How Long Does Olive Oil Last? Storage Tips To Keep It Fresh

Olive oil is one ingredient that is important in every kitchen. The oil can be used for cooking a healthy meal, used for salad dressing, and for making delicious dipping sauces. Therefore, most people will have a bottle or two of olive oil at home. Since the bottle of olive oil has been sitting for a while, most will wonder how long that bottle of olive oil in the kitchen will last.

So how long does olive oil last? At room temperature, an open bottle of olive oil will last 12 to 18 months, while an unopen bottle will last 6 months after the printed date on the bottle.

Above is just an estimated time of how long olive oil will last under normal conditions. Other factors that affect their shelf life are storage temperature, where it’s stored, the type of oil it is, and how often it’s used.

In this short guide, we’ll go through how long olive oil last, proper storage, how to tell when they go bad, and how to keep them fresh longer. If this is the information you’re looking for, keep reading.

How Long Does Olive Oil Last?

For an opened bottle of olive oil, they will typically last 12 to 18 months. Sometimes, they will have a shorter or longer shelf life. It all depends on where it’s stored, storage temperature, and how often you use it.

If you use olive oil often, expect it not to last very long. This is due to oxidation caused by fresh air. The more often you open the bottle of olive oil, the shorter their shelf life will be.

Temperature is another factor to consider. The hotter it is, the faster the olive oil will go bad. If it gets too hot in your home, try moving them to the fridge so they can last longer.

For an unopened bottle of olive oil, they will last 3 to 6 months after the printed date on the bottle. If it’s kept away from sunlight and other heat sources, it can last much longer than that. Usually, up to 2 years before the quality starts decreasing.

olive oil

Can Olive Oil Go Bad?

Olive oil is no different than any other food, it will expire sooner or later. The storage temperature and where it’s stored is a big factor to determine their shelf life.

Olive oil that is exposed to extreme heat will go bad quickly. A bottle of opened olive oil that’s left at room temperature will go bad before the expiry date on the bottle.

On the other hand, an open bottle of olive oil that’s stored in the fridge will stay fresh past its expiry date. The cooler temperature of the fridge helps prevent bacteria from growing in the bottle.

The more time olive oil is exposed to the air, the faster it will spoil. This is simply due to oxidation occurring in the oil.

How To Tell When Olive Oil Has Gone Bad?

If the olive oil has gone bad, it’s rancid. When it’s rancid, it will smell like crayons, putty, or old nuts.

Just because it’s rancid doesn’t mean that you can’t use it. If you do, it won’t have a pleasant taste to it and could eventually ruin your dish.

Olive oil may not taste very good when it goes bad, but it will be great to use as a detergent for cleaning the house.

storing olive oil

How To Store Olive Oil

There are four main things that will affect the quality of your olive oil. It’s light, heat, oxygen, and time.

Most types of olive oil should be stored at room temperature for the best quality. The most preferable place is the pantry where it’s cool, dry, and dark.

The ideal storage temperature is around 60-72°F. Warmer temperature will lead to a bad-tasting olive oil.

If you live in the tropical regions where it’s usually hot, it’s best to store olive oil in the fridge.

Other than that, the olive oil should be stored away from direct sunlight. This is important as extended exposure to lights can reduce the number of antioxidants that are in the olive oil.

Always keep the bottle of olive oil completely sealed. Oxidation occurs when the oil is exposed to too much oxygen. This will result in the olive oil losing its freshness.

As for the unopen bottle of olive oil, it’s best to store them in the pantry or the cabinet. As long as it has never been opened, it will last for years.

When it comes to storage in the fridge, it’s not recommended to either store an open or unopen bottle of olive oil. Storing the oil in there, it will simply congeal.

Can you Freeze Olive Oil?

Olive oil can be safely frozen in the freezer. The freezer is great for storing them for the long term.

When freezing olive oil, consider freezing them in small quantities. This can be achieved by freezing the oil in ice cube trays. Once the oil is fully frozen, transfer them immediately to a sealable freezer bag or an airtight container.

Also, when freezing the olive oil, you may notice the oil is cloudy or clumpy in appearance. This is nothing to be concerned about as it will return to its normal state after its thaw and reach room temperature.

Once the olive oil thaw, it should be used as quickly as possible as the shelf life of the oil will be reduced to days. Also, never refreeze olive oil again once it thaws. The quality of it deteriorates and you will end up with a bad-tasting olive oil.


fresh olive oil

How To Keep Olive Oil Fresh Longer

Buying Olive Oil

If you want to keep olive oil fresh for as long as possible, it starts at the grocery store. Not all olive oil is created equally and it’s a good idea to know what to look for when shopping for olive oil.

What to look for:

Dark-tinted Bottle – Prolong exposure to light and heat will destroy the oil’s flavor. This is the reason to avoid olive oil that is sold in a clear bottle.

A dark-tinted bottle will provide protection from lights so your olive oil will last longer.

Plastic Bottle – If olive oil is sold in a plastic bottle, avoid buying it. Oil stored in a plastic bottle for a long time will start to lose its flavor. This is due to chemicals from the plastic that can seep into the oil.

Printed Date – Olive oil does not taste better with age. Therefore, it’s important to look at the Best-by date on the bottle. Make sure it’s not anything more than 2 years old.

“Extra Virgin” on the label – Most people tend to think all olive oil is the same, but it’s not. You may notice the label has “olive oil” or “pure olive oil” printed on them. These are lower-quality, processed oil that have little to no taste.

If you see the term “extra-virgin” on the label, it means the oil undergoes minimal processing. This means their flavor and aroma will stay intact.

USDA organic seal – Organic products tend to last lower due to no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers used. By having this seal on the label, you’re getting quality olive oil that will stay fresh for a very long time.

Related Questions

Can olive oil go bad and make you sick?

Olive oil does go bad and when they do, they go rancid. You won’t get sick from eating rancid oil, but it’ll just have an off taste to it. This means if you use olive oil, it will ruin the recipes and may also lose some of its healthy properties.

What is the healthiest olive oil to buy?

There are three main grades of olive oil, which are refined, virgin, and extra-virgin. Therefore, if you are going to use olive oil often, choose extra-virgin olive oil. This oil is the least processed and considered to be the healthiest type of olive oil.

Can you use olive oil for cooking?

Olive oil is a type of vegetable oil that can be used as a cooking oil. It also has a high smoking point which makes it suitable for high-temperature cooking.