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  • Writer's pictureNative Salts

How long do smelling salts last after opening them and their stimulating effects on users

Updated: Apr 10

In the first post, we discussed what smelling salts are and how they are effectively used in medicine. We have seen the efficacy of smelling salts when used as intended to treat and prevent fainting and dizziness. In time, smelling salts became a fixture on sports fields, helping to revive and reinvigorate athletes of all levels.

Many people are now wondering how long the stimulation of smelling salts lasts for users and the shelf life of a smelling salts bottle once it has been opened for use. What factors influence its longevity? Is it possible to extend its life? To find out the answers to these questions, continue reading below.

How Long Do the Stimulating Effects of Smelling Salts Last?

Effects of smelling salts on users

Smelling salts have short-lasting adrenaline effects, making them great for high-intensity sports

The effects of smelling salts vary in duration, but they are generally short-lived, lasting anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. The half-life of adrenaline is about 2 minutes, and the overall effects last about 3-4 minutes. It means that smelling salts are not intended to be used for endurance sports like long-distance running, marathons, or distance swimming.

It should be noted that the effects are still dependent on other various factors, such as the individual's sensitivity to the scent and the strength of the smelling salt.

How Many Times Can Smelling Salts Be Used?

The product's strength and the manufacturer's recommendations would govern usage. There is no research to support any product restrictions, but inhaling large amounts of ammonia may cause health problems if used excessively

Proper use and dosage of smelling salts

Source: Users should continually monitor their ammonia intake from smelling salts to ensure health safety

You may also notice that your tolerance grows, necessitating stronger smelling salts or increasing your usage. This practice is discouraged to avoid any long-term side effects. Read the proper use of smelling salts to benefit from using them.

How Long Do Smelling Salts Last After Opening Them

The shelf life is approximately six months. Once opened, the lifespan of smelling salts can range from 1-6 months, depending on how frequently they are used or opened. Adding fresh oxygen to the bottle more regularly causes it to dry out and lose its potency more quickly.

Smelling salts shelf life after opening

Smelling salts bottles can last up to many months with frequent use under proper storage

Smelling salts are frequently available in two forms. One is in small individual capsules intended for one-time use, while the other is a bottle that will last slightly longer.

Do smelling salts expire?

Regarding the lifespan of smelling salts, once the product is exposed to air, it begins to lose its potency, which signifies that it has a shelf life. When the vapor of dried ammonia becomes depleted, and its liquid form has been thoroughly used, that marks the conclusion of this product's lifespan.

Smelling salts' ingredients have something to do with the effects it leaves on the users and their shelf life. Let's dive a little more into this.

What are smelling salts made of

Classic smelling salts are typically made with ammonium carbonate, also chemically known as (NH4)2CO3, a concentrated ammonia in the salt form that provides a robust and intense-pungent aroma. Ammonia inhalants usually consist of diluted ammonia, water, and alcohol. While effective in reviving fainting or unconscious individuals, the strong scent can be off-putting to some people. That is why some have been adding fumes and other chemicals to mask the intense smell of ammonia.

Ammonia carbonate in smelling salts

Source: Most traditional smelling salts are made of fine ammonia carbonate crystals or powder

Ammonia is the common denominator of all the ammonia inhalants commercially sold. Of course, they should be used with caution and only as directed. Smelling salts have beneficial effects, but the user may still experience side effects if the concentration or dose is too high. Thus, it is always recommended that you inspect the complete chemical composition and follow the safety instructions of your smelling salts before using them. In turn, they have made individuals look for healthier alternatives to smelling salts recently. Some health-conscious people have begun making smelling salts at home using readily available raw ingredients.

The Healthier Shift to Homemade Salts

The difference between commercial and natural homemade salts lies in the ingredients used to create the formula and scent.

Homemade smelling salts using Epsom salt

Source: Making smelling salts at home using Epsom salts and essential oils

Several people have attempted to produce their smelling salts. Some alternatives to smelling salts are ammonia-salts-free, which contain simple solutions of Epsom salts, sea salt, and preferred essential oils. Nonetheless, they're not real ammonia inhalants. They're just a healthy imitation of smelling salts that do not give the powerful stimulant that real ammonia inhalants provide.

Homemade Smelling Salts Using 100% Natural Ingredients

The rise of natural homemade smelling salts such as Native Salts became popular with athletes, workers, and health enthusiasts due to their much safer product composition. These smelling salts have been handmade in Chicago since 2018. Besides being aromatic, they are also made with all-natural ingredients and formulated with health safety in mind. The natural ingredients and premium essential oils used, such as eucalyptus and peppermint oil, provide a refreshing and invigorating aroma and give users health benefits, making them a more enjoyable and safer option seeking a way to stay awake and refreshed.

Essential oils for smelling salts scents

Source: Natural essential oils like peppermint can complement smelling salts while adding alertness, refreshing and therapeutic effects

Furthermore, using essential oils in Native Salts provides alertness, performance, and aromatherapeutic benefits, making them a more holistic option for those seeking to improve their well-being. They perfectly supplement and balance the main ingredient, ammonia vapor, without requiring users to take a more potent dose of similar products to feel the same energizing effect.

How Long do Native Salts Smelling Salts Last

If Native Salts smelling salts are used daily for a short amount of time, they can be used for up to 6 months. If used more sparingly and stored correctly, they can sometimes last up to 12 months. Ammonia gas and the volatile compounds found in essential oils within the bottle are released when the cap is unscrewed, causing it to lose its potency over time. Shaking the bottle between every use releases more ammonia gas from the mixture, allowing the user to recharge the strength. However, it's worth noting that doing so signals that the product is at the end of its shelf life, and repeating this procedure could reduce the overall shelf life.

Native salts potency and shelf-life

Giving Native Salts bottle a shake towards the end of its shelf life can create a temporary spike in potency

Another unique trait about Native salts, besides being natural and aromatic, is the fact that these smelling salts are reusable. Unlike other smelling salts in the market, Native Salts are made with a natural polymer crystal that absorbs and encapsulates the scent-infused liquid ammonia, resulting in an extension of shelf life. It allows the same bottle to be used multiple times over several months while the vapor retains its potency. The amber bottle also reduces the potential side reactions of photolysis, in which sunlight reacts and breaks down light-sensitive compounds in smelling salts, causing them to lose their potency faster.

Native salts is reusable & eco-friendly

Native Salts’ reusable packaging and distinctive product design give it an advantage over other smelling salts in terms of sustainability and shelf life

Consequently, Native Salts' unique packaging and product design make it a more sustainable and eco-friendly option than its counterparts. Most ammonia inhalants come in plastic packets that can only be used once and then thrown away. They are often seen littering the ground in many sports arenas. Other, more traditional smelling salts need to be taken out of the container and dissolved in water to work. This makes them more likely to lose their potency and shelf life over time as they are exposed to air. Both scenarios lead to more overall product waste.

How to Properly Store Smelling Salts

Smelling salts, in general, need to be stored in cool, dark, and moisture-free areas. The reason is that ammonium carbonate, the main ingredient in smelling salts, breaks down into ammonia gas when exposed to moisture in the air, higher temperatures, or sunlight. It will cause a higher release of ammonia gas and other volatile compounds when the bottle is opened.

Usually, storing them in cool, dry areas in a cabinet at room temperature is sufficient. However, keeping them in the fridge in a secondary container or plastic bag can be an excellent way to extend their shelf life during the harsh summer months. The cap must also be airtight to prevent air from getting in and any vapors from escaping, thus maximizing the overall shelf-life and potency of the product.

Smelling salts in cabinet to extend life

Source: Similar to lab chemicals, smelling salts should be stored in cool, dry, and dark areas such as cabinets to prolong their shelf life

In conclusion, the durational effects of smelling salts can vary from user to user, but they are generally short-lived. The difference between classic smelling salts and natural ones like Native Salts lies in the ingredients used to create safer formulas and scents, greatly enhancing shelf-life and overall user experience.

Native salts offer more refreshing, natural, and reusable, eco-friendly smelling salts with added benefits such as aromatherapy and alertness. Surely you'd like to try one, too.

If you would like to learn more about Native Salts, do not hesitate to contact us, or you can purchase them here by clicking the "Get Native Salts" button below.

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