Can castor oil go bad?

In this short article, we will answer the question, “can castor oil go bad?” We will also discuss the shelf life of castor oil and the best practices for storing it.

Can castor oil go bad?

Yes, castor oil does go bad. Castor oil, like the majority of oils, has a storage period of a few months or years. When it becomes cloudy and dark brown, it indicates that it has gone bad. It is virtually odorless or has a somewhat pungent fragrance; nevertheless, if you notice an unpleasant odor, the oil has gone rancid and should be discarded. Several factors contribute to this, including exposure to air, the temperature at which it was stored, and light exposure. In most cases, if the bottle has not been opened, it will be good for at least another year.

Shelf life of castor oil

Castor oil, like other carrier oils, has the potential to become rancid over time. It has a shelf life of up to one year when properly stored. While cold-pressed castor oil has a shelf life of about five years, ordinary castor oil only has a shelf life of one year after production. 

It may be safe to use for another year or two if carefully packed and stored, but it is always recommended to use it as soon as possible after opening.

However, if you’ve been storing your castor oil in a closet for a long time and want to use it again, be sure it’s still safe to use before doing so. In any other case, rancid oils may do more harm than benefit.

Signs of deterioration

Color change

Castor oil is typically clear with a little tint of yellow. If the weather becomes muddy or foggy, avoid utilizing it. It’s also important to note that if your light yellow/straw castor oil becomes a dark brown color, it’s most likely no longer usable.

 Change in odor

Because castor oil cannot be detected by the human nose, a healthy CO will have a neutral odor. A foul odor will emanate from the faulty oil, and it may just smell “wrong.”

If you suspect that your CO has gone bad, try to transport it to an oil recycling center rather than pouring it down the drain instead (due to its viscous texture).

It’s also not a good idea to toss it away since CO is very powerful (and even deadly) and may come into contact with tiny animals or fish if left outside for long periods.

Other FAQs about Oils which you may be interested in.

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Can you use castor oil that has expired?

Experts in the area of skincare do not recommend eating castor oil or applying it to the hair, skin, or other parts of the body. Skin allergies, including rashes, itching, and other symptoms, may develop as a consequence of this.

 If you are not used to the smell, you should avoid it. Using castor oil that has beyond its expiry date is not recommended for consumption, application to hair, brows, and sensitive skin, or inclusion in any other cosmetic routine. This may have an impact on the skin and result in a range of reactions occur.

Rather than throwing it away or flushing it down the toilet if you find that the oil has expired, you should take it to an oil recycling center. Animals may be injured or killed if they come into contact with expired castor oil. Castor oil that has reached the end of its shelf life should be disposed of properly.

Storage of Castor Oil

Here are some suggestions for properly storing castor oil:

  • To keep castor oil stable, it must be kept at temperatures that are neither too hot nor too cold. Stored castor oil performs best when kept at temperatures ranging between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Moisture and oil cannot live in the same environment, therefore keep the container in a dry environment.
  • The greater the amount of time the container is exposed to air and light, the quicker the oil will expire. To prevent the oil from oxidizing, be sure to tightly close the container after usage.
  • Castor oil oxidizes rapidly when exposed to direct sunlight. Make certain that the oil does not come into direct contact with sunlight. Keep the bottle away from windows and other areas where it will be exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Storage of castor oil in the appropriate environment is the most straightforward way of extending its shelf life. Some individuals, on the other hand, refrigerate it after adding a few drops of vitamin E oil to it.
  • When purchasing castor oil, you may be able to avoid purchasing a big amount of the product. The greater the number of items you keep, the more difficult it will be to store them.


In this short article, we answered the question, “can castor oil go bad?” We also discussed the shelf life of castor oil and the best practices for storing it.