Hydrosol Storage Tips and Guidelines
Pure hydrosols can be more fragile than their essential oil counterparts. Hydrosols do not have the same concentrated anti-bacterial properties that essential oils possess and are subject to much more rapid degradation, especially when improperly stored.
General Hydrosol Storage Guidelines
Due to the highly fragile nature of hydrosols, we strongly encourage our customers to use the following guidelines for storing and handling hydrosols:
Store Hydrosols Away from Direct Sunlight And Ideally In a Dark Location
Direct sunlight and UV rays are especially damaging to hydrosols. Repeated exposure to any light source may be damaging to hydrosols as well. Store your bottles in a room that does not receive much, if any direct sunlight. Ideally, store your bottles in a cabinet, container or boxes to protect them from all light sources.
Store Hydrosols in Amber or Dark Glass Bottles
Amber glass bottles are ideal for storing hydrosols. Amber glass is the most affordable dark colored glass, but cobalt glass is beautiful and is known to be equally effective in blocking out damaging sunlight. From Nature With Love ships hydrosols in plastic bottles to keep product and shipping costs reasonable. Larger glass bottles become costly and are more prone to breakage during transit. Since a number of our clients use their hydrosols in product formulation immediately after purchase, there is an added reason why it's not always necessary to ship hydrosols, in glass bottles. Unless you intend to use up your hydrosols immediately after delivery, we recommend that you transfer them into dark glass bottles as promptly as possible.
Do Not Keep Bottles Partially Full
The empty space inside a bottle of oil is called the "headspace." You can prolong the shelf life of your hydrosols by reducing this headspace. As an example, let's say that you have a 16 oz. bottle of neroli hydrosol that is only half full. You will prolong the shelf life of your neroli hydrosol by either transferring the hydrosol into an 8 oz. bottle or by transferring it into two 4 oz. or four 2 oz. bottles. Transferring a larger quantity of hydrosol into multiple smaller bottles helps you use only what you need later on.
When a bottle of hydrosol is left only partially full, the oxygen that also lives inside the bottle reacts with the hydrosol and begins to oxidize it. Oxidization can harm the fragile aromatic and therapeutic constituents of the hydrosol.
Keep Bottle Caps Tight
Oxygen is an enemy to hydrosols. Don't overly tighten your bottle caps as they could potentially break and allow oxygen in, but do always ensure that you keep all bottle caps screwed tightly onto each of your bottles of hydrosol.
Store Oils In a Dry, Cool Location
Store your hydrosols in a room that is kept cool and dry.
Hydrosols can be refrigerated (not frozen!) to prolong their shelf life.
Maintain the Integrity of Your Hydrosols
Don't allow unsterilized items like your fingers, cotton balls or other items to come into direct contact with the hydrosols you are storing. Instead, pour off the quantity that you need or measure it into a separate container and then work with that, leaving the integrity of the remaining hydrosols intact.
Keep a Record of the Date Purchased and Expected Shelf Life for Each Hydrosols
For convenience, write the date that you received the hydrosol on the label using a permanent marker. Also jot down the shelf life of the particular hydrosol. If you have a large grouping of hydrosols, you can purchase small circular Avery-style labels at office supply stores. Adhere the circular label to the top of the bottle cap and jot down the name of the hydrosol, the date received and shelf life of the oil. Placing these labels on the caps of each bottle can make it much easier to find the hydrosol that you are looking for.
Preserving Your Hydrosols
With the exception of our Witch Hazel Hydrosol, preservatives have not been added to our hydrosols. You may extend the shelf life of your hydrosols by adding 2% high-proof vodka.
Calculating the Percentage:
For this example, let's pretend that you purchased an 8 fl oz. bottle of Neroli Hydrosol and want to add 2% high-proof vodka to prolong its shelf life.
To calculate small percentages, it's often easiest to convert ounces into milliliters.
1 fl. ounce = 29.57 ml
If you purchased an 8 oz. quantity of one of our hydrosols, the total ml quantity is as follows:
29.57 ml (equivalent to 1 fl. ounce) x 8 fl ounces = 236.54 ml
To calculate how much alcohol to add to 236.54 ml of hydrosol, multiply this amount by 2%.
2% is the same as .02
236.54 x .02 = 4.73 ml of alcohol is needed. It is fine to round that measurement to 5 ml.
Our 1/2 oz. Measuring Cups with Pour Spout contain metric (ml) and ounce measurement marks. These small beakers are a great way to measure out 5 ml of alcohol. Simply measure out 5 ml of high-proof vodka into this measuring cup and add to your hydrosol.
Shelf Life of Hydrosols
Below is a list that displays the typical shelf lives for hydrosols when stored properly. When receiving new shipments of hydrosols, we recommend that you transfer the hydrosols to amber glass containers and then record the date of receipt and the shelf life on the label to help you keep track.
1 - 2 Years:
Lemon Balm (Melissa)
Important Note About Hydrosols vs. Floral Waters: Floral Waters are not the same as natural hydrosols. Floral waters are synthetic, water-soluble fragrances that can be used to make linen sprays, face & hair mists, body splashes and other water based products. Hydrosols are natural, more fragile and require greater care in storage and handling. For information on handling floral waters, please refer to the Floral Water Storage Tips and Guidelines article.