What Type of Plastic is Safe for Essential Oils? HDPE and PET Packaging

Are you aware of the potential risks lurking in your plastic containers, especially pet bottles?

Type of Plastic is Safe for Essential Oils

Not all types of plastic, including glass bottle, are safe for storing essential oils. The safety of plastic containers must be carefully considered to ensure the integrity and quality of your precious essential oils.

Different plastics, such as glass spray bottles, have varying levels of compatibility with these potent substances.

So, how do you know which type of plastic is safe for your essential oils and their shelf life?

By understanding the potential risks and benefits associated with different plastics, you can make informed decisions about how to best store your beloved essential oils.

Choosing the right type of plastic food containers or glass bottles is crucial for ensuring the safety of your essential oil storage.

Let’s delve into this topic further to uncover everything you need to know about using carrier oils and steel containers for storing essential oils.

Safe Containers for Essential Oils: Choosing the Right Type of Plastic

Not all plastics, aluminum containers, and steel containers are created equal. It’s important to choose the right type of plastic container, aluminum containers, or steel containers that is specifically designed to be compatible with essential oils, bottle.

Here are some key factors to consider when selecting a safe plastic container, aluminum containers, or steel containers for your precious oils, bottle, shelf life.

Chemical Resistance and Stability

One of the most crucial aspects to look for in a plastic container, such as steel containers, is its chemical resistance and stability. Essential oils contain potent compounds that can react with certain plastics, like thermoplastic, leading to degradation or contamination of the oil.

To ensure the shelf life and integrity of your essential oils, opt for plastics like bottles that are resistant to these chemical interactions.

High-Quality Food-Grade Plastics

To guarantee the highest level of safety for your essential oils, it’s advisable to choose high-quality food-grade plastics or steel containers. These types of plastics and steel containers undergo rigorous testing and adhere to strict regulations set by health authorities.

They are specifically designed for food storage purposes and offer excellent compatibility with essential oils as well as other DIY products like bottles. Steel containers and food-grade plastics have common uses in storing and preserving essential oils.

Glass Bottles: A Preferred Option

While glass bottles can be suitable for storing essential oils, many enthusiasts prefer glass bottles due to their superior qualities. Glass is non-reactive, meaning it won’t interact chemically with the oil or alter its composition over time.

Glass provides an airtight seal, ensuring no air or moisture enters the bottle and compromises the quality of your precious oils. Glass containers are commonly used for storing food products and are made from a durable material like steel.

If you decide to go with high quality plastic bottles, there are various options available for plastic products. These bottles have common uses and can be easily identified by the recycling symbol.

  • Glass spray bottles are ideal for creating DIY room sprays or perfume blends using pure essential oils. They are a great alternative to plastic products, ensuring high quality and preserving the potency of lemon oil.
  • HDPE plastic glass dropper bottles: Perfect for precise measurements when using essential oils in recipes or skincare products.
  • Roll-on glass bottles are convenient for applying diluted essential oil blends directly onto the skin, without the need for plastic products.

Alternatives to Plastic

If you prefer alternatives to plastic and glass, there are other options worth considering, such as using a bottle made from thieves oil or tea tree oil.

  • Aluminum containers: These containers offer excellent protection against light, heat, and moisture for plastic bottles and plastic products. However, it’s essential to ensure the interior of the container is lined with a suitable material to prevent any potential reactions between the aluminum and essential oils.
  • Stainless steel containers: These durable containers are another safe option for storing essential oils, especially for those who prefer to avoid plastic bottles and plastic products. They provide excellent protection against light and are resistant to chemical interactions.
  • Water bottles: Some high-quality water bottles made from BPA-free plastics can be suitable for short-term storage of essential oil blends.

The Benefits of Dark Glass Containers for Preserving Essential Oil Quality

Superior Protection Against Light Exposure

The type of container you choose, such as plastic bottles, can make a significant difference in preserving the quality of plastic products. Dark glass containers, such as amber or cobalt blue, offer superior protection against light exposure.

Unlike clear glass containers that allow direct sunlight to penetrate through, colored glass acts as a shield, preventing harmful UV rays from degrading the oils.

Preserving Therapeutic Properties

Using dark glass bottles is essential to preserve the therapeutic properties of oils. Light exposure can cause oxidation and break down the chemical compounds in the oils.

By using colored glass bottles, you provide an extra layer of defense against this degradation process, ensuring the potency and integrity of the oils for longer periods.

Added Protection Against Oxidation

Oxidation is another factor that can impact the quality of essential oils. When exposed to air, some oils may undergo oxidation reactions which lead to rancidity and diminished effectiveness.

Dark glass bottles significantly reduce the amount of oxygen that comes into contact with the oil, thus minimizing oxidation risks and extending its shelf life.

To summarize:

  • Dark glass bottles shield essential oils from harmful UV rays.
  • They prevent light-induced degradation and preserve therapeutic properties.
  • These containers reduce oxidation risks and extend shelf life.

Now let’s delve deeper into why colored glass is so effective in safeguarding your precious essential oils:

Light Protection Mechanism

The color of dark glass plays a crucial role in protecting your essential oils from light damage. Amber and cobalt blue are commonly used because they effectively block out UV rays while still allowing some visible light to pass through.

This selective filtration ensures that your oils are not completely deprived of light but are shielded from its harmful effects.

Photodegradation Prevention

Exposing essential oils to direct sunlight or bright artificial light can lead to photodegradation. This process breaks down the delicate chemical compounds present in the oils, diminishing their therapeutic value.

Dark glass containers act as a barrier, preventing light from initiating these destructive reactions.

Shielding from Heat

In addition to protecting against light, dark glass containers also offer some insulation against heat. Extreme temperatures can accelerate oil deterioration and volatility. By storing your essential oils in colored glass, you provide them with a more stable environment that helps maintain their quality over time.

Choosing the Right Grade of Glass

When selecting dark glass containers for your essential oils, it’s important to consider the quality of the glass itself. Opt for high-grade glass that is specifically designed for storing sensitive substances like essential oils.

These glasses undergo rigorous testing and are less likely to interact chemically with the oils or leach harmful substances into them.

To ensure you’re getting the best protection:

  1. Look for amber or cobalt blue colored glass containers.
  2. Check that they are made from high-grade glass suitable for storing essential oils.
  3. Avoid clear or plastic containers that offer minimal protection against light exposure when storing thieves oil.

PET, PETE, and PETG Plastics for Essential Oil Storage

It’s important to consider the type of plastic used in containers. Three common types you may come across are PET (polyethylene terephthalate), PETE (polyethylene terephthalate ethylene), and PETG (polyethylene terephthalate glycol).

These plastics are widely used in various industries due to their durability and chemical resistance.

Potential Leaching Concerns

While PET, PETE, and PETG plastics offer good chemical resistance, there are concerns about potential leaching when storing essential oils for extended periods. Essential oils contain powerful compounds that can interact with certain materials, including plastics.

Over time, these compounds may break down the plastic molecules and lead to contamination of the oils.

Short-Term Use vs. Long-Term Storage

For short-term use or DIY products where essential oils will be consumed quickly, such as homemade cleaners or room sprays, using containers made from PET, PETE, or PETG plastics may be acceptable.

However, if you plan on storing your essential oils for an extended period or want to ensure the purity of your oils remains intact over time, it is recommended to transfer them into glass containers.

The Benefits of Glass Containers

Glass containers provide a safer option for long-term storage of essential oils due to their non-reactive nature. They do not release any harmful chemicals that could contaminate your precious oils. Glass is impermeable to air and moisture compared to plastic containers.

This helps maintain the potency and quality of your essential oils by preventing oxidation.

Making the Switch from Plastic to Glass

If you currently have essential oil bottles made from PET, PETE, or PETG plastics and want to switch to glass containers for long-term storage, here are some simple steps to follow:

  1. Gather your PET, PETE, or PETG plastic bottles of essential oils.
  2. Clean the bottles thoroughly with mild soap and warm water to remove any residue.
  3. Rinse the bottles well to ensure all soap is removed.
  4. Allow the bottles to air dry completely before proceeding.
  5. Purchase glass containers suitable for storing essential oils. Amber or cobalt blue glass is often recommended as it helps protect the oils from light degradation.
  6. Carefully transfer the essential oils from the plastic bottles into the new glass containers using a small funnel if needed.
  7. Make sure to label each container with the name of the oil and date of transfer.

High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE): A Safe and Versatile Option for Essential Oils

What is HDPE?

High-Density Polyethylene, commonly known as HDPE, is a type of plastic that is widely used in various industries. It is recognized for its exceptional durability and chemical resistance. HDPE is made from petroleum and consists of long chains of ethylene monomers.

This versatile plastic offers a range of benefits that make it an ideal choice for storing essential oils.

Safety First: Low Risk of Leaching

Safety should be a top priority. You want to ensure that the container you use will not interact with the oils and compromise their quality or potency. HDPE has been deemed safe for storing essential oils due to its low risk of leaching.

Unlike some other types of plastics, HDPE does not contain harmful chemicals like phthalates or bisphenol A (BPA) that can potentially leach into the oils over time. This means that your precious essential oils will remain pure and untainted when stored in an HDPE container.

Versatility at Its Finest

HDPE containers are commonly used for packaging and storing a wide variety of products, including essential oils. The versatility of HDPE makes it an excellent choice for different applications.

Whether you need small bottles for personal use or larger containers for bulk storage, there are numerous options available in the market. Many reputable brands offer high-quality HDPE bottles specifically designed for essential oil storage.

Durability That Lasts

Essential oils are often concentrated substances that require proper protection from external factors such as light, heat, and moisture. Thankfully, HDPE containers excel in providing a protective environment for your precious oils.

The durable nature of HDPE ensures that your essential oils remain shielded from light exposure, which can cause degradation over time. This robust plastic can withstand a wide range of temperatures, making it suitable for storing oils that may require refrigeration or exposure to higher heat levels.

Affordable and Accessible

When searching for the perfect container to store your essential oils, affordability is an important factor to consider. HDPE offers a cost-effective solution without compromising on quality.

Compared to some other types of plastics, HDPE containers are generally more affordable. This accessibility makes them an ideal choice for those who want to store their essential oils without breaking the bank.

Polypropylene (PP): Another Nontoxic Plastic Choice for Essential Oil Containers

If you’re into essential oils, you know how important it is to store them properly. The right container can make all the difference in preserving their potency and ensuring their safety. One popular choice for essential oil containers is polypropylene (PP).

Let’s take a closer look at why PP is a great option for storing your precious oils.

Excellent Chemical Resistance

Chemical resistance is crucial. You want a container that won’t react with the oils and compromise their quality. That’s where polypropylene shines. It has excellent chemical resistance, meaning it won’t leach harmful substances into your oils.

Nontoxic and Resistant to High Temperatures

Safety should always be a top priority when dealing with any product that comes in contact with your body. Fortunately, PP is known for being nontoxic, making it a safe choice for essential oil storage. It can withstand high temperatures without melting or releasing toxic chemicals.

Durability for Long-Term Use

Essential oils are meant to be enjoyed over time, so you need a container that can withstand repeated use without degradation. PP containers are incredibly durable and can handle the wear and tear of daily use. Whether you’re using them at home or on the go, PP containers will stand up to the test of time.

Long-Term Storage Solutions

Properly caring for your essential oils includes finding suitable long-term storage solutions. PP containers are up to the task! With their durability and chemical resistance, they provide an ideal environment for preserving your oils’ integrity over extended periods.

When choosing a plastic bottle or container for essential oil storage, keep an eye out for the recycling symbol with the number 5 inside it – this indicates polypropylene (PP). By opting for PP containers, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your oils are protected.

Polypropylene is part of the polyester family and has a wide range of common uses beyond essential oil containers. Some examples include:

  • Food packaging
  • Automotive parts
  • Medical equipment
  • Toys and household items

Its versatility and safety make it a trusted material in various industries.

Ensuring Airtight Storage: Essential Oil Care and Maintenance Tips

Properly sealing your essential oil containers helps prevent evaporation and oxidation.

Ensuring airtight storage is crucial. Properly sealed containers help prevent the evaporation and oxidation of your precious oils, ensuring their longevity and effectiveness. To achieve this, consider the following tips:

  1. Choose appropriate containers: Opt for dark-colored glass bottles or high-quality plastic containers specifically designed for storing essential oils. These materials provide excellent protection against light exposure and are less likely to react with the oils.
  2. Invest in caps with built-in droppers or reducers: Using caps with built-in droppers or reducers allows you to control the amount of oil dispensed while maintaining an airtight seal. This prevents unnecessary exposure to air, reducing the risk of oxidation.
  3. Avoid leaving bottles open for extended periods: Leaving essential oil bottles uncapped for too long can lead to evaporation and loss of potency. Always ensure that your bottles are tightly sealed when not in use.

Store your essential oils in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight or heat sources to maintain their quality.

Proper storage conditions play a vital role in preserving the quality of your essential oils. Follow these guidelines to ensure optimal storage:

  1. Choose an ideal location: Find a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight or heat sources like radiators or stoves. Excessive heat can accelerate the breakdown of essential oils, diminishing their therapeutic properties.
  2. Consider using a dedicated storage box: Keep your collection organized by storing your essential oils in a wooden box or cabinet specifically designed for this purpose. These boxes often have compartments that help protect each bottle from light exposure and potential damage.
  3. Keep them out of reach of children and pets: Essential oils should always be stored safely out of reach from curious hands or paws. While they offer numerous benefits, some oils can be harmful if ingested or applied improperly.

Regularly check the condition of your plastic containers to ensure they remain intact and free from cracks or leaks.

While glass bottles are often preferred for storing essential oils, high-quality plastic containers can also be suitable. If you choose to use plastic, it’s important to regularly inspect them for any signs of damage:

  1. Examine for cracks or leaks: Inspect your plastic containers carefully, ensuring they remain intact without any visible cracks or leaks. Damaged containers can compromise the integrity of your oils and may lead to contamination or evaporation.
  2. Consider using PET or HDPE plastics: When selecting plastic containers, opt for those made from PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) or HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene), as these materials are generally more resistant to chemical interactions with essential oils.

Making Informed Choices for Safe Essential Oil Storage

To ensure the safety and quality of essential oils, it’s crucial to choose the right containers. Opt for dark glass (amber or cobalt blue) to shield against UV light, which can cause degradation.

Alternatively, consider PET, PETE, PETG, HDPE, or PP plastics. Maintain airtight storage in a cool, dark cupboard. Investing in quality containers will help preserve your valuable oils, ensuring their long-lasting benefits.

When storing citrus oils, keep in mind their high acidity, which can affect certain container materials. Additionally, ensure your containers have a secure lid to prevent odor leakage and maintain freshness.

Avoid storing essential oils near furniture, textiles, or disposable products, as their potency could affect these items. Use a carrier oil like almond or coconut oil to dilute essential oils for safe application.

Always follow proper storage guidelines and be aware of the resin identification code when choosing containers. Lastly, enjoy the therapeutic benefits of your essential oils, whether in the kitchen, as part of your skincare routine, or for aromatherapy.


Can I use any type of plastic container for storing essential oils?

A: No, not all types of plastic are suitable for storing essential oils. It is important to choose plastics that are resistant to chemical leaching and provide airtight storage to preserve the quality of the oils.

Why are dark glass containers recommended for storing essential oils?

Dark glass containers, such as amber or cobalt blue bottles, offer protection against UV light that can degrade essential oils over time. They help maintain the potency and quality of the oils.

What is HDPE plastic, and why is it considered safe for essential oil storage?

HDPE (high-density polyethylene) is a durable and chemically resistant plastic commonly used in various industries. It provides a safe option for long-term storage of essential oils without leaching harmful chemicals into the oil.

Is polypropylene (PP) a safe choice for storing essential oils?

Yes, polypropylene (PP) is considered a nontoxic plastic suitable for storing essential oils. It offers durability and high-temperature resistance without contaminating the oil with harmful chemicals.

How should I care for my essential oil bottles to ensure their longevity?

To maintain the quality of your essential oil bottles, keep them tightly sealed when not in use and store them in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight or heat sources. This will help prevent oxidation and preserve the oils’ therapeutic properties.