Coconut Oil 101: How To Use, Store It And How Long Does It Last?
Coconut oil is turning more and more popular, thanks not only to its amazing smell but also its myriad of uses.
After all, how many oils do you know that can be used for cooking, conditioning your hair, replacing sports drinks, act as a makeup remover, work as a homemade toothpaste and more?
The uses of coconut oil stretch as far as your imagination can take them, which is why it pays to learn as much as possible about this useful oil, including not only how you can use it but also how to store it and how long it lasts.
Let’s get started!
What’s Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil is a vegetable oil made from coconut that’s been used and consumed in tropical areas around the world for hundredths, if not thousands of years.
Packed with essential fats, proteins, lauric acid, capric acid and more, coconut oil has been proved to be effective in a variety of ways, both when consumed or used topically.
In fact, coconut oil can be used to improve several skin diseases; such as acne, eczema, rosacea and psoriasis.
It can also be used to treat fungal infections and kill candida fungus.
As far as beauty goes, coconut oil can be used to strengthen your hair while also killing lice and reducing the presence of dandruff, all while conditioning your hair better than commercial conditioners could possibly hope for.
And those are just the benefits you can get by using it topically.
Ingesting coconut oil, be it while using the oil to coat your cooking pan or by using it as an ingredient itself, can help you combat diabetes, increase your metabolism, preserve your muscle mass, combat Alzheimer’s disease and promote ketosis. All while boosting your body’s energy levels.
The Many Uses of Coconut Oil
We’re not kidding when we say that coconut oil has tons of uses. In fact, coconut oil has so many uses we could write an entirely new article featuring over 100 of those.
Of course, we don’t have that kind of time or space here so we’re going to give you just 5.
- Makeup Remover: A little bit of coconut oil will make makeup go away in seconds. Just rub a small quantity over the areas you want to clean and wipe off with a warm cloth. Easy.
- Use as Butter: If you’re tired of buttering your toast with the same thing every morning, try using some coconut oil instead. This will give it a delicious flavor while also providing you with extra energy to get you through the morning.
- Make Eggs Last Longer: Just coat your eggs with coconut shelf before placing them in your fridge. This will seal the pores in the shell and make your eggs last a week or two longer.
- Make Your Own Deodorant: All you need to do is mix coconut oil with a bit of baking soda. This paste will have anti-bacterial properties that will keep bad smells away without cloying your pores.
- Remove Gum from Hair: Oils are often used for this purpose and coconut oil makes it twice as easy thanks to its various presentation. Just apply coconut oil on the hair and gum so it ‘relaxes’ and it can be removed without any trouble.
How Long Does Coconut Oil Lasts?
That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it?
Let’s face it, compared to other oils coconut oil isn’t exactly what we’d call cheap, particularly if you’re looking at the high quality brands.
Sure, the benefits sure make the price worth it but when it comes to selling out a pretty penny, you want to make sure you’re getting your value’s worth.
So how long does coconut oil lasts?
As it turns out, a really, really, really, long time.
Without refrigeration, coconut oil has a shelf life of up to 3 years, making it an investment more than an expense.
This is thanks to the coconut oil’s powerful antimicrobial properties, as well as the fact that it doesn’t oxidize easily.
Of course, coconut oil isn’t magical and it will go bad much faster if you don’t store it properly, which is why you should keep reading.
How to Store Coconut Oil?
This depends on a variety of factors, such as the form of coconut oil you’re using (solid or liquid) as well as indoor temperature.
While you can absolutely refrigerate coconut oil, we don’t recommend it, as it can turn hard, making it difficult to use.
Instead of sticking it into your fridge, simply use glass containers and keep your oil away from direct sunlight and direct air.
Keep it away from other heat sources, such as the stove, and you should be able to keep it around fresh and ready to use until you run out of it
And if you’re using it for beauty purposes? Avoid storing it in the bathroom to avoid humidity and always screw the lid on tightly.
Another good practice, both for cooking and beauty purposes, is to always use a spoon or other kind of utensil to take it out of its jar, as well as keeping your coconut oil crumble or dirt free.
How Can You Tell if Your Coconut Oil Has Gone Bad?
Of course, sometimes even with precautions in place accidents happen and at some point you’ll end up with rancid coconut oil.
Maybe you accidentally left it under the sun, maybe you didn’t realize it was too close to a heat source.
It doesn’t matter. As we said, accidents happen.
Here’s how you can tell if your coconut oil has gone bad:
- It has a yellow or beige color, instead of the usual white (for solid oil) or clear (for liquid oil) tones.
- It looks blotchy.
- There’s speckles of mold growing anywhere in the container or the oil itself.
- It smells bad or different than when you bought it.
- It tastes bad.
As you can see, coconut oil is something you should purchase and try at least once. Not only because its numerous health benefits or uses, but also because it lasts long enough that there’s no way it’ll go to waste!