olive oil go bad

Does Olive Oil Go Bad? How to Store and Use It Properly

In a nutshell: Yes, olive oil can go bad over time, and its flavor and quality will deteriorate. Proper storage is important to maintain its freshness.

If you are a lover of natural extra virgin olive oil, you certainly like to buy large quantities in the season. But how long can it last? And how do you need to store it? Don’t worry. We have all the answers.

The excellent quality olive oil is not as easy to find as you can think. In stores, counterfeits are often sold, or a product with a more significant share of plant sunflower oil than true olive oils. Do not easily fall for advertisements so buy oil from verified manufacturers.

Basically, when you find such a producer, you will often want to buy larger quantities of at least 5 liters. Depending on consumer habits, some buy up to 20 liters of fresh olive oil a year.

And so we come to the fundamental question, how fast do you have to spend the purchased oil before it spoils? And does it spoil with time at all? The short answer is yes, it does. All other details are below in the article.

How Long Does Olive Oil Last?

The lifespan of olive oil mainly goes between 18 and 24 months. That would be some upper limit. Of course, it can last a little longer if it is stored in perfect conditions, but you have to know that this type of oil does not become any better with age. Indeed, the best quality and taste will be fresh after production.

Duration of regular olive oil

The usual olive oil refers to the upper limit of about 18 to 24 months. This is common for an unopened bottle. Once you start using it, a recommendation is to spend it within six months. When buying, it is best to look at the date of production and select fresh packaging.   

Duration of extra virgin olive oil

The virgin version is less processed, and therefore there is a somewhat shorter life span. The usual durability goes from one year to 18 months. Again, if you opened the bottle, it would be ideal to consume it within three months, and certainly within half a year.

Can Olive Oil Go Bad?

As we have previously written, olive oil can be spoiled. It would be more precise to say it becomes rancid rather than spoiled. But, the result is equal no matter what you call it. It tastes off and is not fit for consumption. There are several ways to determine whether the oil is perfect for salad or it is better to throw it down the drain.

Sign 1: The oil developed an unusual odor

Olive oil only has a peculiar and powerful smell. Extra virgin one, even stronger. But in the case of rottenness, it will be a more unpleasant odor than expressed. All those used to using the olive elixir in the kitchen on a daily basis will probably have no problem recognizing the difference in the scent.

Sign 2: Taste is very rancid

When you taste the oil for correctness, it is not necessary to swallow the sip. It is enough to put a small amount on the tongue. Although extra virgin oil has a naturally robust taste, you will definitely know the difference of rancid olive oil.

Sign 3: The texture is too blurred

Again, oil can be naturally blurry. It doesn’t always have to be clear. But if it’s expired, the texture may become too dense, so you will notice that something is not okay.

Which is the Best Way to Store Olive Oil?

This is a product that is actually very sensitive to external influences if you do not keep it well. It is essential to preserve a naturally perfect taste because it is a pleasure point for this merchandise, apart from being pretty healthy. Here’s what you need to look out for when storing olive oil.

Tip 1: Keep it away from the sun

Here it is really crucial to keep olive oil bottles away from the sun and generally too much light. 

Keeping it in the dark glass bottles is good, so the lower amount of light reaches inside.

Tip 2: Keep it in a cool place

Just like light, the heat will negatively affect the durability of the product. Always try to have the oil located in colder places and not near the heat source. However, there is no need to place the bottle in the refrigerator. The pleasant pantry temperature will be just fine for most olive oils.

Tip 3: Pour oil into a smaller bottle

The air negatively affects the oil also. That’s why it’s good to pour it into a smaller bottle so you don’t expose the whole amount to oxygen every time you open the giant bottle.


Is it OK to use expired olive oil?

No, it’s not advisable to use expired olive oil. Consuming rancid olive oil could potentially cause digestive discomfort and a less enjoyable culinary experience.

Should olive oil be refrigerated?

It is unnecessary although some recommend keeping olive oil in the refrigerator,. Indeed, very cold temperatures will impair the appearance of the oil. Definitely keep in a dark place and away from heat.

How long can olive oil be used after the expiration date?

Olive oil can usually be used for a few months to a year past its expiration date if it has been stored in a cool, dark place and doesn’t show signs of rancidity, such as a foul odor or off taste. However, its quality and flavor might decline over time.

How can you tell if olive oil is rancid?

You can tell if olive oil is rancid by its off smell, resembling paint thinner or an old crayon, and a sour or unpleasant taste. Additionally, if the oil appears cloudy, thickened, or has an unusual color, it might have turned rancid and should be discarded.

Can olive oil last 20 years?

No, olive oil is not likely to remain good for 20 years in terms of quality and taste. While properly stored extra virgin olive oil can have a shelf life of 2 to 3 years, its flavor, aroma, and nutritional value may significantly deteriorate over such a long period.


Olive oil is a treasured addition to any cooking. You can use it to prepare food or as a spice for salads. Goes great with fish, cheese, and wine. Also, health benefits are numerous.

If you manage to find the perfect manufacturer of extra virgin olive oils, one who does not add additives to their oil but produces it in the best traditional way, do not hesitate to buy supplies for the whole year. Because if it is freshly produced, olive oil will last so long without losing quality. Just be sure to store it in a dark and cool place.

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*image by studioM/depositphotos

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