How to Tell if Coconut Oil is Bad?

Coconut oil has a wide range of applications, but it also has a very long shelf life. You might be wondering if coconut oil goes terrible and how to keep it fresh for as long as possible. Although coconut oil has a long shelf life, it is perishable and eventually spoils. Coconut oil’s shelf life can be extended by carefully keeping it in an airtight container in an excellent location. Use coconut oil only if you’re sure it hasn’t gone rancid.

coconut oil

Expired coconut oil should be discarded right away. Consuming or applying rancid coconut oil raises the number of free radicals in the body, related to inflammatory and cardiovascular illnesses. Aside from the benefits of coconut oil for cooking, such as its long shelf life, healthy saturated fat content, and high smoke point, coconut oil has a variety of other uses. Coconut oil is also a good skin and hair care product that is gentle enough for babies and puppies while also beneficial for men and women with dry skin.

What Is Coconut Oil?

Coconut oil is extracted from the fruit of the tropical coconut palm tree (Cocos nucifera), which produces flesh that is around 35% oil by weight. Coconut oil contains a high percentage of saturated fat (about 86%), making it exceptionally stable and resistant to oxidation and rancidity. The melting point is 78 degrees Fahrenheit, and the smoking point is roughly 440 degrees Fahrenheit. At room temperature, coconut oil hardens, allowing home cooks to produce chocolate truffles and other no-bake delicacies. Coconut oil is a pantry staple because of its many skincare applications (as a moisturizer) and health advantages.

How To Tell If Coconut Oil Is Bad?

Examine your coconut oil’s sight, smell, and taste to see whether it has gone wrong. Here’s what to look out for:


Coconut oil is clear in liquid form and white in solid form (like milk). It becomes creamy when it melts and solidifies again (see below). However, if yours turns yellow, it’s time to get rid of it.

Black Spots And Any Other Organic Growth

It’s advisable to discard the fat if you discover any signs of organic development, either on the surface or floating about when the oil is liquid. If your oil is exposed to mold spores frequently enough, it may begin to grow mold.

Rancid Smell

First, you should know that virgin (unrefined) coconut oil smells nutty and coconut-like. On the other hand, refined coconut oil has a very neutral aroma (which is why it’s frequently used in cooking). If yours smells different, particularly bitter, sour, paint-like, or chemical-like, the oil is rancid and must be discarded.

Rancid Taste

Again, virgin coconut oil has a subtle coconut flavor, whereas processed coconut oil lacks flavor. It’s not good if yours tastes sour or bitter.


Whether you store coconut oil at room temperature or in the refrigerator, it will be liquid or solid. The oil has likely gone rancid if it starts to look chunky and has an uneven texture, like curdled cream.

How To Store Coconut Oil?

When handling coconut oil, use clean utensils because any food left in the container will serve as contamination and degrade the oil. Here’s how to preserve your coconut oil from going rancid and extending its shelf life:

In An Airtight Container

You can keep your coconut oil in whichever container it came in when you got it. When using the container, reseal it tightly to keep air and outside contaminants out. The leading cause of deterioration is air exposure.

In The Refrigerator

Although keeping coconut oil in the fridge isn’t required, it can help to slow down the processes that cause deterioration, allowing it to last longer. Coconut oil that has been refrigerated will harden, making it difficult to use for cosmetics or salad dressings. On the other hand, hardened coconut oil can be used for baking.

In A Dark Place

If stored at room temperature, keep coconut oil in the dark spot, such as a cupboard or pantry. Its shelf life can be shortened if it is exposed to direct sunlight.

How Long Does Coconut Oil Last?

Coconut oil has a shelf life of one to two years and can be kept in good condition for at least two weeks if stored properly. The first time you open the jar, it has little effect on the shelf life. It does expose the oil to fresh air, which may hasten the acidification process a little, but that’s not a significant concern. Unless, of course, you leave the jar open for an extended period.

There is a difference in shelf life between refined and virgin coconut oil, in case you were wondering. The latter seems to persist longer than the former, although no one knows how long each one is effective. Refined coconut oil has a two-year shelf life, while virgin (unrefined) coconut oil has a three-year shelf life. However, I’ve seen claims that virgin coconut oil (or VCO) can last up to five years, so there’s that. The most straightforward approach for me is to start with the date on the label, assume that the oil will last a few months longer, and always double-check before using. It’s a simple system, but it gets the job done.

What Happens If You Use Expired Coconut Oil?

You should not use rancid oil in your cooking or cosmetics, and it will damage the flavor of your cuisine and the aroma of your hair and skin. Rancid oil is extremely harmful to your health. Trans-, cyclized, and cross-linked lipids are formed as the unsaturated fats in coconut oil degrade due to oxidation. Damaged fats like this are incredibly harmful and can kill human cells. Trans fat is one of “the worst kinds of fat you can eat,” according to the Mayo Clinic. It is a significant contributor to heart disease.

” Damaged fat molecules, such as the fatty acids found in rancid oil, can be detrimental since they are present across billions of cell membranes in the human body,” says Dr. Delia McCabe. These lipids impede cellular communication, duplication, and regeneration in our tissues and organs. This cascade has far-reaching consequences, affecting our physical and mental health.”The topical application of rancid oil that has been infected by bacteria or fungus on hair or skin can cause a body to break out or develop an infection.

Should Coconut Oil Be Refrigerated After Opening?

Coconut oil does not need to be refrigerated, and it’ll keep in your pantry for up to two years. Just make sure the lid is securely fastened. Your oil may transition from solid to liquid in the jar depending on how warm it gets where you live. Coconut oil can be kept in any dark, dry location in your home, such as the refrigerator, pantry, or even at room temperature, and it will spoil if exposed to heat, light, or oil, exactly like coconut milk. It will not go wrong immediately away if kept in the appropriate area because of the time it takes to oxidize.

Keep the oil in a tightly sealed, airtight container. This is because oxygen can degrade the oil.
It’s critical to preserve your coconut oil correctly. Its melting point is around 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and therefore if the room temperature rises over that, it will change into a liquid.

There are two types of coconut oil: solid and liquid. When kept in the refrigerator, it will stay solid, whereas it will stay liquid when kept at room temperature. You’ll have to keep an eye on the temperature to ensure it doesn’t change. If it happens, the oil will run out sooner, and mold can grow due to contamination. As a result, it’s critical to make sure only clean utensils come into touch with the oil.


Coconut oil is a versatile substance with several applications. When used in cooking or baking, it gives a beautiful coconut flavor to foods, depending on the type you choose. Aside from that, it provides a slew of health advantages. It’s crucial to remember that coconut oil can go wrong, and while it may take a long time to go wrong, you shouldn’t eat it if you think it’s gone wrong because it’s terrible for your health.

It would help if you instead tossed it out. Finally, you’ll be able to tell whether your coconut oil has gone wrong by looking for various indicators. There are numerous applications for pure coconut oil prepared from fresh coconut or fresh coconut meat. With any food, staleness is a concern. Store it safely, whether you’re using virgin coconut oil as an essential oil, salad dressing, or olive oil alternative. You’ll avoid spoiling and rancidity this way.