Aging essential oils can be a real burden. Because, they cannot be used or disposed off easily. Another thing is, not all oils age at the same pace. Some oils age faster, while some age slower, taking more than a year to grow old. So, what to do with aging oils? How best to use them, or at least dispose them without trouble? For disposing essential oils, visit ‘Way to the bin: How to dispose of essential oils safely’ article. Though essential oils do not go rancid quickly, they can age with time on account of their ability to oxidize. This gradually slows down their therapeutic value, which at one point, remains just aromatic and completely un-therapeutic. Also, not all essential oils age poorly, in a deteriorating way. Oils like Patchouli or Sandalwood mature with age and turn out to be more beneficial as years pass by. This is why you need to read about the shelf life of an oil before you choose to buy it.
How to identify old essential oils: First, get to know more about essential oils before you buy them. With all your ground information clear, you will know the time value of a particular oil. Read the label information or get info from your supplier. Calculate from the date of extraction and preservation. Try to use all the oils before the expiration date. If you sense a foul-strain in your essential oil’s aroma or if your oil does not possess a full aroma, understand that it has lost its therapeutic grade quality. At any cost, avoid use of such aromatherapy products or application. Especially on the skin as aromatherapy oils have the ability to come into direct contact with skin and cause sensitization. Avoid using very old oils in room sprays and diffusers as it can affect pets and children in the house.
How to use aging essential oils: Uses of aging essential oils are minimal, but varied. First, you need to gauge in which way your oil has grown old – aromatic or therapeutic. If your oil has become therapeutically old, you should not use it in any recipe of health related application. If your oil is just therapeutically old and still retains an aromatic pleasantness, you can use it in the following applications:
1. Homemade Dryer Sheets: When you use dryer sheets for laundry, you can use essential oils to naturally fragrance your laundry. For making a laundry drying sheet, use add 5 drops of oil to a scrap of cotton fabric and place it into the dryer. Your aroma will let customers look for your product. However, use only oils that are clear, thin-colored and without any therapeutic usage.
2. Drain Freshener: If your oils do not smell rancid, use them on toilet drains. You can add just one to 2 drops to disinfect a place, including the odor. However, be careful. Pouring more than 2-3 drops of essential oil can harm your underground water supplies. So, avoid using thick oils as drain freshener.
3. Fabric softener: It is said that old oils are sometimes better than vinegar and hence can be used in laundry during the rinse cycle. This softens fabrics and makes them better.
4. Trash Freshener: If rodents, insects and parasites are troubling your trash liner too much, use a drop of two of essential oils. This will eliminate odors and detract rodents and insects from reaching your trash.