The Easy Trick To Get Rid Of Those White Spots In Olive Oil

In an ideal world, we would all keep our dry food stored at the correct temperature, which is between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit for a pantry and around 40 degrees Fahrenheit for a refrigerator. When shelf-stable food is stored outside of those temperatures, it can go bad quicker, especially if it's stored higher than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This is why it's important not to store food above your stove; the rising temperatures from cooking could cause your shelf-stable foods to get too hot.


When food is kept at colder temperatures, issues can arise as well. For example, colder temperatures can cause condensation to form within food packages, which can cause mold or make the food go bad. Cold temperatures are troublesome for olive oil, too, and they are likely what's responsible for white spots in your olive oil. To tell if your olive oil is still safe to eat, simply warm it up to room temperature. This is how you can check to see if it's just benign separation causing the white blobs and not rancid or contaminated oil.

What are the white spots in olive oil?

Ideally, olive oil should be a clear yellow liquid with a hint of a green tint. When fresh and stored properly, it should also be free from any impurities. Sometimes, however, you might notice that your olive oil has white blobs in the liquid after you get it out of your cold car trunk, for example, or after it's been sitting in your pantry. Before you throw away your bottle of oil, take heart in knowing that it's probably still safe to use.


The white spots in olive oil are likely due to improper storage temperature. Olive oil is, of course, made of olives, which naturally have a waxy coating, just like many other fruits. This waxy coating is protective for the fruit; it can help keep it safe from insects and damage due to weather while it's growing on the tree. If the storage temperature gets too cold, this waxy coating can separate from other parts of the oil, thus causing white blobs to float inside the bottle. 

How to get rid of white spots in olive oil

If you notice these white spots in your olive oil, you might first want to make sure your it doesn't smell rancid. Give it a quick sniff test; if it smells like crayons, it's probably time to get rid of it. Once you've ruled that out, it's safe to assume that the white bits floating in your olive oil are simply the natural wax that has separated from the rest of the oil, which can happen if the storage temperature gets too cold.


The easiest way to get rid of the white spots is to let your olive oil sit out at room temperature. As it warms, the blobs should start to go away. Alternatively, you can put your bottle in a bath of warm water. As the liquid starts to warm up, you might notice a cloudy appearance. Allow the oil to continue to warm until it returns the proper color and consistency.

When in doubt, it's always best to err on the side of caution because foodborne illness can be very serious. However, if you can remove the white spots by warming up your olive oil a bit, it's safe to say you were only dealing with the wax separating from the oil, and your olive oil is safe to use.