If you’re in a hurry and also need come whip increase a salad, a ready-to-use salad dressing is supervisor convenient. And nearly everyone has a collection of half-open party scattered roughly the fridge. But does salad dressing go bad?

If you nothing necessarily desire to eat Ranch, or Italian dressing every night of the week, friend don’t have actually to. Store-bought salad dressings usually have actually a long sufficient shelf life because that you to complete the bottle. And also if you bought too many bottles, the unopened ones keep for years.

You are watching: How long does ranch last in the fridge

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

Image used under an innovative Commons native Mike Mozart

How To keep Salad Dressing

Store-bought salad dressings come in two forms.

The much easier one is the dry mix that usually requires only water and/or oil to prepare the dressing.

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

Most the the ready-to-go dressings are marketed unrefrigerated, but sometimes you can uncover ones that room stored in the refrigerated area. The last ones space usually reduced on preservatives, or even free of them, therefore they require keeping at short temperature.

Let’s start with dry mixes. They don’t require lot in regards to storage. Just make certain the packet sit in a cool and also dry area. If you’re like me, you keep these in the summer sprouts drawer.

If you open the package and don’t usage the whole thing in ~ once, seal that tightly if possible. The keeps moisture and airflow at bay, for this reason the mix retains some flavor because that longer. A dried mix functions pretty much the same way spices such as cinnamon or chili powder do.

For bottled salad dressings marketed unrefrigerated storage guidelines are quite simple. As long as the bottle continues to be unopened, you deserve to store the in the pantry or kitchen. Just 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 the bottle, always keep the sealed tightly and also in the fridge once 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 indigenous scratch and have some leftovers, these belong come the refrigerator too.

If you ever thought around freezing ready dressings, pretty much all producers advise versus it. The high quality of the condiment changes, and it won’t be almost as an excellent after thawing. But you have the right to freeze meat or fish marinated in the dressing with an excellent success.

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

Image provided under an innovative Commons indigenous Ruth Hartnup

How long Does Salad Dressing Last

Once again let’s start with dried mixes.

Each packet comes v a best-by date on the label. And also while the powder won’t go negative after that date, over time, the top quality will degrade, and also some of the spices will be lost. Therefore, it’s best to usage them within a few months of the date. Opened the bag doesn’t really adjust much, listed that you keep it sealed strictly after.

When it concerns dressings marketed unrefrigerated, castle come through a best-by day too. And as long as the bottle continues to be unopened, girlfriend can conveniently store together dressing previous that date, also for a couple of weeks.

Once again, it’s a matter of quality. The mix won’t go negative soon past the day on the label, but its quality and freshness will gradually degrade over time.

Once you open the bottle, its components usually keep well for around 3 come 6 months. Yet make certain to check the label for details, as this is a general guideline, no necessarily details to what you have actually in hand.

(credit: Lavi Perchik)
Salad dressings marketed refrigerated last much shorter than their shelf-stable counterparts. typically a couple of weeks, probably up to two months.

They come with a use-by or sell-by date, and that day is a pretty great indicator of how long the mix remains fine. Of course, it need to keep well for a main or maybe two pst the date, but don’t suppose miracles.

Opening the bottle commonly doesn’t adjust that much in regards to shelf life. Or in other words, you have the right to still save the opened up mix as much as the date on the label or a little bit past. Yet again, that’s a basic guideline, and you should check the producer’s referral for a more precise period.

If you’ve whipped up your own mix, it generally lasts between 3 and 5 days, relying on the ingredient used. The much more volatile the components, the much shorter that period. If you made a dressing making use of the dry mix, it must retain an excellent quality for about a week.

Salad dressing dried 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 every the periods over are very general. Always inspect the dates and also other storage reference on the label of her dressing.

(credit: Monika Grabkowska)

How to Tell If Salad Dressing has 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 means they’re unsafe come eat. But, lot like spices, castle will slowly lose potency.


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

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

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

But if it’s a dairy-based salad dressing, like Ranch, blue cheese dressing, or anything v yogurt, separation is a authorize of high quality degradation. The dressing isn’t have to bad, yet it most likely won’t taste that great. Examine the brand to make sure if the manufacturer proposal tossing it the end or just providing it a stir.

If the dressing look at good, smells okay, and also you don’t currently store it for much much longer than recommended, it’s time to offer it a taste. Decision what to perform with it based on how the tastes.

See more: What Is Each Atom Is Left With A Outer Shell, What Is Each Atom Left With

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