how long does coconut oil last

How long does coconut oil last?

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The peculiarities of coconut oil have always made it one of the most loved and preferred oil for both edibility and external usage. In fact, in many parts of the world, it is an important ingredient of people’s everyday lives. Its properties are immensely advantageous for attaining a healthy skin, hair, and body.

So, How long does coconut oil last?

People always ask themselves the following questions; for how long does coconut oil last? and does coconut oil go bad? If yes, then at what time? Well, these are some of the general questions that might have risen in your mind too. So, here are some essential facts about coconut oil, its usage, and durability.

Talking about its lifespan, generally, coconut oil must be ideally used within a year. However, this is not a constant or defined time for which the oil can last. If you undergo proper refining processes and the containers in which it is stored is also good, then the shelf life of coconut oil can go up to 4-5 years or even longer.

On the other hand, wrong ways of storage can reduce its lifespan up to 6 months or even less. So, it is essential to properly maintain the oil and keep it in a safe place to enhance its durability.


Undoubtedly, we all are aware of the fact that everything has a specified lifespan and so is your coconut oil. Just like other vegetable oils that you use, this oil can also go rancid or bad if not stored properly. This may occur due to excessive exposure to air, water, heat or light. Still, when compared with other oils, coconut oil contains a high composition of saturated fats which make it less vulnerable to such natural harms and going rancid.

You might have witnessed your coconut oil turning into a solid form with slight decline in temperature. This is because, unlike other vegetable oils, it is rich in saturated fats. When we talk about other oils, their higher contents of polyunsaturated fats and unsaturated fats keep them liquid at room temperature.

They contain a double bond of carbon which could be easily broken up by oxygen at times, leading to the creation of a carbon-oxygen bond. Just as this chemical reaction takes place, there are various byproducts produced like ketones and carboxylic acid which produce bad flavor and foul smell. Thus, it is suggested to keep the oils in airtight containers or bottles.

A similar thing can happen when oils come in contact with water, heat or light. Hydration process is identical to that of oxidation, and thus, it can also break the carbon-carbon bond, replacing one. The result is again foul smell and bad taste leading to rancidity. Exposure to heat or light can still have the same outcome, light can break down the bonds of molecules making them weaker.

Heat on the other side accelerates their movement. Thus, the molecules bounce and move around faster creating new bonds around, much faster in comparison to when they were cool. Ultimately, paving the way for various microbes to make the oil rancid!

Does coconut oil go bad?

Now coming back to coconut oil, does coconut oil go bad? Well, it does, but quite less than other vegetable oils. Its higher saturated fats contents keep it solid at most of the temperatures. It only comes in the liquid state if the temperature rises above 76 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s  even less vulnerable to the effects caused by heat, light or water; therefore, it is much healthier to use.

Still, as already mentioned above, storing it properly can only let its original properties to flourish. You must keep it in a dry, cool and dark place to avoid rancidity. However, make sure that it doesn’t frequently come into contact with any harmful factors. If you are using it on a regular basis, then store it in some small bottle and not in a big container, as this can lead to rancidity of the whole oil pack.

See also: How to Tell if Salmon is Bad

How long can you store and use it?

As we have already talked about the fact that storage of product largely defines its productivity. If you keep the coconut oil away from rancidity by storing it in a cool, suitably dark and dry place, then there are ultimate chances of the coconut oil lasting approximately for a year.

Usually when you buy the packed and processed oil, then it comes with a shelf life of about 18 months and some with even more. Proper storage is the basic thing that you must take care of refined coconut oil.

Now, when talking about unrefined one, this oil is commonly known as virgin oil. It doesn’t undergo any sort of chemical procedures and thus in its true state, unadulterated. Without any bleaching or deodorizing, this oil becomes much strengthened, and thus has a shelf life longer up to 2-3 years. But again, this largely depends on the storage and procedures used in its extraction.

Final Words

The essential thing to ensure a higher life for your coconut oil is through proper storage. However, still, there are times that your oil can’t resist the unfavorable weather conditions and can go rancid. In such case, all you are supposed to do is just smell the container in which it is stored. In fact, in some of the cases, you will witness the oil producing a yellowish color or turns into solid form even at normal temperature. Therefore, if you are a heavy user of fresh coconut oil, then keep it safe.

Most of the people prefer to buy virgin one as it has a better composition of natural compounds which aren’t processed. It can stay for longer duration without bringing any foul smell or bad taste for you. But ensure that you store it in a small bottle or container to avoid regular interaction with air, water, heat or other refined oil. So, keeping these tips in mind can help you to retain your coconut oil for many years!

See also: What does Eggplant Taste Like?

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Katie Leslove

I have a passion for cooking different foods every day, and that’s why I have chosen it as the topic for my writings. I cook the dishes, garnish it with green veggies and snap the photo. I like to show those photos to my blog readers. Read More