I want to start making my own salad dressing because I don't like all of the stuff they put in processed food. However, I still would like my dressings to last more than just a few days in the fridge. What kinds of preservatives (hopefully natural ones) can I use to preserve home-made salad dressings?


2 Answers 2


What is a "bad preservative"?

The main additive preservatives used today are ascorbic acid, citric acid, ethanol, salt, sodium nitrate (pink salt), sugar, and vinegar - all of which have been used for centuries, and other than with excessive use, are not seen as harmful

Weird chemical preservatives are often only used with weird chemical ingredients, stick to basics and you'll be fine

Pasteurisation, electrical pulse, and other heat treatments are used commercially and give products those amazing shelf live times. Without specific equipment and monitoring systems they are hard to reliable reproduce at home

Your home made dressing will last long enough in the fridge for you to get bored with it and want a new flavour :-)

  • A "bad preservative," I suppose, is one which is synthetic or otherwise bad for one's health--the kinds of preservatives which make off-the-shelf salad dressings unhealthy. Of course there are many things that make such dressings unhealthy But I'm thinking in this realm. Thanks!
    – Jason
    Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 8:08
  • 1
    Most off-the shelf salad dressings that I have seen don't have anything unhealthy in them. Most commercial varieties have a thickener and stabiliser added, but these are usually plant based extracts, no problem there! You can add your own thickener by closing your eyes when pouring, and stabiliser by shaking the bottle before pouring :-). Salad dressings made mostly with oil and vinegar are very healthy for you and are a perfect digestive accompaniment to salad greens etc. It's the quantity used that is often a problem
    – TFD
    Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 10:44

Your homemade salad dressings will certainly last longer than a few days in the refrigerator. According to Still Tasty, you can keep homemade salad dressing for two weeks in the refrigerator.

However, your salad dressing will separate if you do not include an emulsifier. A separated salad dressing just needs to be mixed up again, which may require warming the dressing if the fat begins to solidify.

Common emulsifiers include mustard powder, honey, and egg yolks (although the last of these introduces its own problems in terms of health risks unless your salad dressing is heated).

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.