Can Castor Oil Go Bad or Not? Castor Oil’s Shelf Life

Can Castor Oil go Bad? Today we briefly discuss castor oil’s shelf life and whether or not it can turn rancid. Find out how to store your castor oil!

Can castor oil go bad? Actually, I’ve never had to consider whether castor oil could go bad or not because I always finish my supply first!

But many of you who buy castor oil with the good intention of using it daily might end up using it only weekly or monthly. Time passes and you want to kick start your natural beauty routine again. So you go and grab your bottle of castor oil when you wonder, can it expire?

In this article, I’m briefly going to talk about whether or not castor oil can go bad.

Oftentimes, people use expired products in order not to waste. Can we also use out-of-date natural oils? Let’s find out.

Castor Oil’s Shelf Life

Just like other carrier oils, castor oil can go rancid. It has a healthy shelf life up until 1 year.

It may still be okay for another year or two after that if properly sealed and stored, but it’s better to use it fresh just in case.

As I mentioned, I’ve never had a problem with using expired castor oil because I use up my supply quickly.

But if you’ve forgotten your castor oil back in a cupboard somewhere for a while and want to start using it again, just make sure it’s still good to use. Otherwise, rancid oils can end up harming you more than helping you.

Here’s what you should look for in order to tell if your castor oil has expired:

  • Color change: Castor oil is usually clear with a slight tint. Don’t use it if it turns murky or cloudy. Also, if your pale yellow/straw castor oil turns to a dark brown, for example, it’s probably no longer usable.
  • Odor change: You can’t really smell castor oil, so a healthy CO will be neutral in odor. The bad oil will smell unpleasant or just “off.”

If you believe your CO has gone bad, try to take it to an oil recycling center, as draining it down your sink is not a good idea (due to its viscous texture).

Trashing it may not also be a great idea, as ingesting CO is powerful (even toxic) and little animals or fish may come in contact with it if dumped outside.

Can Castor Oil Go Bad? Castor Oil Guide - Brittany

Is Expired Castor Oil Safe to Use?

Skin experts don’t recommend consuming or using castor oil on hair, skin, or body. Doing so can cause skin allergies including rashes, itching, and other relevant problems.

How to Store Castor Oil Properly?

Remember to follow some guidelines in order to safely store your castor oil.

  • Do not expose to cold or hot temperatures. Store safely between 55-75 degrees F.
  • Keep the bottle sealed tightly, so no air can enter it and cause oxidation. It can make the oil rancid before time.
  • Store in a dry location. Moisture is not an oil friend and can make it stale quickly.
  • Keep castor oil away from direct sunlight or the presence of light. It can make the oil go stale or expire before time.
  • To increase the shelf life of castor oil you can add a few drops of Vitamin E oil and place it in the refrigerator.

In any case, if you put your oil to good use as I do, you won’t have to worry about expiration dates anyway!

Final Thoughts: Does Castor Oil Expire?

There’s no big secret when it comes to castor oil’s shelf life. Just make sure to keep your oils safely and properly stored and you shouldn’t run into any problems.

The longest I’ve kept castor oil is about 6 months while I was in Nepal. Now I make lots of recipes with it, so my supply goes quicker but my homemade solutions keep me looking healthy and happy! πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading and continue to send me your questions!

Dr Helen Smith
Dr. Helen Smith provides food and nutrition consultation and treatment for obese as well as health-conscious patients. She holds B.S in psychology and completed her M.S in nutrition sciences from California State University. She has over five years of experience in advising and helping patients with the right nutrition and diet. Her mission is to make nutrition information accessible to everyone and help people follow a healthy lifestyle.

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  1. I’m sorry, I almost killed myself using clay baths…… conversation with a bio-chemist I was working with at the time, he was the one
    that explained to me that when I had taken the first clay bath, the clay had passed into my blood stream, hit my kidneys, clogged up the micro-tubules
    in my kidneys, and next thing I knew, my whole body was swelling up with fluids, and of course by then I had taken ANOTHER clay bath, making things worse, and was about to take a third, and God STOPPED ME………I totally believe that if I had taken that 3rd clay bath, I would’ve wound up dead…..

  2. Hello! I have hair loss due to a medication that I was taking. I lost at least half of my hair and do not take that medication any more. Now I am researching which carrier oil to use with rosemary oil. Your article says, “Skin experts don’t recommend consuming or using castor oil on hair, skin, or body”. But, when you look at the top of this page {website,}, and you click on HAIR, it has recipes that use castor oil. I’m confused, do I use it, or not use it? Please advise.

  3. Why there is whitish color small bubbles (on bottom of the bottle) in castor oil earlier it was not there? Do my castor oil has turn rancid

    • Hey Shivani, so let’s see. How was the castor oil stored? It truly depends if it was tightly sealed, with normal temperatures, and away from light. You can also smell it to see if it smells “rancid.” I would say get a new bottle, but try to test out a small portion on your leg hair or somewhere less sensitive than say, your head or eyelashes! Hope this helps!! Best of luck!

  4. Thank you for this informative website!
    Do you know if Bentonite Clay, dry, can go bad? I have a jar of clay that expired in 1/2017…but it looks good to me.

    • Thank you, Marian! To answer your question, no I don’t think your dry clay will be bad. As long as there are no additives or anything, and if it’s just pure clay then it should be fine! Just make sure to store it in a tightly sealed container and out of humid places. πŸ™‚


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Our articles are written and reviewed by medical experts who have extensive experience in nutrition, health, and essential oils.

Every information we share is research-backed, including the claims and statistics. The numbers in the parentheses (1,2 and 3) represent the scientific references so that you can study the topic in brief.