Can rose water go bad?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “Can rose water go bad?” and its shelf life, risk, and how to maintain the freshness of rose water. 

Can rose water go bad?

Yes, rose water can go bad. Rosewater has a shelf life of just a few months. The main drawback of making organic rose water at home is that, like everything else in nature, it has a limited shelf life once it has been harvested and stored.

What is the shelf life of rose water?

The shelf life of handcrafted rose water solutions is from two weeks to six months depending on the method of manufacturing used to create them (1,5).

If you used the simmering technique to make your rose water, it should keep for two weeks in the refrigerator (1). If you used the distillation technique to make your rose water, you may keep it in your pantry for up to 6 months. 

Preliminary testing should be done on your rose water. Using your senses of smell and taste, determine whether or not the rose water is safe to drink or apply.

What are the factors that affect the shelf life of rose water? 

The main factors that affect the shelf life of rose water are the bacterial load and the storage conditions (2,4). 

The presence of bacteria is one of the most common causes of rose water deterioration and expiration. The quality of raw materials and cleanliness of equipment and facilities used in the production can affect the bacterial load of rose water.

The storage conditions of the rose water can also impact its shelf life. Storage temperature is important because microorganisms have been found to grow in almost all temperatures (6). It is always recommended to keep the rose water in a cool, dark place. 

Bright sunlight increases the deterioration process, resulting in cosmetics expiring sooner than they should (4). Extended sun exposure also alters the natural chemical balance of your components, so even if your rose water was precisely designed for your skin type, prolonged sun exposure may cause a reaction on your skin.

What is the risk of using bad rose water?

Bad or contaminated rose water could pose risks due to the presence of impurities, chemicals, or bacteria (2). Here are a few potential risks of using bad rose water: This can include:

  • burning
  • stinging
  • redness
  • irritation

Apply a little quantity of the mixture and allow it to remain for 24 hours before washing it away. If you see any redness, flaking, patchiness, or irritation in the region where you applied the rose water after a full day, dump the rose water and start again with a fresh batch.

How to tell if your rose water has gone bad or contaminated?

If your rose water has gone bad, the odor of your rose water may acquire an unpleasant, woody odor if it has been stored beyond its expiry date. In addition, you may see that it has taken on a green or brown color over time (2).

If the smell and appearance seem to be acceptable, it is recommended that you do a patch test on a small region of your skin, often the wrist. 

How to maintain the freshness of rose water?

To maintain the freshness of the rose water, storebought or homemade, keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat to ensure longevity (3). 


In this short article, we provided an answer to the question “Can rose water go bad?” and its shelf life, risk, and how to maintain the freshness of rose water


  1.  Dogan C, Uygun Oksuz A, Nohut Maslakci N, Eren E, Uygun E, Oksuz L. Sterilization of Natural Rose Water with Nonthermal Atmospheric Pressure Plasma. Arab J Sci Eng. 2019;44(7). 
  1. Ma X, Wang H, Song Y, Pan Y. Skin irritation potential of cosmetic preservatives: An exposure-relevant study. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2021;20(1). 
  1. Safia A, Aamir Z, Iqbal A, Rafi S, Zafar M. Assessment of rose water and evaluation of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of a rose water-based cream formulation. International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research. 2019;11(1)
  1. Agarwal SG, Gupta A, Kapahi BK, Thappa BRK, Suri OP. Chemical composition of rose water volatiles. Journal of Essential Oil Research. 2005;17(3). 
  1. Mataa M, Musenga C, Hakachite C. Shelf life responses of ‘Akito’ rose (Rosa spp.) cut flowers treated with growth regulator benzyl amino purine and micro biocide aluminum sulfate. International Journal of Agricultural Research, Innovation, and Technology. 2020;10(1). 
  1. Liu K, Liu Y, Chen F. Effect of storage temperature on lipid oxidation and changes in nutrient contents in peanuts. Food Sci Nutr. 2019;7(7).