The conditions under which lubricants are stored can have an adverse effect on their performance. Inventory control can also play an important role. Therefore, SKF recommends a "first in, first out" inventory policy.
Lubricant properties may vary considerably during storage due to exposure to air/oxygen, temperature, light, water, moisture and other contaminants, or oil separation. Therefore, lubricants should be stored in a cool, dry, indoor area and should never be exposed to direct sunlight. The lubricants should be stored in their original containers, which should be kept closed until needed. After use, the containers should be resealed immediately.
The recommended maximum storage time is two years for greases and ten years for lubricating oils; assuming reasonable stock keeping practices and protection from excessive heat and cold.
Grease or oil that has exceeded the recommended shelf life is not necessarily unsuitable for service. However, it is advisable to confirm that the lubricant still meets the product requirements and specifications.