Can coconut oil go bad? (+3 ways to tell)

In this article, we will answer the question “Can coconut oil go bad?”, and how to store coconut oil?

Can coconut oil go bad?

Yes, coconut oil can go bad. 

How to tell If coconut oil has gone bad?

  1. Discard the coconut oil that shows signs of mold growth in the form of black spots on the surface. Scooping out the infected area and using the rest of the oil is not a good idea. In case of yellow or green sediments on the bottom of the jar, discard it. 
  2. If the coconut oils develop a yellow hue, it is due to rancidity. Discard it immediately.
  3. Besides that, extensive discoloration, a chunky consistency, bitter or sour odor, and flavor are some of the common symptoms of spoilage.

What happens if I used bad coconut oil? 

Prolonged exposure to bad coconut oil will have serious effects on health. The harmful free radicals present in spoiled coconut milk can damage DNA cells and arteries. They can also have carcinogenic effects.

How to store coconut oil?

Coconut oil can be stored in the pantry at room temperature or in the fridge. Coconut oil melts at 24℃. Storing it in the fridge will make it rock hard, it can be scooped out after leaving it to soften at room temperature. 

Avoid using unclean spoons to scoop out your coconut oil as this can introduce contaminants in your oil. If the coconut oil is stored at room temperature, make sure it does not suffers extreme temperature fluctuations as it will degrade its quality rapidly.

Type of storage container

Glass jars or containers are the best storage option for coconut oil. Unlike metal containers, you do not have to worry about the leeching of metal in glass containers. Moreover, glass does not heat up easily. 

If the coconut oil is stored in a metal container, the oil reacts with the metal and the oil ends up with a metallic smell and taste while becoming harmful for health.

The shelf-life of coconut oil

The following table shows an estimated shelf-life of different types of coconut oil.

In the pantry 
Refined (closed)3-6 months past the Best-by date
Refined (opened)3-6 months past the Best-by date
Extra-virgin (closed)3-6 months past the Best-by date
Extra-virgin (opened)3-6 months past the Best-by date 

Other FAQs about Oils which you may be interested in.

Does Olive oil need to be organic?

How is corn oil made?

Which is the best olive oil for pasta?

Does Olive Oil Evaporate

What is coconut oil?

Coconut oil is extracted from the seed, flesh, and milk of coconut palm and fruit. Due to the high saturated fat content, this oil is resistant to rancidity and is recommended as a substitute for vegetable oils in cooking and frying at high temperatures.

Unrefined coconut oil

Unrefined coconut oil is extracted from fresh coconut milk that is obtained by drying the flesh followed by cold-pressing or wet-milling.

Refined coconut oil

Refined coconut oil is extracted from the dried coconut flesh. It involves bleaching or deodorizing the oil or the addition of sodium hydroxide for an improved shelf-life. Due to its high smoke point, 440℉, refined coconut oil is preferred for cooking and frying.

Pure or virgin coconut oil

If refined oil is extracted using steam or physical or mechanical methods, it is called pure coconut oil. Pure coconut oil is suitable for salad dressings and baking.

MCT coconut oil

It is prepared by removing lauric acid and the Long Chain Triglycerides(LCT). This step ensures the coconut oil stays in the liquid form but also deprives it of essential nutrients. MCT coconut oil is not recommended to use for cooking or skincare.

What are the benefits of using coconut oil?

Protects heart

The rich anti-oxidant content of coconut oil has proven beneficial effects on cardiovascular health. It can also be used to treat high blood pressure. Due to the high saturated fat content, the excessive use of coconut oil can lead to increased cholesterol levels but the oil is much healthier than butter.


Coconut oil repairs the damaged skin helps in the hydration and regeneration of new skin cells. It has the potential to treat skin cancer and prevent aging.


The active ingredient of virgin coconut oil, Lauric acid, has been found to reduce hair fall and damage by moisturizing the hair shafts and reducing protein loss.

How to use coconut oil?

Out of the many uses of coconut oil, some of the most common uses include skin moisturizer, teeth whitener, makeup removal, remedy for sunburn, hair mask or bleaching, lip balm, shaving cream, homemade deodorant, cold sore soother, cooking oil, pan grease, Baking, salad dressing, shoeshine, etc


In this article, we answered the question “Can coconut oil go bad?”, and how to store coconut oil?


Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.