Does Coconut Oil Go Bad?

Does coconut oil go bad? Coconut oil is a vegetables oils that is used as a staple fat source in tropical countries.  And because of this, there is a partial myth that coconut oil is more stable then other vegetable oils and does not go bad, or "rancid".  Coconut oil can go bad but it tends to be more forgiving then other vegetable oils.

Bottom Line:  Refined coconut oil will last about 18 months. Virgin coconut oil can last for several years. 

Virgin coconut oil retains more of its natural antioxidants, giving it a longer shelf life. As a general rule, coconut oil made by a wet-milling process takes longer to expire. This means the coconut oil is extracted by chemical-free methods like fermentation, refrigeration, or boiling. 


How To Store Coconut Oil

Most vegetables oils should be stored in the pantry or in the fridge. Coconut oil gives you a little wider area of choices. You can store it in the pantry, in the fridge or in room temperature. The thing you need to know is that its melting point is around 75 °F (ca. 24 °C). If there’s hotter in the room where you keep it, it should be liquid. If there are a few degrees less, it’ll be of jelly consistency. If it’s even lower, the oil will be solid…


How To Keep Coconut Oil from Going Bad Quicker

When you scoop coconut oil from it's container do it with a newly cleaned spoon or other utensil.  Some people prefer to use their fingers to scoop the oil out of their containers.  Hands and fingers can easily be a bacteria and mold spoors breeding ground.  If you are going to use your hands, make sure you wash well before dipping into your jar.  Personally, I prefer to play it safe and use clean spoon.

How To Store Coconut Oil to Keep It Fresh?

Just like other oils, coconut oil can be damaged from heat, light and oxygen. The container should be sealed tightly and keep it out of direct sunlight.  You can store coconut oil at room temperature.  But the hotter the temperature the faster coconut oil will go bad.  So in the heat of the summer it's best to keep it in a cooler room, in a dark pantry or cupboard. 

Should Coconut Oil Be Refrigerated?

… coconut oil can be stored as liquid or solid, it’s up to you. It has a melting point of about 75 F (24 C), so if the temperature in the room where you keep it is higher than that, it’ll be liquid. If the temperature is below the melting point, the oil will be solid.

~Original Source:

Putting it in the refrigerator is also good but just know that it will get very hard and be more difficult to use.

My personal method is to keep a small jar on the counter where I prepare meals and refill it from the large container I keep in the fridge.

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Shelf Life Of Coconut Oil

All coconut oil containers should have a "use-by date" or some other date or expiration.  These dates can be from one and a half years and sometimes even as long as 4 years.  Most coconut oil should be okay up to a year and a half after manufacturing (all other things being equal).  However, do keep an eye on it and look for signs your coconut oil has gone bad.

Coconut oil will remain usable for a long time. If you’re not sure how long your bottle of coconut oil has been stored, look for signs of mold and check for smell and taste. If it has developed any mold, dark spots, a strange odor, or bad taste, throw it away! Here is a simple guide to determining if coconut oil is rancid.

~Original Source:

Coconut Oil Expiration Date

  Past Printed Date
Refined Coconut Oil lasts for 2 – 3 Months
Virgin or Extra-virgin Coconut Oil lasts for Indefinite

Chart original source:

How To Tell If Coconut Oil Has Gone Bad

Since coconut oil, like all saturated fat oils, is quite stable but it can go bad.  The reasons for it going bad are 

  1. Age
  2. Using dirty utensils or fingers in the container.
  3. Improper storage.

What To Check To Tell If Coconut Oil Has Gone Bad

When coconut oil starts to go bad it smells a little off and frequently is beginning to yellow or loose the clarity.  So the first this is to look at it for any changes in color, and smell it for signs it is rancid.

Quite often, when it is going bad, you will start to see mold form on the top.  Some people are comfortable with removing this top layer, maybe an inch or so, and continuing to use the oil underneath.  If the oil is solid and there is not too much mold, it's probably okay to do that. 

Signs of Rancid Coconut Oil:

1. Yellow in colour when liquid
2. Blotchy, or a non-smoothe consistency
3. It tastes and smells bad, like stale or bitter – well of course!
4. It makes you gag. This can't be too clean if you are rejecting it in this way
5. Speckles of particles at the bottom of the jar can be mould developing.

~Original Source:

Are There Any Uses for Rancid Coconut Oil?

Just because it has gone bad does not mean it is necessarily useless.  Here is a partial list of ideas for it's use after it can not be eaten:

  1. furniture polish
  2. oil cutting boards
  3. oil sewing machines
  4. melt with equal parts bee's wax for pomade
  5. silence squeaky door hinges
  6. finish the process and actually make soap out of it
  7. make candles

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Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 54-Ounce Containers (Pack of 2)

Find out all 160 uses for virgin coconut oil here...

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