Are your essential oil bottles piling up? It can be so much fun to explore new single oils and essential oil blends but deciding where to put them is a task all by itself. I’ve written a lot about essential oil brands, so I thought that it might be helpful to share essential oils storage ideas with you.
It is important to properly store essential oils for longevity of use. Without proper storage, they can become rancid or lose their potency. There are a lot of different storage options, and I am just going to point out my favorite ones.
So as you read through this list, just keep in mind that there might be another storage option out there for you that’s a better fit. This list is just here to show you examples of different storage ideas.
Does It Truly Matter How Essential Oils Are Stored?
Since essential oils are extracted from natural matter, like plants, bark, roots, fruit, leaves, and various other parts of plants and trees, it is important to properly care for them if we want them to perform as they were intended.
What we don’t want is for the oils to begin to break down, this is called oxidation. Oxidation can change the composition of the oils, so it is best to store tightly closed essential oil bottles in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or heat exposure because oxygen, light, and heat are what start the oxidation process.
Keep in mind that although these are oils, they are still delicate substances derived from nature that need proper care. So below are some of the best ways I’ve found to store my essential oils for maximum shelf life.
Essential Oils Storage Ideas to Consider
When thinking of storage options that already exist within your home, cupboards and drawers are typically the best places because they are usually dark and cool. Bathroom medicine cabinets should be avoided altogether because of the humidity. Refrigerators are an option, but I will touch on that later.
One hundred percent natural essential oils are likely to last for at least two years or more. You can check your bottle for the exact expiry date. But since they last for years, you want to be sure that your oils remain their best, most potent condition for however long you have them.
Here are some of the best ways to do that:
#1 Dark Glass Containers with Tight Lids
Dark containers shield your oils from direct sunlight. Choosing glass over plastic is necessary for pure essential oils because they are so concentrated that they can cause plastic material to dissolve.
Tight lids are necessary to prevent your oils from being exposed to too much air. If you’ve ever reached for a bottle of oil and noticed that the lid hadn’t been screwed on properly, you might have felt a change in the oil’s texture, or noticed that it smelled differently. You can avoid these changes with a secure lid.
If you dilute your essential oil with a carrier oil, only then is it okay to store them in a plastic bottle. You would still want to keep this bottle away from heat and direct sunlight. And you want to make sure there is a secure cap on the bottle to prevent oxidation.
Most essential oils are sold in dark colored bottles, but if yours aren’t, this is the kind of bottle you want to use. Amber bottles are most common, but cobalt bottles are also an option. Storing your oils in dark glass containers with tight lids is your first line of defense against oxidation.
#2 Label Your Bottles
Many people who read this blog use their essential oils in a diffuser. Essential oils are increasingly popular but diffused oils are not beneficial to everyone.
Some companies blend natural oils especially for children or pets. For instance, diffusing lavender and tea tree oils around children and adolescents can disrupt their endocrine system development. There are also oils that pregnant women might want to avoid diffusing. I was surprised to see peppermint on the list but there are many more that are helpful for pregnant women.
Inhaling diffused oils can potentially trigger allergy symptoms because they are plant-derived. A person can have a reaction to an oil that did not trigger them at all in the past. Before they know it, they can begin to cough, or sneeze, or experience other allergy symptoms.
So it’s important to consider whether what you’re diffusing is safe for everyone in the home during that time. These are some reasons why it helps to store your oils with labels on them. This way you can more easily identify which ones you want to use and which ones you may need to stop using – at least while there are children or guests in your home who might become ill.
If you own bottles without labels, or you create your own blends, pre-printed or blank sticker labels are a small investment to make in order to keep you safe and aware of which oils you are using when.
While most essential oils are safe, if you have a medical condition you may want to check with your physician before using them.
#3 Temperature Is Also Important
The lowest temperature most essential oils can withstand is 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius). Thus, placing them in the fridge should be okay because of the consistent temperature and darkness.
Any colder temperature, placing them in the freezer, for instance, might be fine for citrus oils, for example, but rose oil would not fare well in extremely cold temperatures. So doing a little research to understand what oils you have and how they respond to colder temperatures is also important.
As a rule of thumb, essential oils need consistently cool (not cold or hot) temperatures in order to perform well over time.
#4 Storage Containers
Sometimes you don’t have the closet or drawer space to store your oils. And sometimes it’s more convenient to have an organizer that’s placed in the area where you most frequently use them.
This is where storage containers come in handy. Made in a variety of materials and sizes, all of them offer protection from moisture and direct sunlight. And as long as they are kept in a cool place, they’re a great option to keep your oils safe for years to come.
Here are some of my favorites:
Liantral 2-Tier Wooden Essential Oil Rack, Set of 2
These two-tier racks are an ideal option for organizing desk space if you’ve been accumulating a small collection of oils. There’s room to store 22 bottles of essential oils (11 each) in sizes ranging from 5mL to 20 mL vials, but they’re small enough not to take up too much table space.
Each rack is 8.7 inches (22.10 cm) long and 3.3 inches (8.4 cm) deep. The first tier is about half an inch high and the top tier is 1.6 inches (4.10 cm) high. There are three finishes to choose from: white wash, rustic burnt wood, or gray-green wood.
It’s a simple way to prevent your bottles from falling over.
Han Sheng Essential Oil Box Organizer
This is a set of wooden organizers that you can either set on a table or place inside of a drawer to safely store your oils upright. Each box holds six bottles of 15 or 20 mL vials of essential oils.
What makes this set different from the last is that you can close and hinge the lid to completely hide your oils away from sunlight or guests. Each box is 4.5 inches (11.5 cm) long, 3.1 inches (7.8 cm) deep, and 3.6 inches (9.1 cm) tall.
And since it’s a set, you can keep one box in your bedroom and the other one in the kitchen or living room to keep your entire house organized.
If you like DIY projects, you could paint, decorate, or embellish this box to fit in with your decor. I usually place boxes like this inside my linen drawer or closet so that I know my oils are all in the same place and aren’t spilling over.
Oil Love Bamboo Wood Storage Nook
This sloped wooden organizer holds fourteen bottles of oils that have 5 to 15mL of oil in them. I love that it’s sloped, which enables you to read the labels one behind the other.
It’s a simple, neat, and compact solution to keep your oils accessible on a flat surface or in the bathroom or closet.
Liantral Wooden Display Holder
If you have built up a larger collection of essential oils, or plan to, this wooden display holder boasts three removable shelves along with a bottom drawer. I like this rustic gray green color, but there are alternative wood finishes: natural, espresso, and rustic gray whitewash.
There are round impressions on each shelf to keep the bottles in place. It fits 10, 15, 20, and 30 mL sized bottles, holding about 45 bottles total. Bottles with droppers best fit on the top row.
I love that you can slide a shelf out to use those oils in a different room, still keeping them organized, and then return the shelf to the larger display when finished. It’s 11.2 inches (24.45 cm) long, 6.3 inches (16 cm) deep, and 14.96 inches (38 cm) high. The sliding shelves are also handy for easily selecting oils on the back row.
In the bottom drawer, you can store sticker labels and markers for when you need to label your own bottles, or stow away other essential oil related tools. This organizer holds lots of oils but still won’t take up too much space on your counter.
Wall Mounted Essential Oil Storage Rack
A more decorative option, this wooden rack can be easily mounted on your wall instead of taking up table space. Each shelf is 13 inches wide and 11.6 inches high. It’s a hexagon shape with four compartments for displaying your oils or related items. You’ll receive two shelves plus installation hardware.
I dislike that there aren’t any indentations to keep your oils in place, but I supposed it wouldn’t matter much since the organizer won’t move around on the wall.
A dark wood stain appears to be the only option, but it’s a minimally stylish and convenient way to store close to a dozen bottles of essential oils. It also keeps your oils out of reach from little hands if you have children.
Bamboo Essential Oil Storage Box
This bamboo box is really straightforward and has a tree of life illustration on its lid. It fits 24 – 5mL, 10mL and 15mL essential oil bottles and if you label your bottle tops, it’s really easy to select the one you need to use and then store the others away.
Personally, I would store this box on a bookshelf or entertainment stand because it’s so decorative, but it would also look nice on a tabletop.
This box is 6 inches (15.24 cm) in depth, 8.5 inches (21.6 cm) wide and 4 inches (10.16 cm) high; it’s extremely sturdy and the hardware clasp is made of brass. Bamboo resists moisture and corrosion. It’s also grown under chemical-free conditions, meaning your oils will be stored and protected in a natural environment.
How to Choose the Storage Container That’s Right For You
As you can tell, there are a lot of storage container options. And since there are even more than what I’ve shared here, you would want to take your time to choose the one that’s right for you. I’ve listed some questions for you to keep in mind during this process:
- How many bottles does it store? This may sound simple but sometimes we all need simple reminders. If you need to organize thirty bottles, be sure to get a container with enough slots to hold them. You might even want to choose a container with more than enough slots so that you can have a place to put any new essential oil scents that you might order in the future.
- What size bottles do you own? If you own 30mL bottles but your container only holds 10 or 15mL bottles, then you might have to go through the hassle of returning your order. So verify that the container you plan to purchase will actually hold the size bottles you own.
- How much space do you have? If you don’t have much counter space, maybe choose a wall mount. In some cases, even a storage rack can take up less room than a storage box.
- Where do you want to place your container? On a shelf or table? In a drawer? Some boxes might be too tall to fit in a drawer or on a shelf. Wherever you want to place it, measure the area first and make sure the dimensions of your container will fit in that space.
- What is it made of? Wooden boxes made from bamboo are often the most durable and are less likely to get damaged over time. But there are aluminum and pine wood options as well.
Just remember that whichever container you choose, although it will shield your essential oils from the sun, you will still need to keep the container in a cool place, and screw the lids on tight.
So what do you think? Did you learn new ways to keep your oils safely stored?
The top three things to protect them from are: direct sunlight, heat, and air.
If you don’t want to keep them in the fridge, storage containers are your next best option. My favorite is the Liantral wooden display holder. All of the storage containers listed above have potential but hopefully this article has given you some direction when choosing one or more.
At least now you’ll have an idea of what to consider when deciding how you will store your essential oils. Creating a designated space for your essential oils keeps you more organized and keeps your oils easily accessible and protected.
If you found this article helpful, please share it with someone that you think might find it useful as well