Essential oils are growing in popularity due to their pleasant scents and various household uses. However, the purity of the essential oil is important for making sure it is as effective as possible. To verify that your essential oils are high quality, it is important that you learn the signs of a good essential oil and test the oils out for yourself. However, laboratory testing i.e the Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry test is an expensive method and is not feasible for small quantity of oil. Following is a simple and inexpensive method to test essential oil for purity at home.
The blank paper test
1. Select an oil to test and get a piece of blank paper. You can test your oil at home with just these 2 items. Make sure you cover your work surface with wax paper or tin foil to protect it from any oil that might bleed through the paper.
2. Place one drop of the oil on the paper. If your oil doesn’t have a dropper with it or a cap that allows this, you can use the eraser side of a pencil. Just dip the eraser into the bottle and let the oil drip onto the paper from there, or gently touch the eraser to the paper to get the oil to transfer. If you’re testing multiple oils, it might help to label each one so you remember where it is on the paper.
3. Allow the oil to dry completely. This will normally take about 30-45 minutes depending on how much oil you have on the paper. Check after 30 minutes, and if there’s still some liquid on the paper, allow another 15 minutes to dry.
4. Check the places where you dropped the oil for a leftover ring of oil or grease. If there is a ring present, that means that the oil has likely been diluted with another substance and is less pure. If you can’t see a ring, try touching the paper with your finger lightly. If it’s completely dry and you don’t feel any oil or grease on your finger, your oil is likely pure and high quality.
5. Some oils that are darker in colour will leave a slight tint, but the paper should not be oily or greasy once completely dry. Oils such as sandalwood, patchouli, and German chamomile will leave a tint but not an oily ring.