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Home Page > Aromatherapy Articles & Guides > Old Essential Oils

How to Use Up Those Old and Aging Essential Oils

Aging Essential Oils
Sprinkle 1-2 drops of essential oil onto your trash to help eliminate odors and detract insects and rodents.  

Within this article, all volatile oils including essential oils, absolutes and CO2s are collectively referred to as "essential oils."

Over time, essential oils can oxidize and gradually lose their therapeutic value. The aroma of essential oils also can change over time.

If an oil smells really weak or dramatically different after a period of time, it's best to dispose of it and not try to find a suitable use for it.

Essential oils that have aged and no longer possess the fresh, full aroma that it used to have are no longer considered therapeutic. Avoid using such oils in any aromatherapy products or application that will come into direct contact with your skin. Old oils should also be avoided in room sprays and diffusion applications where people and pets can directly inhale the volatile components of the oil.

Not all essential oils age poorly. Patchouli and sandalwood are two examples of oils that can mature beautifully with age. See the Essential Oil Shelf Life article for guidelines on the life span of essential oils.

If you can tell that an aging essential oil smells weak but still aromatically pleasant, there are a few ways that you can still get some value out of that aging oil:


Homemade Aromatherapy Dryer Sheets

Follow AromaWeb's Dryer Sheet Recipe with your older clear essential oils.


Fabric Softener Additive

Add several drops of a clear essential oil to a Vinegar Fabric Softener Recipe or add it to your commercial fabric softener. Do not allow undiluted essential oils to directly come into contact with your clothing.


Drain Freshener

Add 1-2 drops of your aging essential oil to a stale/smelly drain to help disinfect and eliminate the odor. Do not pour more than 1-2 drops down your drain as essential oils can harm water supplies. See the Essential Oil Disposal article for more information.


Trash Receptacle Freshener

Sprinkle 1-2 drops of essential oil onto your trash to help eliminate odors and detract insects and rodents. Peppermint is especially helpful in detracting rodents.

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