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Things to do with Old Essential Oils

As much as I recommend to only have essential oils that you will actually use (and in sizes that you will use in a reasonable space of time), I know that we all have times when we find we have some older oils that we just don’t get around to using up. I have done it myself!

(If you are not sure whether your essential oils are too old to use, read my blog post to find out more about how long you can keep yours for.)

So I am often asked what you can do with old essential oils – should you just throw them out?  Or can they be used in some way?
I am a great advocate for reducing our waste, so even if I have oils that are too old to use therapeutically, I will always try to find another use for them.
Note – if your essential oils smell “off” or bad, it is best not to use them at all but instead to dispose of them carefully. In all cases, as old oils can be more likely to cause skin reactions, take extra care when using them to keep them off your skin.

Here are 5 of my favourite things to do with old essential oils –

Home made cleaning products

I often use older essential oils, rather than my newer oils, in my home-made cleaning products. Include in home-made carpet deodoriser, or add to the water for washing floors or surfaces.


Add a few drops of essential oil to an unscented soap or laundry liquid when washing clothes or linens

Removing Sticky Labels

You will often hear of recommendation to use eucalyptus essential oil to remove the residue left by sticky labels. But many essential oils will also do the job.  Some of the ones I have used include lemon, sweet orange and tea tree.

Rubbish Deodoriser

Add a drop of essential oil to a tissue or paper towel. Then leave in the bottom of your kitchen rubbish bin to counteract odours.

Vacuum Air Freshener

Add a couple of drops of essential oil onto the bag (if using disposable bags) in your vacuum cleaner.  The essential oil will disperse through the air as you clean. (If you have a bagless vac or if your machine uses a reusable bag, simply put a few drops of essential oil on a cotton wool ball and pop inside the bag or dust compartment.)

Even old essential oils may have their uses. So get the most out of your essential oils by using these tips