If you’re in a hurry and need come whip up a salad, a ready-to-use salad dressing is super convenient. And virtually everyone has actually a repertoire of half-open bottles scattered about the fridge. Yet does salad dressing walk bad?

If you nothing necessarily want to eat Ranch, or Italian dressing every night the the week, you don’t have actually to. Store-bought salad dressings usually have actually 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 friend have any questions or concerns around storage, shelf life, and also going bad of salad dressings, this write-up is for you.

Image offered under an innovative Commons from Mike Mozart

How To store Salad Dressing

Store-bought salad dressings come in two forms.

The easier one is the dried mix that commonly requires just water and/or oil to prepare the dressing.

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

Most of the ready-to-go dressings are sold unrefrigerated, yet sometimes friend can find ones that are stored in the refrigerated area. The last ones space usually lower on preservatives, or even complimentary of them, for this reason they require maintaining at short temperature.

Let’s begin with dry mixes. Castle don’t require lot in terms of storage. Just make certain the packet sits in a cool and also dry area. If you’re prefer me, you keep these in the summer sprouts drawer.

If you open up the package and also don’t usage the entirety thing in ~ once, seal that tightly if possible. That keeps moisture and also airflow in ~ bay, for this reason the mix retains part flavor for longer. A dry mix works pretty much the same method spices such as cinnamon or chili flour do.

For bottled salad dressings marketed unrefrigerated warehouse guidelines are quite simple. As long as the bottle continues to be unopened, you can store the in the pantry or kitchen. Simply make certain it doesn’t sit in sunshine or near any heat sources. That’s due to the fact that these can influence the quality of the ingredients.

Once you open up the bottle, constantly keep the sealed tightly and also in the fridge when not in use.


When it concerns salad dressings marketed refrigerated, the rules are even more straightforward. Such dressings should always sit in the refrigerator sealed tightly.

If you’ve made your favorite dressing native scratch and have part leftovers, these belong to the fridge too.

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

Last however not least, let’s briefly touch top top food hygiene. Remember always to use clean utensils when scooping the dressing, and from time come time to clean the neck of the bottle with a dry paper towel. Following these practices will make sure the dressing big as lengthy as feasible and will certainly minimize the threat of microbial growth.

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How long Does Salad Dressing Last

Once again let’s start with dry mixes.

Each packet comes with a best-by day on the label. And while the powder won’t go negative after the date, end time, the top quality will degrade, and also some the the flavors will be lost. Therefore, it’s best to use them within a couple of months of the date. Opened the bag doesn’t really change much, detailed that you keep it sealed strict after.

When it concerns dressings offered unrefrigerated, castle come through a best-by day too. And also as lengthy as the bottle continues to be unopened, friend can quickly store such dressing past that date, even for a few weeks.

Once again, it’s a issue of quality. The mix won’t go poor soon previous the day on the label, yet its quality and freshness will progressively degrade over time.

Once you open up the bottle, its contents usually save well for around 3 to 6 months. But make sure to check the label for details, together this is a general guideline, no necessarily certain to what you have actually in hand.

(credit: Lavi Perchik)
Salad dressings marketed refrigerated critical much much shorter than their shelf-stable counterparts. normally a couple of weeks, possibly up to 2 months.

They come v a use-by or sell-by date, and also that date is a pretty great indicator of how long the mix remains fine. That course, it must keep well because that a week or maybe two pst the date, yet don’t suppose miracles.

Opening the bottle normally doesn’t adjust that much in regards to shelf life. Or in other words, you can still store the opened up mix up to the day on the label or a little bit past. However again, that’s a basic guideline, and you should check the producer’s recommendation for a an ext precise period.

If you’ve whipped up your own mix, it normally lasts in between 3 and 5 days, depending upon the ingredient used. The an ext volatile the components, the shorter that period. If you made a dressing making use of the dry mix, it have to retain great 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 keep in mind that all the periods above are really general. Always check the dates and other storage recommendation on the brand of her dressing.

(credit: Monika Grabkowska)

How to Tell If Salad Dressing has actually Gone Bad

Let’s start with dried mixes. Generally, unless water it s okay to the packet, the ingredients most likely won’t go bad in a method they’re unsafe come eat. But, much like spices, they will gradually lose potency.


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

For ready-to-use dressings, there are quite a couple of things come look the end for. An initial off, it’s the visibility of mold or an off aroma. If one of two people is the case, throw the end the dressing. Exact same thing if it’s one oil-based dressing and smells rancid.

Now let’s summary talk about separation. If it’s one oil-based mix prefer Italian or vinaigrette for your coleslaw, separation of oil is perfectly normal. Just shake the hell the end of the bottle before serving, and also it have to be mixed evenly.

But if it’s a dairy-based salad dressing, favor Ranch, blue cheese dressing, or anything v yogurt, separation is a sign of top quality degradation. The dressing isn’t necessarily bad, however it probably won’t taste that great. Check the brand to make sure if the manufacturer proposal tossing it the end or just giving it a stir.

If the dressing looks good, smells okay, and also you don’t already store it for much longer than recommended, it’s time to offer it a taste. Decision what to carry out with it based upon how the tastes.

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If something around it isn’t fairly right, it’s much better to err ~ above the next of caution and discard it. Otherwise, it sounds prefer you have a perfectly okay salad dressing ~ above hand.