Does Coconut Oil Go Bad?

Does Coconut Oil Go Bad?
by Truly Beauty

Does coconut oil go bad? Whether you’re using it for your skin or for cooking, you might be wondering, does coconut oil expire and how do you know if it’s gone bad? Fortunately, coconut oil has a long shelf life. But like all oils, it does expire and won’t last forever.

To make sure you’re getting the most out of your product, read on to find out how long coconut oil lasts and how to tell if coconut oil is bad.

Does Coconut Oil Go Bad?

Yes, coconut oil can go bad. On the plus side, coconut oil has a long shelf-life of around three years when stored properly. That means you have plenty of time to enjoy its many benefits before it goes bad. 

That said, the shelf life of coconut oil greatly depends on its form. Unrefined coconut oil is the longest lasting with a shelf life of up to three years. Refined coconut oil, on the other hand, has a much shorter shelf life of about 18 months. 

According to the experts, the levels of beneficial fatty acids in coconut oil begin to decrease after around 12 months. For that reason, it’s best to replace your coconut oil each year to ensure you’re getting the freshest product and the most benefits.

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Why Does Coconut Oil Go Bad?

Coconut oil can go bad due to several factors. Exposure to air, light, and temperature fluctuations can lead to oxidation, causing the oil to become rancid. 

Oxidation involves the breakdown of fatty acid chains within the oil, leading to the formation of unstable compounds known as free radicals. These free radicals are highly reactive molecules capable of causing cellular damage, potentially elevating the risk of diseases such as cancer and heart disease. The susceptibility of coconut oil to oxidation underscores the importance of proper storage practices to mitigate these harmful effects.

Storing coconut oil in airtight containers, away from light and in a dry, cool environment helps slow down this process. Moisture is another concern, as it can promote the growth of microorganisms and accelerate the breakdown of the oil. 

How Long Does Coconut Oil Last?

Coconut oil has a long shelf life of around three years when stored correctly. That being said, the shelf life depends on the type of coconut oil you have. Virgin coconut oil, also known as unrefined coconut oil, has a longer shelf life of 3-5 years compared to refined coconut oil which will keep for up to 18 months.

While you can keep coconut oil for as long as 3-5 years, some say the beneficial nutrients in the oil can decrease after 12 months. To get the most out of your oil, some recommend replacing your jar of coconut oil every year.

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How Do You Know If Coconut Oil Has Gone Bad?

Can’t find the expiry date? Here are some signs coconut oil has gone bad. 

Smell: An unpleasant odor could indicate your coconut oil is turning rancid. Coconut oil should have a naturally coconutty scent. If it smells sour or musty, that’s a clear sign it’s time to throw it away. 

Discoloration: Coconut oil is a pale-white color. If it starts turning yellow or takes on a greenish hue, it means your coconut oil has turned rancid. In other words: ditch it!

Texture: Coconut oil will either be liquid or solid, depending on whether you store it in the fridge or at room temperature. In liquid form, coconut oil should appear thick and glossy. In solid form, it should have an even texture. If your oil starts to look runny, chunky, or grainy, you need to get rid of it.

Flavor: Coconut oil should have a subtly sweet, nutty taste. If it’s sour or bitter, the oil has gone bad and needs to be thrown away.

How to Make Coconut Oil Last Longer

The secret to making your coconut oil last longer is proper storage. By storing your coconut oil correctly, you can keep it fresher for longer. Here are some tips for making it last longer.

Store in an airtight container. Coconut oil goes bad faster when it’s exposed to air. Keep it tightly closed to prevent air from entering. 

Refrigerate. Refrigerating coconut oil can extend its shelf life because it will be less prone to oxidation and therefore, spoilage. Again, make sure it’s sealed in an airtight container to keep it fresh for as long as possible.

Avoid heat and sunlight. Heat and direct sunlight can speed up the oxidation of coconut oil. Be sure to store it in a dark place to extend its shelf life. Avoid spaces near the cooker, oven, and window.

Keep it clean. To maintain the freshness and longevity of coconut oil, always use clean utensils to take out the oil instead of your fingers. Using your fingers can introduce bacteria into the oil, which can accelerate the spoilage process. We recommend using Truly’s Mini Gold Spoon when using your coconut oil to avoid germ transference. 

How Long is Coconut Oil Good for After Opening?

Coconut oil can last up to two or even three years after opening as long as you keep the lid sealed and follow other storage practices such as keeping it in a dry, dark place away from sunlight. 

If you open your coconut oil and fail to seal it properly after every use, air will get inside which can lead to oxidation and ultimately, spoilage of the product. That’s why it’s essential to store coconut oil properly.

Coconut oil is a healthy and versatile cooking staple. It’s also a great skincare ingredient for hydrating and soothing the skin. However, while it has a generally long shelf life, it can go bad if you don’t store it correctly.

Does coconut oil go bad? Yes, it can go bad if it’s exposed to air, heat, bacteria, and sunlight. For that reason, make sure you always store it correctly using the tips above. This way, you get the most out of your coconut oil and ensure it lasts as long as possible.

Image by DanaTentis from Pixabay


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