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Glass Bottles for Essential Oils FAQ

Essential oils in glass bottles

One of the most important parts of operating a successful essential oils business is ensuring your products are bottled and labeled properly to protect them from environmental damage. Essential oils are delicate and are quick to degrade when they’re not protected from UV light.

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about glass bottles for essential oils — the different types of essential oil bottles, including the pros and cons of each, and some of the most commonly asked questions about bottling and packaging essential oils.

What is an Essential Oil Bottle?

An essential oil bottle is designed to both house and dispense essential oils. Although some essential oil bottles are made from impermeable plastics like PET, the vast majority of essential oils are packaged in glass bottles because essential oils are extremely potent. Many types of essential oils are corrosive enough to break down plastic containers over time, making plastic an unpopular choice for bottling most types of essential oils. Glass bottles are inert and won’t deteriorate when exposed to essential oils.

Types of Essential Oil Bottles

Essential oil bottles come in many different sizes, typically ranging from 1ml to 30ml. But the 10ml bottle is by far the most frequently used size for packaging pure essential oils. Bottles as large as 4oz can be used with some types of essential oils products. These larger containers typically house diluted essential oil-infused products like room sprays or body misters. 

Nearly every essential oil bottle comes with a cap dispenser. The most common types are a dropper insert and a dropper cap. Dropper inserts are a popular choice, because they allow for very precise control over how much oil is used. Dropper inserts are flat caps that allow single drops of oil to be easily dispensed. There are two main types of dropper inserts. A vertical dropper dispenses single drops of oil when turned upside down, while a horizontal dropper dispenses oil at the rim when tilted sideways. 

Glass pipette dropper tops are another popular dispensing system. These work by squeezing a small rubber bulb at the top of the cap to draw the essential oil into a pipette for dispensing. 

Learn more: Dropper Bottle Size Guide

Frequently Asked Questions About Glass Bottles for Essential Oils

There’s quite a lot to consider when searching for the best essential oil bottles. In this section, we’ll provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on this topic. 

Can essential oils be stored in plastic rather than glass bottles?

The short answer is it depends. Pure essential oils are highly concentrated and can easily corrode plastic bottles over time. However, some plastic materials are less prone to being permeated by essential oils and can work under certain circumstances. Glass, on the other hand, has the advantage of being completely inert and won’t degrade over time like some plastics will. Plastic containers may be a better choice for bottling less-concentrated liquids and creams like essential oil-infused lotions or cosmetics. 

Why do essential oils break down plastic?

Essential oils are raw, highly concentrated plant-based compounds, and plastic is generally porous in nature. The compounds in essential oils permeate and interact with plastic and cause rapid erosion. As a result, many essential oils will easily break down plastic containers. Additionally, when the essential oils interact with permeable plastic, compounds in the plastic can leach into the essential oils, significantly impacting their purity and effectiveness.

Do essential oils need to be stored in dark bottles?    

Sunlight is a leading cause of spoilage. Both visible and invisible (UV) light can negatively impact the quality of most essential oils. Dark blue and green glass offers some protection from visible light, but does little to protect the oils from the most damaging UV rays. Amber-colored glass is unique in its ability to block most UV rays. That’s why this color is so popular when it comes to protecting the products that are most susceptible to UV damage, like essential oils and alcohol. 

Does frosted glass protect essential oils?

Any type of clear glass will be more prone to allowing sunlight to interact with the essential oils. Frosted glass does little to block visible or UV light sources. Amber-colored glass is the gold standard when it comes to protecting quality essential oils from the effects of sunlight exposure.

Are there alternatives to amber-colored bottles?

For those who don’t like the look of amber-colored bottles, there are a few alternatives. One option for packaging essential oils is to use cobalt blue bottles. These bottles provide more protection from visible light than clear bottles do. But, unfortunately, they don’t block UV light like amber bottles do. If you’re still interested in using clear glass or another type of colored glass, consider using a label that covers nearly all of the bottle. A strategically placed solid color label can block out much of the visible and UV light from interacting with the essential oils. Additionally, you can put your essential oil bottles in a protective carton display that will sit on the retailer’s shelf. 

Protect Your Essential Oils With Glass Bottles

With few exceptions, glass bottles are the best choice for packaging essential oils. Glass bottles won’t degrade over time, and they come in a variety of colors well suited to protect them from harmful UV exposure. You don’t have to skimp on style to ensure your essential oils will maintain their quality throughout their storage life.

Our team serves essential oils brands of all sizes, helping them to create packaging labels that make them stand out on the shelf. We’re ready to answer your questions about labeling and help you choose the right type of label for your essential oils products. 

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