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Oshadhi Essential Oils
uncompromising purity
in essential oils
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uncompromising purity in essential oils

I can’t open my essential oil bottle! The cap is stuck…

I can’t open my essential oil bottle

Just occasionally you may receive an essential oil from Oshadhi that you can’t open. We know this can be frustrating, especially if it’s an oil you were looking forward to trying for the first time. This article explains how and why this happens and what you can do. (Skip to the last paragraph if you just want instructions!)

Why do Oshadhi essential oils have safety caps?

Oshadhi essential oils are bottled in Germany where safety caps are a legal requirement. The main reason for this is to prevent children from accidentally opening the bottle and ingesting the essential oil. This could be hazardous or even fatal. In addition, safety caps are used on products such as hydrosols to ensure that the bottle is sealed and has not been opened prior to purchase. This is a hygiene consideration and ensures that the product remains fresh.

Why does the cap on essential oil bottles get stuck?

If you’ve had an essential oil for a while and have been using it regularly, the oil can sometimes accumulate around the top of the bottle. If the essential oil gets into the screw thread it can become very sticky over time. Eventually this causes the cap to stick to the dropper insert. This makes the cap hard to open and sometimes the dropper insert is pulled out when you try to open the bottle.

The best way to avoid this is to be careful when dropping oil from the bottle. Wipe any residue away after use and ensure the cap is screwed on firmly. Also store the bottle upright. Whilst the bottles shouldn’t leak if stored on their sides, storing them horizontally can cause oil to coagulate in the cap mechanism.

You may also find that you can’t open a bottle that you’ve just received. This is unusual but is either because the cap has been particularly well tightened, or it may just be one of those tricky oils (Myrrh, we’re looking at you!).

Are some oils more difficult to open than others?

Some essential oils seem to have a knack for clogging up the cap. Thick, base note oils such as Vetiver and Patchouli can clog up the cap over time just because of their high viscosity. Base note oils contain a higher proportion of heavy, long molecules. These are slow to evaporate and therefore have a very long-lasting, tenacious aroma, but they are also quick to conglomerate.

Temperature can also be a factor – warmer temperatures will allow the oil to expand a little and it will be less sticky, but cooler temperatures can cause these oils to become almost solid. It’s an unfortunate aspect of physical chemistry that the properties that make these oils so desirable for fixing down the more ethereal oils can also cause some practical issues in their usage.

Another factor is the structure of the oil. Resinous oils can crystallise and Myrrh is a particular culprit. Myrrh is probably the essential oil that is most commonly difficult to open. This is unfortunately the nature of Myrrh and a consequence of good production. Naturally produced, high quality Myrrh oil is very thick and will crystallise easily. Whilst this isn’t always convenient, a lighter or runnier oil would be indicative of a poor quality, dilution or adulteration.

What to do if you can’t open your essential oil bottle

To begin with, a couple of things not to do:

  1. Firstly, if the safety cap doesn’t engage, don’t continue clicking it around. This will only damage the cap mechanism further.
  2. Definitely don’t use a knife, scissors or pliers. It’s tempting (and we know people who have!) but this will only remove the outer part of the safety cap. The inner part of the cap will remain in place and you still won’t be able to open the bottle.
  3. Don’t injure yourself trying to open the bottle. Try the method below carefully, and if that doesn’t work then please get in touch.

Need extra help with your essential oils?

If for any reason you struggle with the caps in general then please let us know. The caps are generally closed tightly to ensure there are no leaks during transit (shipping companies don’t always appreciate a highly perfumed parcel!). This can however cause difficulty if you have problems with your wrists or a disability that affects movement.

If you would prefer that we loosen all the caps slightly before we send your order out then we would be happy to do that for you. We can check that they open smoothly and then tighten them just enough to ensure that the bottle is sealed. Then when they arrive you will be able to open your bottles easily and start enjoying your new oils straight away!

How to open your essential oil bottle easily every time

If the cap is completely stuck here’s what to do:

  • Have to hand a mug or cup, kettle, rubber gloves, tea towel or cloth.
  • Place the bottle upside down in a cup
  • Add hot water from the kettle until it just covers the cap
  • Leave for a few minutes to warm through thoroughly
  • Using rubber gloves, hold the cap, press down and turn the bottle.

In most cases heating the cap and any oil residue will loosen the them sufficiently that you can open the cap. The heat will only affect the cap and the oil that is stuck and won’t affect the quality of the oil in the bottle. This is especially true of the base note oils – whilst they can be troublesome in clogging up the cap they are less prone to heat degradation.

If you have tried the method above and you are unable to open your bottle then of course please contact us to return your oil. In most cases we are able to open the bottle, in which case we will replace the cap and return it to you. If we are not able to open the bottle for you then we will send a replacement essential oil. Any costs to you for returning the oil will also be refunded, of course.