Does Castor Oil Smell? Why Is It All The Rage?

Castor oil has long been used for various purposes from manufacturing lubricants, soaps to using it as an ingredient in flavorings, candies, and additives. The Food and Drug Administration has actually identified castor oil as generally safe and effective. This drug is also pretty common as a laxative and even added to the common drugs including Miconazole.  This oil is also used for cosmetic purposes that it is applied on the hair and skin,  but those who haven’t tried this substance may have some second thoughts. So does castor oil smell? Let’s find out.

What is castor oil?

Castor oil is a vegetable-derived substance obtained by pressing the seeds of a castor plant. There are actually four different types of castor oil.

  • Commercial castor oil

The commercial type as the name implies is used for waxes, soaps, brake fluids and paints.

  • First special castor oil

Also known as refined castor oil, this type is clear and is obtained by totally stripping off traces of ricin making it safe to drink. This is the type being used in the medical industry as a laxative and most often to induce labor. This type of castor oil is also being used as a food additive and in almost any ingredient in the food industry. This is also known as medicinal castor oil.

  • Pale pressed castor oil

This goes by its other popular name, Pure cold pressed castor oil.  The oil is obtained by simply cold pressing it for the purpose of preserving its vitamins and nutrients. This is the appropriate castor oil for skin and hair application as it is very effective because of its soothing and healing properties. The problem with pale pressed castor oil is that it contains ricin, this substance is a toxin that is dangerous if ingested.

How does castor oil taste like?

This liquid has no color but it has a very different taste and smells that most even vomit just by tasting it! Castor oil tastes really awful that it can even induce vomiting and contractions between pregnant women. Some describe the taste as fishy taste while others simply describe it as a tasteless oily grease with a bitter aftertaste.

How does castor oil smell like?

Now the answer to the long-awaited question – does castor oil smell is here. Castor oil is a type of thick oil so it cannot be avoided that it really has an oily smell like its almost odorless as castor oil is supposed to be without odor.  Others would describe it as light and clean while there are those who would describe it as slightly pungent. 

What would make castor oil smelly?

This actually depends on some factors. There is a distinct variation known as Jamaican castor oil known for its bad smell most describes it as smoky while some describe it as nutty. But the answer to the question Does castor oil smell should be NO. Castor oil shouldn’t smell at all, because if it does then that’s a clear sign that it has gone rancid. But you should not worry if you’ve recently obtained a bottle as it got a pretty long shelf life of up to one year. A spoiled castor oil would smell murky that is similar to rotten eggs. So be sure to check the manufactured date on the container first before taking the bottle to the counter. Another way to tell if the oil has gone rancid is if it no longer has its normal color or pale yellow or clear color and has turned to dark brown.

How do I store castor oil the right way?

There are some things you should do to avoid speeding up the oil’s degradation process. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Store the oil at a temperature between 55-75 degrees Fahrenheit

  • Keep the bottle tightly closed 

  • Store in a dry place

  • Keep it away from direct sunlight

Is it possible to add fragrance to castor oil?

Yes, it is totally possible!  If you don't like the oily smell or if you are feeling fancy or if you want to relax then you can simply add drops of essential oils. I use lavender for aromatherapy.  Try Radha Beauty Lavender oil as I use it with my cold pressed castor oil to grow my lashes and brows. I use this as an ingredient in my hair mask too and I love it!  Peppermint and ylang-ylang are my other two favorites as well when I want to destress and just shoo all the worries away. These essential oils do not affect the effectivity of the cold pressed castor oil but they only make your self-care experience enjoyable.

Final Thoughts

Does Castor oil smell? No, it is supposed to be odorless. So if yours smell, then it’s time to dispose it properly according to your community’s guidelines. And if you really don’t want its distinct smell then you can simply add some essential oils or do proper storing as to not speed up its process of turning rancid.

Did you find this article helpful? Give it some love by sharing to your friends, or better yet comment down below and share other ideas to make castor oil smell better.

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