Does Coconut Oil Go Bad or Expire? (4 Surprising Signs)

Coconut Oil

So does coconut oil go bad? Can coconut oil expire? 

The answer is it depends on the following factors…

100% pure coconut oil won’t go bad for a long time at least, and some people make the mistake of throwing coconut oil out just because it solidifies or liquifies.

Coconut oil solidifying or liquifying is a completely normal thing for it to do.

Your coconut oil may go bad and quite quickly however if it’s mixed with other ingredients or other types of oils which may not last as long.

It’s important to purchase good quality, pure coconut oil in order to ensure it lasts as long as possible.

Quality coconut oil should last you years, and you shouldn’t be concerned if it solidifies or liquifies – particularly with the changes of the seasons – as this is completely normal. 

Whichever way you use your coconut oil, the benefits will always remain the same, the only risk of ruining these benefits is if you overheat your coconut oil.

Why Coconut Oil Goes Bad

HeatExposure to high temperatures can cause coconut oil to break down faster. As mentioned in DoesItGoBad, heat from the sun or a warm kitchen environment should be avoided.
LightSunlight and other sources of UV light can oxidize coconut oil over time as its fatty acid chains degrade. The Tasting Table notes that light contributes to degradation.
AirContact with oxygen in the air leads to rancidity as the oil oxidizes. Proper sealing and storage reduces exposure to air.
AgeWhile coconut oil has a long shelf life, even when properly stored it will eventually go rancid with age, usually within 2-5 years as stated by sources like Watch Learn Eat.

How Do You Know If Coconut Oil Has Gone Bad Or Expired?

Here are 4 obvious signs your coconut oil has gone bad...

  1.  Your coconut oil has turned yellow instead of white. 
  2. It has huge chunks and feels inconsistent rather than smooth and silky, it may look like curdled milk.
  3. It’s developed black spots which could be mould – yuk.
  4. It smells sour or bitter – you’ll remember the fresh and clean smell of coconut oil from when you first opened it (it’s unmistakable and you don’t forget it).
Coconut Oil

How To Store Coconut Oil In Warm Weather

  • Keep it in a sealed container, air tight, in a cool and dark place (like a cupboard) and away from direct sunlight.
  • If you choose to keep it in the fridge be sure to take it out and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before use so it has time to warm up and become liquid again.

What Happens If I Eat Expired Coconut Oil, Will I Get Sick?

Well, I wouldn’t recommend using it if you think it’s expired or gone bad as at best it’ll taste rancid and ruin your dish and at worst it might make you a little sick.

So, Is It OK To Use Expired Coconut Oil?

In the short term there should be no major side effects however…

In the long term rancid oils can develop “free radicals” that can contribute to cell damage, so they are best avoided. 

How Long Can Coconut Oil Be Kept?

The safest thing to do is check the packaging for any expiry dates and use those as a guide but also use your own common sense, if it’s changed colour, smells bad, developed black or green spots or seems rancid then don’t use it. 

It should remain shelf stable for around 2 years if stored correctly with the lid firmly on, at the correct temperature and away from direct sunlight but always use common sense and look at it’s appearance and smell it first. 

Why Does My Coconut Oil Smell Bad?

Probably because it’s turned rancid and expired, you should not use it.

Why Does My Coconut Oil Taste Bad?

Most likely because it’s gone bad and should not be eaten any further.