How to Store Ascorbic Acid

Ascorbic acid, or ascorbate, is another name for vitamin C. Ascorbic acid helps your body grow and repair itself and is an essential nutrient. Unfortunately, it is also very delicate and breaks down rapidly when exposed to oxygen, heat, or sunlight. It’s impossible to prevent ascorbic acid from degrading, but you can slow the process down by storing it properly.

Steps

Method 1 of 2: Preserving Fresh Ascorbic Acid

How to Store Ascorbic Acid

Keep ascorbic in a sealed, opaque container. Ascorbic acid is very sensitive to oxygen and light. To make it last as long as possible, store it in an opaque container with a tight-fitting lid. Any ascorbic acid you purchase usually will come in one of these containers, so you won’t have to transfer it before storing it. However, move it into a more appropriate container if needed.

  • Avoid storing ascorbic acid in metal containers.
  • Ascorbic acid pills and powders, for instance, sometimes come in boxes or bags. They are fine in their original containers as long as you’re able to keep them sealed.
  • If you have a box of ascorbic acid pills, the pills will be sealed in foil packets. You can just leave them in the foil.

How to Store Ascorbic Acid

Store pills and powders in a cool, dark area. Try to find a spot that stays at a consistent temperature. For example, you might move the ascorbic acid to the back of a dark closet. You could also store it in the basement if your home has one. Keep it in a spot where it won’t be exposed to any sources of light.

  • Don’t store ascorbic acid in a bathroom or kitchen due to frequent temperature changes. For long-term storage, find a different spot.
  • If you use ascorbic acid in a place like a bathroom, remember to take it back out afterward. It’s a bit of a hassle, but it helps the ascorbic acid last longer.

How to Store Ascorbic Acid

Refrigerate liquid ascorbic acid to preserve it for longer. The cooler temperature helps preserve the ascorbic acid for longer. Make sure it’s in an opaque, sealed container before setting it on one of the shelves. The coolest storage spots are usually at the bottom and right next to the freezer.

  • Light and oxygen exposure can still cause ascorbic acid to degrade in the refrigerator. Leave the bottle sealed and the door closed as much as possible.

How to Store Ascorbic Acid

Throw out the ascorbic acid when it turns dark brown or red. Ascorbic acid is normally a pale yellow color. Most ascorbic acid powders and pills start off white, although you may still notice a slight tinge of yellow in them. As they age, they darken. At that point, the ascorbic acid is no longer potent, so it’s a good sign that you need to replace your supply.

  • Ascorbic acid is safe to use when it changes color, but it won’t have much of an effect. Oxygen converts the ascorbic acid to another form that your body can’t absorb.
  • In general, ascorbic acid powder lasts the longest. Pills can also last for years, too. Liquid ascorbic acid spoils the fastest and may not last beyond 5 to 6 months.
  • Even with proper storage, ascorbic acid loses its potency over time. It’s best when used right away. Try to use ascorbic acid within a few months after opening it.

Method 2 of 2: Selecting Stable Ascorbic Acid

How to Store Ascorbic Acid

Get ascorbic acid in pill and powder form for better preservation. Liquid ascorbic acid is fine, but it’s more difficult to store. If you’re taking a supplement, then you can use ascorbic acid pills. Ascorbic acid powder can also be taken as a supplement or applied to skin. They work just as well as pure liquid ascorbic acid despite not spoiling as quickly.

  • Some types of ascorbic acid are mixed in with ingredients like silicone to create a gel that is both long-lasting and easy to rub onto your skin.
  • Remember that ascorbic acid is vitamin C. If you buy vitamin C pills or powder, you are still getting ascorbic acid since they are the same thing.

How to Store Ascorbic Acid

Choose more stable forms of ascorbic acid for longer storage. L-ascorbic acid is very common, but it also spoils the fastest. To ensure ascorbic acid lasts longer, it is sometimes mixed with things like sodium or calcium. The additional ingredients make the acid more shelf-stable but less potent. L-ascorbic acid is 100% pure vitamin C, so it’s the easiest kind for your body to absorb.

  • For example, sodium ascorbate is less acidic than L-ascorbic acid. It’s often used in diet supplements and can be good if pure ascorbic acid upsets your stomach. Calcium ascorbate is a similar option.
  • There are other types, like magnesium ascorbate. You can also buy products with ascorbyl glucosamine, ascorbyl palmitate, and other alternatives.

How to Store Ascorbic Acid

Buy vitamin C serum if you use ascorbic acid for skincare. Vitamin C serum comes in a liquid or gel form. It is usually made up of a low amount of ascorbic acid, like 10% to 20%, mixed in with other ingredients. If you’re able to avoid ingredients like water, the serum will last longer. A serum is easy to dab onto your skin, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time with the bottle open.

  • To ensure serum lasts longer, look for varieties made from something like magnesium or sodium ascorbyl phosphate. It will be less potent than a serum made from 100% L-ascorbic acid, but it will last longer in storage.
  • Avoid serum made with water, since the oxygen in water causes ascorbic acid to break down quicker. Instead, try getting ascorbic acid powder and mixing it with water to create your own serum.

How to Store Ascorbic Acid

Purchase ascorbic acid in opaque bottles that will last longer. Choose ascorbic acid that comes in a dark bag or bottle. Plastic containers are better since they block out more light. If you’re getting bottled ascorbic acid, brown bottles block out more ultraviolet light than blue bottles. Avoid anything sold in a clear bottle, since clear glass lets in the most light.

  • If you happen to get a brand in the wrong type of container, transfer it to your own storage containers. For example, you might keep some old brown bottles on hand for storage.
  • Make sure the container is well-sealed. If it isn’t airtight, then the ascorbic acid will spoil much quicker than usual.

How to Store Ascorbic Acid

Buy small bottles of ascorbic acid to reduce waste. Since ascorbic acid can go bad within several months, try to avoid buying more than you can use during that time. Look for sample-sized bottles to start. If you go through several bottles within a few months, then you could upgrade to a bigger jar or start buying it in bulk.

  • Ascorbic acid loses its potency over time, so it’s better to buy only what you’re able to use within a few months. That way, you can replace it with fresher ascorbic acid in the future.
  • Keep an eye on the expiration date printed on containers. If you don’t plan on using the ascorbic acid every day, you might choose a product with a later expiration date, such as a powder over a liquid.

Warnings

  • Ascorbic acid loses its potency over time. Even if an ascorbic acid still looks fresh, it won’t be as nutritious as it was when you first opened the container. Use it as soon as possible for the maximum benefit. Thanks! Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
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