I'm trying to find a solution to counter-top storage of oils (olive, sesame, fish) and other sauces (balsamic, soy) that I use frequently. I was thinking of reusing some of the tin containers that gourmet oils come in (e.g., walnut or hazelnut oil); however, I'm not sure how practical it is and am not sure how safe it might be for some of the more reactive sauces (such as the vinegars).

Would reusing those be safe?

  • What type of "tin" exactly, and how long are you anticipating storing these items?
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 1:07
  • I was looking at something like the containers that hold these types of oils. I'm not sure what they're made from. Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 2:00
  • 4
    Oils do tend to be fairly non-reactive, so I wouldn't trust that a tin made for oil would necessarily be lined well enough to prevent acid corrosion. Similarly, if I had a tin of something acidic and fat-free, I wouldn't assume that the lining won't break down in the presence of oil, as some plastics do...though I'm not an expert on what the standards are for can liners. Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 4:21
  • Thanks for the information, Theodore! I would vote up your comment if I could! Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 7:57
  • related : cooking.stackexchange.com/q/32539/67 (possible duplicate for reuse for oil ... but doesn't cover vinegar and others)
    – Joe
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 13:52

1 Answer 1


If the key issue is safety, I imagine the cans of the type you indicate are probably as safe as any others, assuming that you can clean them adequately. Those corners at the top are out of the reach of a bottle brush. They will have a lining to prevent them from being overly reactive.

Still, I would not use them as they are going to be very difficult to clean, and you cannot monitor the contents.

I would recommend getting an oil dispenser specifically for the purpose, such as this type: enter image description here

They will let you see inside, and make it easy and clean to pour. With a funnel, you should be able to fill them easily, and they don't have corners (at the top) out of reach of a bottle brush, making them easier to clean.

Still, this type of dispenser is not meant for long term or bulk storage, as many oils and condiments should not be exposed to light and air (although the dispenser minimizes air exposure, especially when it is below the fill line). You would use them for working amounts that you would consume in a couple of weeks.

The containers tend to be made of glass, which you know is non-reactive.

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