Whether you’ve purchased rose water from your favourite brand, or whether you’ve made it yourself, you might wonder – does rose water expire?
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Yes, rose water does expire. If your rose water has changed color or has a strange smell – these are signs that your rose water has expired. However, there are methods you can use to make your rose water last longer, particularly if you are making it yourself.
How Long Does Rose Water Last For?
Unfortunately, rose water does expire. The main shortcoming of making homemade, organic rose water is that, just like everything in nature, it has a limited shelf-life.
For many store-bought brands of rose water, there is no expiration date on the label. You can easily use store-bought rose water for up to two years from when it was first opened.
For homemade rose water solutions, the shelf-life depends on the kind of method you used during the preparation stage. If you used the simmering process to make your rose water, it may last up to two weeks.
If you used the distillation process to make your rose water, stay assured that you can keep it in your pantry for up to 6 months. With both methods, these are only general timeframes that you should take into account. Be sure to test your rose water beforehand. Use your sense of smell and taste to judge whether the rose water is still good to use.
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How Can I Tell If My Rose Water Has Gone Bad?
If your rose water has expired, you may notice an off, wooden-like smell to it. You might also notice that it has turned green or brown in color.
If both the scent and the appearance seem to be in order, it’s recommended to patch-test it on a small part of your skin, usually on the wrist. Rub a bit of the concoction in and wait 24 hours. If you notice any redness, flaking, patchiness or irritation on the spot where you used it after a full day, make sure to discard the rose water and make yourself a new, fresh batch.
However, if your skin seems to be doing perfectly fine, you should give it a go and use it as a tonic, spray perfume, body mist, or just to cool down in this beautiful July heat after a long day in your garden!
How To Prevent Rose Water From Expiring
Usually, it’s just age that makes your rose water expire. However there are definitely some things which make your rose water expire faster, and if you’ve spent hard earned money on pricey brands you’ll want to ensure your water stays fresh for that full two years!
There are also ways to prolong the life of your DIY homemade rose water too.
How To Store Rose Water
To make your store-purchased rose water or your DIY rose water last longer, ensure it is properly stored. This is the number one cause of rose water going bad and expiring quickly.
I like to store mine in the fridge – you don’t have to do that, but ensure you store it somewhere cool and dark.
Bright sunlight speeds up the decay process and causes cosmetics to expire. It also alters the natural chemical balance of your ingredients so even if your rose water was designed for your skin, after prolonged time in the sun it might cause a reaction.
If you haven’t used yours for a while, ensure you patch test a small amount on your skin first, before use.
Use The Best Roses
If you want your rose water to last, it’s a good idea to start with the best roses to begin with! You want strong, fresh roses, preferably the damask variety. Your petals must have no obvious signs of decay or browning to them.
Of course, they must also be organic, otherwise not only are you making rose water without knowing the ingredients going into it, but you don’t know if you’ll react to potentially toxic pesticides. A lot of chemicals applied to flowers to ensure they grow and bloom is definitely not safe for use on skin!
Ensure You Follow The Right Recipe
If you don’t process your rose water correctly, it can ‘go off’ super fast! Click here to read our super simple DIY rose water recipe and make your own long-lasting batch!
(Our recipe for twice-distilled rose water can actually last a full year – recipe is at the link above).
You’ll want to make sure you follow the correct temperature, use the right materials to cook with, and follow the timings.
If your rose water goes green or yellow, it’s a sign you cannot use your rose water!
Following the recipe correctly from the start can help you make sure your DIY rose water lasts as long as possible.
Keep Air Out!
Ensure your rose water is stored with a lid. Ideally, you’ll have kept your DIY rose water in a bottle or spray container. If you’ve purchased your rose water from a store, you’ll want to make sure you don’t lose that lid!
Having a lid on your rose water bottle isn’t just for appearances sake and a pretty bottle! It actually prevents air and bacteria from getting in which – you guessed it – can speed up the decay of your rose water. Keep the lid on, and if you lose it make a DIY one out of cling film or a spare bottle!
Can I Keep Rose Water In The Fridge?
You can put your rose water in the fridge, and if it’s homemade it will prolong the life of your rose water by approximately 1 week. However storing your rose water in the freezer makes it last for 2-3 weeks longer and possibly even beyond that – just keep an eye on the color and scent.
I LOVE to put my rose water into ice cube trays, especially at this time of year! There’s nothing quite like the cooling, gorgeously scented ice cube being rubbed over your face on a boiling hot day. The good news is that freezing your rose water helps it to stay fresh and prevents it from expiring so quickly.
However keep an eye on the ice cubes every now and then – if they start to turn brown, or change color in any other way – ditch them. It’s time to whip up a fresh batch instead!
Using ice cubes for your rose water helps you to not need a preservative too.
Use A Preservative
If you want to truly prolong the life of your natural, home made rose water, you can add a preservative to it. Don’t panic, these don’t necessarily have to be toxic, drying chemicals.
Adding a few drops of plain, organic alcohol can extend the shelf life of your DIY rose water. Your store-bought version probably already contains it, as adding alcohol is one of the key ways to preserve cosmetics and face / body care products.
You can also add an essential oil to your homemade rose water. This is my favourite way to extend the life of my rose water and prevent it expiring! Of course, ensure your essential oil has been stored properly and is germ / toxin / bacteria free, which it should be if you haven’t had it for too long and you’ve kept it well-stored.
A final note –
If you want to make sure your homemade rose water solution stays fresh for as long as possible, the main way to do this is during the distillation process.
Distilling rose water (as detailed here) helps to kill off all bacteria and germs, which are the main cause of your rose water expiring.
If you’ve purchased rose water from a store, and you’re wondering how to keep it fresh for longer, your key way to preserve your water is all in the storage.
Keep it out of bright sunlight and extreme temperatures, keep that lid on, and your rose water will stay fresh and cooling you down all summer long. And beyond the summer too!
If your rose water has turned green, and you’re wondering what’s wrong with it – you have to read this article! or, if you’ve made some rose water and now you want to make something else, give this a try. You’ll never regret whipping up a batch of this!
Right, I’m off to make a fresh batch of rose water – and I’m going to make ice cubes with it! 🙂