If you’re in a hurry and need to whip up a salad, a ready-to-use salad dressing is supervisor convenient. And nearly everyone has a repertoire of half-open bottles scattered roughly the fridge. Yet does salad dressing go bad?

If you don’t necessarily want to eat Ranch, or Italian dressing every night of the week, friend don’t have to. Store-bought salad dressings usually have a long enough shelf life for you to finish the bottle. And if friend bought too numerous bottles, the unopened ones keep for years.

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All in all, if girlfriend have any type of questions or concerns around storage, shelf life, and also going bad of salad dressings, this post is because that you.

Image offered under an innovative Commons indigenous Mike Mozart

How To keep Salad Dressing

Store-bought salad dressings come in two forms.

The simpler one is the dry mix that generally requires just water and/or oil to prepare the dressing.

Ready-to-use dressings are an additional form, convenient to have on hand and also ready to walk whenever you need it.

Most the the ready-to-go dressings are sold unrefrigerated, however sometimes girlfriend can discover ones that are stored in the refrigerated area. The last ones room usually reduced on preservatives, or even cost-free of them, therefore they require keeping at short temperature.

Let’s start with dry mixes. Castle don’t require much in regards to storage. Simply make sure the packet sit in a cool and also dry area. If you’re like me, you save these in the spice drawer.

If you open the package and also don’t usage the totality thing in ~ once, seal that tightly if possible. That keeps moisture and airflow in ~ bay, so the mix retains part flavor for longer. A dry mix functions pretty lot the same method spices such together cinnamon or chili powder do.

For bottled salad dressings offered unrefrigerated storage guidelines are quite simple. As long as the bottle stays unopened, you can store it in the pantry or kitchen. Simply make certain it doesn’t sit in sunshine or near any heat sources. That’s because these can impact the top quality of the ingredients.

Once you open the bottle, constantly keep that sealed tightly and also in the fridge as soon as not in use.


When it comes to salad dressings sold refrigerated, the rules room even much more straightforward. Together dressings should always sit in the fridge sealed tightly.

If you’ve made her favorite dressing from scratch and have some leftovers, this belong come the fridge too.

If you ever thought around freezing all set dressings, pretty lot all producer advise against it. The high quality of the condiment changes, and it won’t be almost as good after thawing. But you can freeze meat or fish marinated in the dressing with good success.

Last yet not least, let’s summary touch ~ above food hygiene. Remember always to use clean utensils once scooping the dressing, and from time come time come clean the neck of the bottle with a dry record towel. Complying with these practices will make sure the dressing lasts as lengthy as feasible and will certainly minimize the danger of microbial growth.

Image supplied under an imaginative Commons native Ruth Hartnup

How long Does Salad Dressing Last

Once again let’s begin with dry mixes.

Each packet comes through a best-by date on the label. And also while the powder won’t go bad after that date, end time, the quality will degrade, and some the the spices will be lost. Therefore, it’s ideal to use them in ~ a few months of that date. Opening the bag doesn’t really readjust much, listed that you store it sealed strict after.

When it pertains to dressings sold unrefrigerated, they come v a best-by day too. And also as lengthy as the bottle remains unopened, friend can quickly store together dressing past that date, also for a few weeks.

Once again, it’s a issue of quality. The mix won’t go poor soon past the date on the label, yet its quality and also freshness will gradually degrade end time.

Once you open the bottle, its materials usually store well for about 3 come 6 months. However make sure to check the brand for details, as this is a basic guideline, not necessarily specific to what you have in hand.

(credit: Lavi Perchik)
Salad dressings offered refrigerated last much much shorter than their shelf-stable counterparts. commonly a couple of weeks, maybe up to 2 months.

They come through a use-by or sell-by date, and also that date is a pretty great indicator of how long the mix remains fine. Of course, it should keep well because that a main or probably two pst the date, but don’t mean miracles.

Opening the bottle generally doesn’t adjust that much in regards to shelf life. Or in other words, you deserve to still save the opened up mix approximately the date on the label or a bit past. Yet again, that’s a general guideline, and also you should examine the producer’s referral for a more precise period.

If you’ve whipped up your very own mix, it usually lasts between 3 and 5 days, depending upon the ingredient used. The an ext volatile the components, the much shorter that period. If girlfriend made a dressing utilizing the dry mix, it should retain good quality for about a week.

Salad dressing dry mixBest-by + 3 – 6 months
Salad dressing (sold unrefrigerated, unopened)Best-by + 1 – 2 months
Salad dressing (sold unrefrigerated, opened)3 – 6 months
Salad dressing (sold refrigerated)Use-by + 1 – 2 weeks
Homemade salad dressing3 – 5 days

Please note that all the periods over are really general. Always inspect the dates and other storage recommendation on the brand of her dressing.

(credit: Monika Grabkowska)

How to Tell If Salad Dressing has Gone Bad

Let’s begin with dried mixes. Generally, uneven water it s okay to the packet, the ingredient most most likely won’t go poor in a way they’re unsafe to eat. But, much like spices, castle will gradually lose potency.


The best way to know if the mix is still worth anything is to prepare the dressing and taste it. If the tastes okay, feel free to usage it. Otherwise, discard it and also use one that’s fresh.

For ready-to-use dressings, there are fairly a few things to look out for. Very first off, it’s the visibility of mold or an off aroma. If one of two people is the case, throw the end the dressing. Same thing if it’s an oil-based dressing and smells rancid.

Now let’s briefly talk about separation. If it’s one oil-based mix choose Italian or vinaigrette for your coleslaw, separation the oil is perfect normal. Simply shake the hell the end of the bottle prior to serving, and it must be combined evenly.

But if it’s a dairy-based salad dressing, choose Ranch, blue cheese dressing, or anything v yogurt, separation is a sign of top quality degradation. The dressing isn’t necessarily bad, but it more than likely won’t taste that great. Examine the brand to make certain if the manufacturer proposal tossing it the end or just offering it a stir.

If the dressing looks good, smells okay, and also you don’t already store it because that much longer than recommended, it’s time to give it a taste. Decide what to carry out with it based on how the tastes.

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If something about it isn’t quite right, it’s far better to err top top the side of caution and discard it. Otherwise, it sounds favor you have a perfectly it s okay salad dressing on hand.