Are Essential Oils Flammable

In the world of aromatherapy, the wellness benefits of essential oils are widely celebrated. Yet, an often-overlooked aspect of these potent botanicals is essential oils flammability. Aromatherapy safety moves beyond just selecting the right scents to creating a secure environment. The flash point of essential oils determines their flammability potential; it is the specific temperature at which an essential oil gives off enough vapor to ignite in the presence of a flame or spark.

Understanding the flammable nature of oils like Orange, Grapefruit, Peppermint, and Chamomile is critical. These have a low flash point indicating they are likely to catch fire if not stored or used correctly. Users in the United States should approach these natural wonders with knowledge and precautions, ensuring every aromatic experience remains not only enriching but also safe.

Key Takeaways

  • Awareness of essential oils flammability is vital for safe aromatherapy practices.
  • Low flash points in essential oils can lead to higher risks of ignition near open flames.
  • Proper storage in original dark glass bottles is necessary to minimize fire hazards.
  • Knowing the flash points of essential oils used in your household is a part of responsible use.
  • Following best practices for handling and storage can prevent accidents and enhance safety.
  • Maintaining a cool environment for storage helps in reducing the risk of oxidation and solidification.

Understanding the Flammable Nature of Essential Oils

The enchanting scents of essential oils bring an array of benefits, but with these concentrated botanicals comes the need to understand their flammable properties. Acknowledging the flash point essential oils is paramount for avid users and professionals in the aromatherapy field. These oils, with their potent constituents, have classifications under the flammable liquid classification, highlighting the necessity for cautious usage and storage.

Essential oils such as tea tree, lavender, and a variety of citrus essential oils fall within Class 3 Flammable Liquids, featuring flash points that hover in the range of 122-140° F. A flash point signifies the temperature at which an oil can produce sufficient vapor to ignite if it encounters a spark or open flame. The lower the flash point, the higher the flammability risk, and citrus oils are notable for this characteristic.

Particularly, oils like orange, tangerine, and bergamot have even lower flash points, ranging between 102-130° F. This information is not to alarm, but to arm users with knowledge; understanding the citrus essential oils flammability equips individuals to create a safer environment for their aromatic endeavors.

When considering the flammable nature of essential oils, the comparison with kerosene—a common reference point—puts things into perspective. Kerosene’s flashpoint swings between 100-162° F, which underscores the necessity for treating the flammability of essential oils with a similar degree of seriousness.
  • Flammable classifications are not just technical jargon; they are a guide for safety precautions.
  • Knowing the flash point can help prevent accidents by avoiding use near open flames or sparks.
  • Responsible use includes proper storage and understanding of your essential oils’ properties.

The interplay between the allure of essential oils and the inherent risks they possess can be balanced. By fostering awareness among enthusiasts and practitioners alike, the essence of aromatherapy can be distilled safely into everyday life without incident. Embrace the olfactory splendor but remain vigilant to the precautions needed when dealing with such powerful and flammable substances.

Safe Handling and Storage of Essential Oils

Proper storage of essential oils is critical to maintaining their integrity and ensuring safety in any setting. By adhering to recommended guidelines, users can effectively safeguard against the risks of flammability, particularly the danger of oxidation which heightens the potential for ignition. In this section, we will explore the best practices for essential oil storage, strategies for minimizing oxidation risk, and essential oils safety practices to ensure the wellbeing of both the users and their surroundings.

Keep Essential Oils in Original Glass Bottles

One of the fundamental rules for essential oil storage is to keep the oils in their original dark glass bottles. These specifically designed containers are equipped to protect the oils from light and reduce the risk of oxidation—a critical factor that could otherwise lead to the increased flammability of the oils. Dark glass bottles are not only suitable for the preservation of the oil’s quality but also form a barrier against environmental factors that could compromise their safety.

Ensure Proper Sealing with Durable Screw Cap Lids

Secure capping is another vital element in the essential oils safety practices. The lids should fit snugly to prevent any evaporation or spillage that might cause the oils to degrade or, worse, become a fire hazard. Durable screw cap lids provide a reliable seal that maintains the oil’s potency and minimizes exposure to air, thereby reducing the chance of oxidation. The importance of this cannot be overstressed, as even a minor spill could pose significant risks if left ignored.

Store Away from Direct Sunlight and at Room Temperature

Storage location plays a crucial role in minimizing oxidation risk. Essential oils should be stored away from direct sunlight in a cool, stable environment such as a drawer, shelf, or dedicated storage cabinet. Direct sunlight can raise the temperature of the oils, accelerating the oxidation process and making them more prone to flammability. Room temperature, away from any heat source, is ideal for keeping the constituent components of the oils stable and safe.


To summarize, the judicious use of essential oils requires an understanding of their flammable nature and an adherence to safety measures to prevent accidents. Essential oil use safety is not just about the aromatic pleasure or therapeutic benefits but also involves taking flammability precautions. As such, a conscientious approach to aromatherapy best practices is not merely advisable; it is imperative.

Whether you’re a seasoned aromatherapist or a home user, maintaining essential oils in their original, dark glass bottles, with tightly secured caps, and storing them away from heat sources will significantly reduce any risk associated with their flammability. Moreover, the sage advice to follow manufacturer’s guidelines, particularly concerning the handling of linens that have come into contact with these oils, cannot be overstated. It is a necessary measure to ensure a safe environment within which these potent essences can be enjoyed.

Ultimately, with the appropriate precautions and knowledge, the enjoyment and utility of essential oils need not be hindered by fear. It is fully possible to integrate these natural wonders into our daily lives while upholding all due measures of safety. By responsibly managing the storage and use of essential oils, we uphold the integrity of aromatherapy and ensure that its practice remains both a joy and a boon to wellbeing.


Are essential oils flammable?

Yes, essential oils are flammable due to their low flash points. Oils such as Orange, Grapefruit, Peppermint, and Chamomile are particularly prone to ignition. It’s crucial to handle and store them safely to minimize flammability risks during aromatherapy and therapeutic use.

What is the flash point of essential oils?

The flash point of essential oils is the temperature at which an essential oil can evaporate enough to ignite upon exposure to a flame or spark. Flash points vary among oils, with some like tea tree, lavender, and citrus essential oils ranging between 122-140° F. Oils with even lower flash points, like orange, tangerine, and bergamot, range from 102-130° F. These levels are similar to flammable substances like kerosene, underscoring the importance of awareness regarding essential oils flammability.

How should I store my essential oils to ensure safety?

To ensure safety and minimize the risk of flammability, essential oils should be stored in their original dark glass bottles. Secure the oils with durable screw cap lids to prevent leaks and spoilage. Keep them away from direct sunlight and maintain them at room temperature in secure locations such as drawers, cabinets, or shelves to prevent oxidation and preserve their integrity.

Are there specific essential oils that are more flammable?

Yes, there are essential oils with lower flash points that are considered more flammable than others. Citrus essential oils, in particular, have some of the lowest flash points, making them more susceptible to catching fire. It’s essential to know the flash point of each oil and exercise appropriate aromatherapy safety measures.

Can I prevent my essential oils from becoming more flammable over time?

While you can’t change the inherent flammability of essential oils, you can slow down the oxidation process by storing them correctly. This includes keeping them in airtight, dark glass bottles and away from heat and sunlight. Implementing these essential oils safety practices helps maintain the quality of the oils and reduces the risk of them becoming more flammable.

What is the correct way to dispose of essential oils?

To safely dispose of essential oils, avoid pouring them down the drain or throwing them in the trash where they could ignite. Contact your local waste management facility to inquire about hazardous waste disposal guidelines for flammable liquids. Some regions arrange special collection days or facilities for disposing of hazardous materials like essential oils.

How do I handle linens or materials that have come into contact with essential oils?

When washing and drying linens that have been in contact with essential oils, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. Make sure to clean such materials promptly and thoroughly to ensure no oil residue remains that could pose a flammability hazard. It’s also a safety measure to prevent skin irritation.

Is it Safe to Use Essential Oils in Candles, Considering their Flammability?

When using essential oils in candles, it’s important to consider their flammability. While essential oils are highly flammable, they can be safely used in candles if proper precautions are taken. It’s crucial to follow proper guidelines and use high-quality, pure essential oils to ensure safety when using essential oils in candles.

Source Links

Get the latest health advice from top experts in your inbox, every week.