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Does Linseed Oil Go Bad? The Facts

Even though I can’t recall purchasing it, there is linseed oil in my garage. I only finished one of the many bottles I bought at once. I planned to crack open a new one because I figured the last one I opened six months ago had expired. Really, I was shocked that it hadn’t!

Linseed oil spoils, but not if it is kept in its raw form and stored somewhere dark and out of the sun. After enough time has passed in the bottle, it should be cured. To “go bad” takes years, therefore it’s quite improbable that anyone would actually see it happen.

Most spoiled linseed oil isn’t raw or wasn’t stored correctly. You’ll learn from this piece how to prevent your linseed oil from going bad and what to do if you think some of your oil may already be spoiled. Let’s begin by discussing the oil’s storage life so you know how your bottle is doing.

What Is The Shelf Life For Linseed Oil?

If linseed oil is stored in its original container, not reprocessed, and the depth of the container is sufficient, it can be kept for up to four years. It’s possible that a single layer of linseed oil, let to cure inside the container, may be ready to use in a few weeks. However, despite the “best by” date on the bottle, linseed oil can usually be used for several years after it has passed.

Consequently, there is little danger that your linseed oil has gone rancid if the container is less than four years old, unless…

Now that the bottle has been broken into, the oil has a strange odor.
We’ve boiled the linseed oil, and it’s already starting to solidify.
There is an artificial hue to the oil.
If the oil shows no signs of spoilage after its “best by” date has passed, then it is safe to use. Because manufacturers are required to establish a minimum shelf life for a specific category of items, the “best by” date is included.

Linseed oil, from what I’ve seen, has a long shelf life. This post is the oldest thing I’ve seen by 25 years!

There is no genuine ideal usage time limit for raw linseed oil, however manufacturers of the oil must comply with the regulation because it belongs within this federal class.

Observe the tweet down below. This linseed oil, which this guy claims to have used for more than 25 years, is clearly ancient. In other words, it’s quality material.

https://twitter.com/TrussyPaul/status/1436056247086747649?

s=20&t=Zrk-Ci6M7rPvCPfbt 8h5A
This bottle of linseed oil must be at least 25 years old.
Fresh linseed oil and old oil in a bottle are virtually indistinguishable, at least in my opinion. Naturally, this is only the case with raw linseed oil. The oil’s shelf life may be shortened by the use of certain additives or processing methods.

Is linseed oil glue-proof? In order to understand my reasoning, please read on. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be astonished.

Does Boiled Linseed Oil Go bad?

Once boiled linseed oil begins to solidify, it loses its usefulness and must be discarded. This is due to the fact that during the process, drying chemicals are introduced, hastening the oil’s hardening to the point where it can no longer remain in liquid form.

I always wondered why the full bottle didn’t turn to solid overnight given that boiled linseed oil hardens in just 24 hours.

David
@davidfreegle1
https://t.co/PEBOuWaqhR https://t.co/0kAPYGvyG9 OFFER: Bottle of linseed oil (Sunninghill SL5)
5:15 AM · Jun 29, 2018
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Linseed Oil That Has Been Boiled
To answer your queries, I looked into what affects the curing time for linseed and found the following:

When linseed oil is stored in a container, whether it has been boiled or not, the molecules inside are protected from air and so have a decreased chance of getting rancid. When the oil is boiled, air and heat activate the drying agents in the oil.
Drying takes longer when there is more oil in the bottle because the drying agents have to spend more time out in the open air. Oil in bottles is too thick for the curing drying chemicals to obtain the exposure they need.
While the container solves the problems of depth and air exposure, there is still the issue of the oil overheating. A week is all it takes for boiled oil exposed to sunlight to go rancid.

To that end, if you have a jar of linseed oil, you should check to confirm that it is adequately stocked and securely sealed. The bottle is best stored in a cool, dark place. If not, the oil will solidify and have a foul odor.

Although linseed oil is fantastic, you may also want to consider Tru oil or Danish oil. Both of these coatings are excellent choices, and I will go through the differences between them in this piece.

What Can You Do With Old Linseed Oil?

Used linseed oil is best put to use as a surface coating for some artistic endeavors or as fire fuel in outdoor settings. When the oil is gone, the wood it was used to coat will no longer be scratch-resistant.

Based on the many interpretations of “bad,” this table describes the various applications for used oil.

Despite its unpleasant odor, linseed oil is a useful fuel for campfires and other open-air fires.
Raw oil is beginning to solidify; it can be combined with beeswax to create coating wax for use on relatively small areas.
Use the oil in situations where the slight change in color from the tint interference won’t be noticeable.
Summary table illustrating the range of unacceptable uses for linseed oil

How To Dispose Of Old Linseed Oil?

Do not throw out spoiled linseed oil in the trash since it can catch fire if not properly disposed of.

Here are some guidelines for properly discarding used linseed oil:

In the event that you have an above-ground P-trap (sink, toilet, or shower), you should not pour linseed oil down it because the U-turn in your sink’s plumbing is designed to capture solids. If there is any oil remaining in the catch, it can solidify.
Although it is not biodegradable, boiled linseed oil hardens quickly and can be disposed of as a solid. Pouring it in thick layers on a sturdy surface allows you to remove semi-solid portions the next day. These may be put in a trash can for easy disposal.
After being diluted, raw linseed oil can be flushed down the toilet. A 1:5 ratio of linseed oil to oil solvent makes it safe for disposal.
Instead of diluting or hardening linseed oil, you can just take the bottle to any petrol station and ask the workers to dispose of it in a hazardous wastebin. The majority of service stations include a designated trash can for flammable materials.

Can Boiled Linseed Oil Go Rancid?

In the extremely unlikely event that boiled linseed oil is exposed to air for an extended period of time but is not deep enough to dry, it will become rancid. Oil usually “cures” where it is used instead of growing rancid. Because of the drying agents, oil can sometimes go rancid after being produced.

Raw oil is less prone to go rancid than refined oil because it can’t be exposed to light like refined oil can. If you have reason to believe that a given container contains spoiled linseed oil, you can find alternative uses for it by consulting the table provided previously in this article.

Rare Discoveries by Paincorp: A True #Firestarter
@paincorprf
Linseed oil bottle with vintage label: https://t.co/mdZG228Kbe https://t.co/HJvZoA8xff
2:57 PM · Jan 6, 2021
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Linseed oil in a dusty old bottle

What Is Bad About Linseed Oil?

The fact that linseed oil, especially while liquid, might catch fire without provocation is just one of its many drawbacks. To properly dispose of linseed oil, even the rags used to apply the finish must be allowed to air dry.

Final Thoughts – Does Linseed Oil Go Bad?

Self-preservation is not a major concern when working with raw linseed oil. If properly stored, even linseed oil that has been heated will remain use long after its “best before” date.

However, linseed oil quality can be negatively impacted by exposure to sunlight and air. Oil that has lost its color, acquired an unpleasant odor, or changed in consistency can be recycled as a fuel for fires or safely disposed of after being diluted.

 

 

 

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