Decanting Essential Oils + Fixing Broken Bottles

If you collect a lot of different essential oils from a lot of different brands, chances are you’ve learned that not all bottles are created equal. They might look the same, but some of them totally suck. The oil either comes out super slowly or not at all.

I got a really awesome set of oils for Christmas that I love the smell of. Tragically only one or two of them had ANY flow – the rest were defective bottles. Poking pins inside, rinsing it out, nothing worked.

Here’s the offending set of oils. Not going to rep the brand, but the blends smell pretty nice, at least.

Later, I happened to be on Amazon and looked up the set. Surprise surprise – the reviews were entirely full of the same comments! Product is good but the bottles are the worst. It’s a common problem.

So today I’ll show you a little DIY about how to come up with a solution for this, once and for all!

Materials Needed

  • a poking tool (I used a mechanical pencil without any led in it)
  • labels (or paper, tape, and scissors)
  • a ziplock baggie
  • amber glass bottles with droppers

The exact bottles that I used are the ones linked below. They’re really awesome, you get 12 in a pack, and the quality is excellent. Plus they look very cool.

Why do we store essential oils in amber glass?

First of all, we know that essential oils can contain some pretty powerful chemicals. That means that they can corrode or react with certain materials – like plastic, rubber, or metal. Glass is the least reactive and so the safest for the oils to live in.

Secondly, sunlight and time are essential oil’s worst enemies. You can’t exactly stop time from passing, but you can stop them from getting too broken down from the sun by keeping them in amber glass. Many oils will lose their potency from sunlight.

And specific to these bottles that I used, it’s awesome to have the little pipette instead of just a cheap plastic dropper top. I find it’s way easier to measure out this way.

Step One: Label the Bottles

So that you don’t run any risk of forgetting what’s in each bottle (unless your nose is so powerful you’ll be able to tell), label your bottle before you put anything in it.

Apply labels before filling the bottles so that you don’t forget what’s inside!

For a cute DIY look, just grab a tiny square of paper and a pen to create a label. I was decanting oil blends, so I wanted to include all the ingredients on the label. But if you’re just decanting a single oil, you can make something smaller. Apply scotch tape over the whole paper to make it water (or oil) proof.

Alternatively, you could use a label maker or print out labels from the computer for a cleaner look. Up to you!

Step Two: Remove the Oil Cap

Since you might be removing a cap that barely works, it’s best to just remove it. It’s a lot easier than it seems!

The standard clear plastic dispenser caps usually have a tiny secret dent in them. This makes it way easier to remove them. You need a sharp metal tool to do this – I used a mechanical pencil without any led it in.

Wedge your tool under the plastic lid at the dent, and carefully slide it around to boost the cap up out of the opening. It might take a little practice to get the hang of this, but you can do it!

Look for the dent in the cap to make removing easier!

If for some reason you don’t see a dent (and one of mine didn’t have one, oddly), you can still remove the cap by using an exacto knife or similar to get under the edge. Just be super careful not to stab yourself.

Place the extracted caps into the ziplock baggie to dispose of them. They smell really strongly and can leak oil, hence the sealed bag!

Also, while you’re doing this step, try to be careful about getting the essential oil all over your hands. Some is inevitable, but you might find your skin irritated by too much contact. Safety is key!

Step Three: Transfer Oil to New Container

If you have a tiny funnel, you could probably just dump the oil into the new containers using that. But there’s a risk for spillage, and I didn’t want to get the oil on more surfaces than necessary.

Just use the pipette from the new bottle to carefully transfer the oil from one bottle to the other.

Use the pipette to make the job way tidier.

When the oil is all transferred, seal the bottles up tightly. You can recycle your old bottles according to your local recycling guidelines, or store them for something else later…which is what I did. TBD what I do with them.

And that’s really all there is to it! I store all these bottles (along with a few choice others) on a wooden tray beside my diffuser. They’re easy to access and look awesome.

If you liked this post, consider sharing it on Pinterest using the image below!


1 thought on “Decanting Essential Oils + Fixing Broken Bottles”

  1. Pingback: Essential Oils for Anxiety Aromatherapy • The Lucky Sprout

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I'm Rebecca, a Nova Scotian writer, designer, and entrepreneur. This website is my personal blog and creative hub. I hope you find something cool and inspiring here!

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