Does Grapeseed Oil Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on September 29th, 2023

Curious about the shelf life of grapeseed oil? Many kitchens are switching to this heart-healthy oil, but it’s essential to know how to store it correctly and what signs indicate that it has gone bad. In this in-depth guide, we’ll delve into what grapeseed oil is, how to keep it fresh, and the tell-tale signs that it’s time to throw it away.

What Exactly Is Grapeseed Oil?

Grapeseed oil, made from the seeds of grapes, is increasingly lauded for its nutritional benefits. These seeds are usually a byproduct of winemaking, and only a small amount of oil can be extracted from them, making the oil relatively expensive. Rich in vitamin E and polyunsaturated fats, grapeseed oil has established itself as a healthier alternative to many other vegetable oils.

grape seed oil in a small jar. Selective focus. nature.

The Different Varieties of Grapeseed Oil

The market offers two primary extraction methods for grapeseed oil. The first, and most common, involves using chemical solvents, which produce a larger yield but may compromise some of the oil’s benefits. The second, often labeled as cold-pressed, extra virgin, or expeller-pressed, uses mechanical extraction, preserving the natural taste and color of the oil. This variant tends to be costlier but is often preferred for its quality. Always opt for oils in dark bottles to protect the product from damaging light exposure.

Can Grapeseed Oil Go Bad?

Absolutely, grapeseed oil can spoil over time. Unlike many foods that mold or visibly rot, oils typically deteriorate through oxidation. When exposed to oxygen, grapeseed oil can turn rancid, losing its beneficial properties and potentially posing a health risk if consumed over a long period. While oxidation is inevitable, taking steps in how you store your oil can slow down this process considerably.

Understanding the Shelf Life of Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil generally has a shelf life in line with other cooking oils. Most bottles will feature a ‘best-by’ date, which serves more as a guideline for peak freshness than an expiration date for safety. Even after this date, if you’ve stored your oil correctly, you can expect it to last for a few more months. However, once you break the seal, oxygen enters the bottle, accelerating oxidation. Still, if you’re diligent in sealing your bottle after use, you can expect up to six months of usability in the pantry and potentially a year if refrigerated.

How Grapeseed Oil Behaves in Different Environments

Unopened grapeseed oil stored at room temperature can last up to six months beyond its ‘best-by’ date. If frequently used, however, it will likely spoil much faster. In contrast, refrigeration extends unopened grapeseed oil’s life up to a year, but the benefit is diminished once the bottle is opened. The refrigerated and opened oil will last the same six months as it would in the pantry, though the cooler temperature may increase the chances of reaching that longevity.

You might wonder if you can freeze grapeseed oil for longer preservation. However, freezing oil does not protect it from spoilage and may even adversely affect its molecular structure. The extreme cold can destabilize the oil over time, making it unsuitable for later use. So, it’s best to keep your oil out of the freezer.

Signs Your Grapeseed Oil Has Spoiled

Since oils like grapeseed don’t show visible signs of spoilage like mold or discoloration, you must rely on your senses to determine its usability. A rancid smell—often metallic, bitter, or soapy—indicates that the oil has spoiled. Rancid oil loses not only its nutritional benefits but also impairs the flavors of the foods you’re preparing.

Best Practices for Storing Grapeseed Oil

When buying grapeseed oil, choose one in a dark bottle made of glass to prevent chemical leaching. Store your oil in a stable, cool, and dark environment, and always ensure the lid is tightly sealed to prevent exposure to air and moisture. Grapeseed oil has the advantage of not solidifying in the fridge, making it a convenient option for cold recipes like dressings.


Grapeseed oil offers versatility and significant health benefits, making it an ideal candidate for various culinary applications. When stored correctly, you can expect up to a year’s worth of usage, depending on the storage conditions. Being aware of the signs of spoilage can save you from a cooking disaster, keeping your dishes as delicious as they are nutritious. So, keep these tips in mind to get the most out of your grapeseed oil.


Editorial Staff

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