Can Shea Butter Go Bad?

It’s important to always cook with healthy food that has not expired. Dairy can be particularly tricky when it comes to the timeliness of its use. While most people understand the toxicity of spoiled milk or cheese, the expiration date of butter can be difficult to guess. Since both regular butter and shea butter are used in a variety of meals, knowing when and how to use it is crucial. So, let’s find out the answer to the question, can shea butter go bad?

What Is Shea Butter?

Shea butter is a type of fat that is formed from nuts. Like regular butter, it’s color is an off-white with a slightly yellow tint. Many people appreciate the health benefits that it provides such as a high vitamin count and fatty acids.

It has natural anti-inflammatory properties as well as antioxidants. Because it enhances the flavor to a meal, many use this butter in desserts with cocoa butter to add a creamier, richer taste. Because it has lots of vitamin E, it is thought to be especially beneficial for hair and skin.

Cooking Tips

In many cases, shea butter can be a substitute for regular butter. By using in stir fry dishes it often taste much more flavorful. Unlike regular butter, it is vegan friendly. This is a particularly great ingredient for those who have strict dietary restrictions.

African cooking is known for its generous use of shea butter. Boiling or deep frying are among the most popular methods for cooking. For those who suffer from a chronic cough or sudden cold, a couple of teaspoons of it can be added to tea to help boost the immune system.

Can Shea Butter Go Bad?

It does not last forever. Unrefined shea butter typically lasts up to two years. Since it is natural with no added chemicals, the expiration date can vary. To better understand if it has expired, there are clear signs to look for.

How To Tell If It Has Expired

1.) The smell. If it has expired, there is a distinct smell that accompanies it. A smokey scent is often noticed when the butter has already become rancid. This can smell like expired or burnt olive oil.

2.) If shea butter has not been properly stored, it has probably expired. It should be stored in a sealed container. Zip lock plastic bags or hard plastic containers work well.

3.) Temperature. Even if it has been properly packaged, temperature matters. If the texture of shea butter is soft and melted, it may have gone bad from the warmth. The best temperature for storing it is under 75 degrees.


Shea butter is generally thought of as a safe tree nut product to add to a variety of meals. For those who require strict dietary guildelines, it can create many more edible dishes. In addition to adding flavor, this butter has a number of cosmetic perks as well. For soft, moisturized skin and hair, this product can increase health and appearance when used in the correct way.