Essential oils are the highly concentrated oils of plants, containing a variety of chemical compounds and molecules. This high concentration can often cause reactions with certain types of containers, such as certain plastics. It’s important to choose a container that is safe for essential oils, either for storage or use. There are a few different materials that are safe to store essential oils, and you can learn more below. There are two types of plastic safe with essential oils: HDPE and PET, though we generally suggest you use glass for pure, concentrated oils and leave plastic for diluted oils.
What Type of Plastic is Safe for Essential Oils?
There are two types of plastics that are safe for essential oils. Other types may react with the compounds within the oils and degrade or melt the plastic, or form toxic compounds. Both HDPE and PET plastics are safe for essential oils. However, it’s always best to dilute the essential oils before using these for long term storage.
PET or PETE
This type of plastic, known as polyethylene teraphthalate is a common plastic used often for containers such as pop bottles. It’s also safe for essential oils, so make sure you check the plastic for the PET or #1 symbol, usually on the bottom of the container. One thing to keep in mind is that these bottles are typically clear, which is not always ideal for essential oils, as light can degrade the oils.
HDPE, or high density polyethylene, is a commonly used plastic in the food and beauty industry. It’s also safe for the storage of essential oils. What’s also nice about HDPE containers is that they are usually less clear than PET bottles, which helps to extend the shelf life of you essential oils.
What Else Should You Use for Essential Oil Storage?
Glass is arguably the best material you can use for essential oil storage. The nature of glass is such that any compound within the oil cannot permeate through the glass, making it completely sealed. It’s also extremely easy to clean and re-use! Glass comes in all different colours however the best type of glass to use is amber, then blue or green. Essential oils are degraded by light so using a darkened glass is the best way to extend the life of your oils. In general, we suggest you only ever use glass to store pure/concentrated essential oils.
Less commonly used with essential oils than glass is steel. You’re probably less likely to have a stainless steel container to use with essential oils than a glass one, but it may happen, and it’s good to know it’s safe to use. The odds of you having a metal other than steel in your home is also unlikely, but it’s better to stay away from using anything but. Steel provides better durability than glass as it won’t break. Stainless steel water bottles are great storage containers for essential oils if you have one laying around unused. Just make sure you label it clearly and don’t leave it hanging around the kitchen or anywhere else it could be confused for something drinkable!