Does E-Liquid Expire?

Some vapers endorse steeping your e-liquid for months to improve the flavour, but if your vape juice has been lying around for a year or two you may be questioning whether it's safe to vape it at all.

In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about vape liquid shelf life. We discuss the lifespan of vape juice and discover if it goes bad, how to find the expiration date, and whether or not you can vape expired e-liquid. We'll also talk about vaping habits and how storing your e-liquid incorrectly can have a detrimental effect on its quality.

Does e-liquid have an expiration date? Rules and Regulations.

Yes, all bottles of e-liquid have an expiration date which is usually 1 to 2 years from the date of manufacture. E-liquid manufacturers are legally required to place an expiration date on their juice bottles, however, the expiry date on e-liquid is more of a guideline that they set themselves.

Similar to the 'best before' date set by food manufacturers, the purpose of the date is to ensure quality rather than safety, indicating that during this time the e-liquid will be at optimal flavour and vapeability. There is no industry standard for the expiration dates of vape juice, and makers will work this date out through in-house testing and customer feedback.

How long does e-liquid last?

Expired vape juice will still taste good, however the flavour may not be as punchy as a fresh bottle. Once the expiry date has passed, the quality of the vape juice will begin to degrade. It doesn't mean you can't vape it, you'll still get flavour but it may not be as complex and may lose some of its unique characteristics. Expired vape juice can taste very sweet and sugary but will lose any unique flavour qualities it once had.

Bottle of e-liquid with expiration date

How long does high PG e-liquid last?

Propylene Glycol is the flavour carrier in e-liquid that also produces the punchy throat hit favoured by mouth to lung vapers. It is quite a stable synthetic food chemical that can last for anywhere from 2 to 3 years. Some factors can negatively impact the lifespan of PG like temperature, sunlight and oxidation so it is important to store your e-liquids correctly.

How long does high VG e-liquid last?

Vegetable Glycerin is derived from plant oils and has a slightly shorter shelf life of 1 to 2 years. VG also is best stored away from extreme temperatures and sunlight. Indicators of VG spoilage can be a change in colour, strange smells or bacterial growth. If you notice any of these signs in your e-juice then you should discard it.

Does nicotine expire?

Even nicotine can degrade over time, it has a typical shelf life of 1 to 2 years and can also turn darker in colour. E-liquid with nicotine content can still be used past its expiration date, however, it may not be as effective and you may experience diminished craving satisfaction when vaping expired e-liquid.

The main components of e-liquid.

How long does vape juice last once opened?

There is no timeline for how long vape juice lasts once opened. The best way to tell is by vaping and tasting the e-liquid yourself. A visual inspection will quickly tell you if your e liquid has if off. If the e-liquid has turned dark brown or there is a noticeable change in consistency and it tastes bland or very sugary, then you may want to bin it.

Once you open a bottle of e-liquid the ingredients will react with the air and begin to oxidise and deteriorate faster than a sealed bottle. Some vapers actually open their bottles early and leave them in a dark cupboard in the belief that the oxidation process will improve the flavour. This process is known as steeping and whilst its effectiveness is open to debate, the point is that your e-liquid flavour won't start to 'go off' once you open it. You may notice that the flavours become sweeter or more pronounced.

Why does e-liquid turn brown?

The ingredients in e-liquid, particularly nicotine, sweeteners and flavourings, begin to react with oxygen in the air and slowly. A change in colour is the first sign that the oxidation process has begun. At first, you'll notice your e-liquid turning a light yellow colour and slowly this will deepen to amber and brown. Certain dessert flavoured e-liquids contain more flavourings and sweeteners and can be naturally darker, so if you have purchased a new flavour that is amber or brown in colour, it doesn't mean that it has gone off.

Three bottles showing progressive vape juice discolouration.

Can you vape expired juice?

You can still vape expired vape juice, however, once it has passed its sell-by date, oxidation will begin to alter the colour and taste of the e-liquid. You may notice that the colour is darker and the flavours are less vibrant. If you notice that the viscosity of the liquid has changed to either very thick or very runny, you may want to reconsider trying to vape it.

Can disposable vapes expire?

The liquid in a disposable vape is made of the same ingredients as regular e-liquids and it can expire if it has passed the manufacturer's date, or if stored incorrectly. If your disposable is still sealed in its packaging and it has passed the expiration date, then it should still be good to vape. It's ultimately up to you, if the disposable is out of date and it tastes unpleasant, then it's best to swap it out for a new one.

How to store vape juice?

Storing your e-liquid correctly will ensure that it lasts longer. Exposure to heat and direct sunlight can rapidly degrade the liquid and may even cause the flavour to go off before the expiry date. Furthermore, it is a myth that keeping your vape juice bottles in a fridge will keep them fresher for longer. Extreme cold may cause the main ingredients and amy risks spoiling them even faster. The optimim temperature range for e-liquids is 15°C to 21°C. Keep your vape juice in prime condition by sealing the bottle tight and storing it in a cool, dark place like a cupboard.

How to dispose of expired vape juice?

Unfortunately, there is no way to recycle e-liquid. If you have a significant amount of out of date vape juice you want to throw away, then we recommend you pour it onto an absorbent material and discard it with your household refuse. You can use old coffee grounds, kitty litter or sawdust. You can rinse the empty bottles out and recycle them at home.

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Vape juice can expire and typically has a shelf life of 1 to 2 years. Whilst an e-liquid expiration date is required by law, the actual shelf life is determined at the manufacturer's discretion and should be used as a guideline to indicate when the e-liquid will provide the best flavour experience.

You can still vape out of date e-liquid, however, you should note the signs of expired e-liquid such as a change in colour, consistency and taste and decide for yourself. Ensuring that your e-liquid is stored in sealed bottles, away from extreme temperatures and sunlight will preserve the quality and safeguard the lifespan of your vape juice.

Guarantee yourself the best vape experience by possible by shopping at Vape Superstore, where we have thousands of premium e-liquids with hundreds of flavour profiles. Whether you're into nic salt vaping with MTL pod kits or enjoy billowing clouds of flavour with the latest DTL vape kits, we've got you covered with an array of the best quality e-liquids and the best deals anywhere in the UK!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Where should I keep my vape?

Keep your vape devices and e-liquids in a dark place away from heat and direct sunlight. If you have children or pets, ensure that your kit and juice is kept safely out of reach.

What is the shelf life of vape juice?

Good quality e-liquid made by reputable will have a best-before date stamped on the bottle that should be just under 2 years. This also goes for opened e-liquid, so long as it is properly sealed, open bottles can also last for up to 2 years.

A photo showing the expiry date on a bottle of e-liquid.

How can I tell that my e-juice has expired?

Check the Date: Use-by dates are there for a reason, once your vape juice has passed its expiry date the quality of the flavour will begin to degrade. If you want the best experience, its always best to get a new bottle.

Darkening: Some e-liquid can naturally darken, however, if your e-liquid is a very dark brown then it is best to bin it and stock up on a fresh bottle.

Separation: If you notice a separation of ingredients then you can try shaking the bottle to mix things up again. If this doesn't work or the liquid separates quickly after shaking, then it's best to purchase a new flavour.

Smell: The nose never lies, if your e-liquid has changed colour and you are not sure whether it's vapeable, give it a sniff.

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