 

That said, if you still wish to put it in the refrigerator, it’s common to add some vitamin E oil, but this method is not backed up by science or anything, so use this method with caution. 

Consequently, you must ensure that the container is always closed and should be stored away from the gas stove or oven. The perfect way to store it would be on a shelf or inside the room temperature storage cupboard

Can You Use Expired Castor Oil? 

Ideally, any product that comes into direct contact with our body must not be used after its expiration date. The same goes for castor oil as well. Some people tried it only to report later they had a severe case of an allergic reaction. 

In some cases, there were severe reactions, and they required immediate medical assistance. Thus, only use castor oil within the date of its expiry. 

It must also be said that there have been others who did not experience any allergic reactions or any type of skin irritation, but everyone’s skin is different, and this does not mean the same will happen to you. 

I would also like to add that when you throw a can or bottle of expired castor oil, do this correctly.  

Unfortunately, some households tend to dispose of castor oil out in the open when it has expired. This is later being consumed by animals leading to their unfortunate death. 

Note that expired castor oil can be lethal and must be discarded with proper precaution. The carcass of animals which have consumed expired castor oil is also equally dangerous for the surroundings. 

To Sum Up

So, castor oil cans, bottles, or containers must be adequately wrapped with paper or sealed before getting rid of it. This will avoid any damage to the environment around us. 

Castor oil is one of the essential variants of oil available on earth. Proper usage of this oil is necessary for the better health and lifestyle of its consumers. Moreover, care must also be taken to store and how long it can be used. 

Lastly, as concerned global citizens, we must take the proper steps to throw it away for a better and cleaner planet for a brighter tomorrow.

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