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How Long Does Linseed Oil Last? [Shelf Life Guide]

Linseed oil finds its origins in flaxseeds. Many flaxseeds’ health benefits are known to many, used as a naturally occurring laxative for a long time.

does linseed oil go bad

Since it has a high fiber value, its readily used to treat constipation. Further, as it has natural anti-inflammatory properties, it’s used to improve your cardiac health.

The linseed oil is one such polyunsaturated fatty acid that’s derived from flaxseeds.

Since it is an oil, it is subject to spoilage and deteriorates faster than you expect. Hence, the question arises about how long does linseed oil last?

Since unsaturated oils are prone to oxidative damage, they are prone to spoil faster than whole grains.

Thus, flaxseeds are known to outlast the linseed il when it comes to shelf-life and usage. The oxidation of the oil reduces its nutritional value, and, in turn, it is quality.

How Long Does Linseed Oil Last? Does Linseed Oil Go Bad?

how long does linseed oil last

Linseed oil is known to have a long shelf-life but shorter in comparison to the seeds. Storing the oil in an opaque bottle comes highly recommended, thus, not allowing any direct exposure to heat or sunlight.

To prolong the shelf-life, it is preferable to store the oil in an air-tight container in a cool, dark place.

Usually, the linseed oil comes with package labels and storage instructions, which, when followed, will give you a product that can be safely used even after the best by date.

The manufacturers make it a point to note down the manufacture date and the expiry date on the package label. In the best by date, it is the date until which the product’s intended quality gets maintained and remains unaltered.

However, even after the best by date has passed, you can use the linseed oil without the fear of developing any side effects.

Besides being an edible oil used in households as an alternative to coconut oil or groundnut oil, external usage also occurs.

Hence, if not stored correctly, the oil is prone to damage and can lose its properties if used beyond the package leaflets’ duration. Cold-pressed linseed oils are the best kind and are recommended for usage in food as well as externally.

You can even take flaxseeds and extract the oil out of them if you know the appropriate methods. Otherwise, if you adequately store the batch of linseed oil, you assure that its stability and quality remain the same.

It would help if you take care that you do not leave the bottles or containers open and tightly cap it when not in use. This prevents air from entering and causing damage due to oxidative processes.

How to Tell if Linseed Oil is Bad?

how to tell if linseed oil is bad

Linseed oil develops a characteristic odor and appearance, due to which you are aware of whether it is spoilt or not.

Due to oxidative damage and free radical formation, the oil develops a rancid odor, which is spicy and an undesirable smell.

Further, if you don’t understand the aroma, the taste is also uncharacteristically bitter and leaves an unpleasant taste in your mouth. Hence, you can know that the freshness of the oil is gradually lost.

Also, there is a unique scent, which is an indicator of spoilage of the product.

The oil develops the smell of a box of crayons, and if you’re aware of the nature of the scent, you can be sure that the batch has been spoiled and discard it immediately.

Another way to know whether linseed oil has gone bad is through the test of appearance.

All you need to do is take a minimal quantity of the oil in a glass and hold it against the light so that it is clearly visible. The oil in its healthy state will be transparent and clear.

Once spoilt, the oil will be turbid in appearance and show haziness. Also, the color of the oil will be not a light shade but instead a few shades darker and either dark brown or golden-brown.

Another test that can be applied is taking an adequate amount in the glass and smelling it like you would do for wine.

Good quality linseed oil will always have a nutty aroma, unlike a bad batch, which will smell cooked or fried food.

After using it for cooking purposes, oil has a characteristic scent that smells like fried food or oil used for frying.


linseed oil shelf life

A handy tip for using linseed oil is that before usage, keeping it aside for a few minutes always helps a great deal.

Time varies between five to ten minutes, after which using it becomes simple.

Next, whether you store it on your kitchen shelves or the refrigerator, make sure that there are no temperature fluctuations.

Following the care and precautions, you can keep and use linseed oil without any issue.

how long does linseed oil last

How Long Does Linseed Oil Last? Does Linseed Oil Go Bad?

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Shelf Life
Servings 1 Serving


  • Linseed oil
  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
  • Labels and markers


  • Read the guide thoroughly to learn how long it lasts.
  • Label your container with the content and date and keep track of how much you’re using!
  • Make sure to store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place (pantry or fridge).
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