Does coconut oil expire?

Coconut oil is popular both for its uses in cooking as well as beauty treatments, but if you've been holding onto a jar of it for some time, then you might be curious if it's still good. While coconut oil does have a really long shelf life, it's also around 90 percent saturated fat and it's just not going to stay good forever (via Livestrong). When your coconut oil does eventually spoil, it should definitely be tossed out. 

There are a few key signs to look out for that may tip you off that your coconut oil is no longer good. The good news is that if stored properly, you can extend the shelf life so that you hopefully finish it before it spoils. 

Signs your coconut oil may be expired

Coconut oil does expire and most brands will have a "best by" date on the label. According to Green Future, the kind you buy can really make a huge difference in shelf life. Refined coconut oil, which is made with dried-out coconut meat, should keep safely for around 18 months. If you have a jar of virgin coconut oil, which is made with fresh coconut meat, that could stay good for up to five years because it retains more of the coconut's natural antioxidants. 

If you can't remember when you bought your jar of coconut oil, there are certain things you'll want to check that may signal that it's gone bad. Like most foods, smell is a strong indicator that things have gone south. If it smells sour rather than sweet, dump it. The liquid in it should also be clear or a milky white color. If it's yellow, toss it. The oil should also be smooth. If it's chunky or developing spots of mold… well, you know the drill. 

Keeping your coconut oil sealed and in the fridge will help it last longer, but the fridge isn't a must. You can also store it at room temp somewhere as long as it's in a nice, dry space out of direct sunlight.