Does Coconut Oil go bad?

Who doesn’t want part of coconut oil benefits?

We probably find a new way of using coconut oil every day. It has been used from time immemorial having originated from the tropics. As much as the food industry has gained from it, the health care department also boasts of its miracles.

So it’s safe to ask, does coconut oil go bad?

Coconut oil is one of the most stable saturated fats we have. Unlike other plant oils, it is known to carry antimicrobial lipids. This aspect means it can resist bacteria and fungi quite strongly. Your bottle of coconut oil may have a sell by or best by date which is a clear indication of when your oil is still in good shape. The type of coconut oil you use will guide you if you don’t have an idea on its expiry date.

What type of Coconut Oil are you using?

There are two types in general. Forget all the fuss about there been an extra virgin or regular coconut oil. It’s either Virgin (raw) or refined. Raw coconut oil has not been stripped of its natural ingredient; hence the most stable. It has minimum coconut smell that is not irritating. This one is best for cooking and health care. The refined coconut oil comes out as odorless best recommended for skin and cosmetics use. The essence is that the more natural it is, the more stable and durable.

Virgin coconut oil lasts longer than its refined peer. It may last up to four years when properly reserved. The refined one lasts little over a year. This is good, considering the price tag it carries. If you do not like the smell of coconut, it is best to go with the refined type. It may not last as long as raw coconut oil, but it will save you from tossing it before you are done.

What contributes to Coconut Oil going bad?

Poor Storage

The way you store your oil will direct the path of its shelf life. Know that coconut oil is also a plant oil. Setting it apart is its molecular structure which has balanced characteristics. It does not readily oxidize. But, after some time the oxygen that regularly gets into the bottle will break even the most stable structures. It is, therefore, critical to always keep the lid tight.

Exposure to the Sun

More so, we look at how the sun will affect your coconut oil. We know that sun exposure causes our skin numerous outbreaks. Imagine what it would do to your exposed coconut oil bottle. It will depreciate faster, and its shelf life will significantly reduce. Keep your oil in the dark place away from the sun’s direct rays.


When it comes to coconut oil, it readily melts at 24 degrees. This means it is solid at normal room temperature. However, in this state, it is not hard and can readily melt on your palm. Storing it in the fridge may significantly add its longevity. This is particularly true because mold may never have a chance to grow on it.

Exposing your coconut oil to heat may spoil it sooner. Remember to store it away from the stove after you are done with cooking. Burning will also make it lose its natural smell.


The best way to keep your coconut oil in excellent condition is by proper use. Reused utensil scoops may carry a lot of bacteria. Slowly your oil will start to disintegrate and lose its quality. When using one jar for many purposes, it is better if you separate into small labeled containers. This will prevent the chances of scooping the cooking oil with your fingers for use on your hair. Always use clean hands to reduce the transfer of dirt to your coconut oil jar.

What are the sure signs of stale Coconut Oil?

It’s easy to detect when your coconut oil is no longer in good condition. If you are at a loss, these signs will guide you.

The smell of your coconut oil

When buying, you should first notice its scent. This distinction, in particular, will direct you in knowing when the smell changes. Quality coconut oil has a minute coconut scent. If you discover it is quite concentrated, chances are it has gone bad.


Clear liquid or white solid are the colors of good condition coconut oil. However, any other color, more so yellow is a red alarm. If it shows any signs of losing its vitality like graying instead of white, mold could be setting in.


Trust your tasting buds to give you the best signs of spoilt coconut oil. Normally, it should have either a neutral or a pleasant coconut taste. This depends on whether it’s natural or refined. When you come across a sour or bitter taste then, that is a sure sign of spoilage.

What do you do with stale Coconut Oil?

Do you just hurl it into the bin or is there another use for it? Well, for starters it is no longer edible. So do not use it for cooking and that means even externally on your skin. Most of us may not agree on the external use, but it’s okay.

Other users have found a way of not throwing out the whole jar. You can scoop the spilt sections and add fresh coconut oil. Or, do it yourself on soap making and get an excellent alternative for your body wash.

Coconut oil can also prove useful in machinery parts. If it gets spoilt, use it on hinges and rivets. It does not collect grime, and because of its antimicrobial properties, it will keep the parts in good condition.

You can always find a new way of using your stale jar of coconut oil. For consumption, ensure your oil is still good for maximum benefits.

Summing up;

So does coconut oil go bad? this is a Yes and No answer. Yes because it cannot last forever, and no because it has a pretty long life. Remember how to tell the difference between the qualities of a good coconut oil. Always reserve yours in the best manner. Although it depends a lot on the storage, the processing method also plays a significant role in the longevity of the oil.

Maintaining good hygiene will also prevent any food poisoning. Separating your cooking oil from other uses will work best to avoid such events. Any reaction to your skin may count for a coconut oil gone bad. Always notice the phases your coconut oil takes, through the months. Any changes in the smell, taste or look are the best indications when checking to know the condition of your coconut oil.

Sylvia Wallace

Sylvia Wallace is a young system analyst, wife, and mother of two children from Vermont and this is a bit of copy about her. Sylvia has always been passionate about healthy cooking. Katie continuously exploring new types of dishes and trying out new ways to improve her cooking and health.

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