Expiration dates on food products frequently mislead customers into throwing out products that are still perfectly fine.
Most food products have two labels, a sell-by date and a use-by (or expiration) date. Sell-by dates exist only for staff to keep track of which products arrived first to the store shelf. By following sell-by dates, staff can follow “FIFO” (that’s industry talk for “first-in, first-out”). Expiration dates are only the manufacturer’s guarantee of freshness. Beyond the expiration date, a manufacturer will no longer vouch for their product. This is just a way for companies to avoid customers complaining that their three-year-old loaf of bread didn’t taste good.
Vape juice and other nicotine products have similar “best by” dates. So the question is: are propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin any different when it comes to best by dates?
Does vape juice go bad?
Yes and no. Whether or not vape juice truly goes bad depends on your definition of bad. Your e-Juice will not spoil and become dangerous like some foods or medicines will. However, it will lose potency and flavor over time. Vape juice is just like processed food in this regard. The use-by date is not the magical moment when the product becomes toxic, rather it is an estimate of the time frame when the product will begin to lose its quality.
As your vape juice ages, the chemical compounds will eventually begin to break down. The most important change your e-Liquid will undergo is a process called nicotine oxidation.
Nicotine oxidation is often done to e-Juices on purpose during the production process, as some interaction with oxygen will actually bring out the flavors. This is because the molecules of nicotine most responsible for flavor are also the ones most likely to be agitated by oxygen.
Too much oxidation, however, will make your e-Liquid go stale. So once you’ve opened the bottle and the e-Juice has been exposed to the air, the oxidation process will start up again and your product will eventually lose flavor.
Store your vape juice at room temperature
Like many products, vape juice is sensitive to extremely high or low temperatures. Your e-Liquid will stay fresh longer if it is stored at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. Storing your vape juice in extreme conditions will hasten the staleness.
How long before e-liquid goes bad?
You’ll find different expiration dates on different brands of e-Juice. But as a general rule, two years is the average lifespan of most vape juice. So if you don’t see a date on your e-Liquid, two years is a pretty safe bet.
Most vapers will never run into this issue because they go through e-Liquid too quickly. But it’s always possible that you’ll lose a bottle in your cabinet and rediscover it a year later. If this happens, don’t be scared of giving it a try, but be prepared for a poor taste or overall mediocre quality if the e-Liquid is really old.
How to store e-Liquid
We’ve discussed how room temperature and out of direct sunlight is the best way to store your vape juice. So this means avoid leaving it in the car, on windowsills or outside. Ideally, your e-Liquids should be placed in a tall cabinet where they are safe from small children or pets.
Disposing of expired e-Liquid
Expired e-Juice should also be kept out of the reach of children and animals who may accidentally consume it and become ill. If you need to dispose of old e-Liquid, do so safely. Do not simply dump it down the drain and definitely don’t throw it onto the lawn. Instead, pour it into a small bag of something super absorbent, like cat litter. Then throw the bag in the garbage.
Is it safe to consume vape juice after its expiration date?
There is currently no evidence to suggest that vaping expired e-Juice is any more or less dangerous than the stuff that’s hot off the shelf. However, the bad taste of expired e-Juice and the lower nicotine concentration may lead you to feel sick or uncomfortable.
Ultimately, expired e-Juice tastes bad and won’t give you the nicotine hit you were expecting. If your vape is tasting stale, check how long you’ve had the same bottle of e-Juice. If it’s old, dispose of it and try a new bottle.
Need help choosing the perfect e-Liquid or vape juice? AtmosRx can help!
What happens to vape juice when it expires?
E-Liquids do not go bad, but their nicotine content will drop over time. If you notice you’re not getting the same hit as usual, it could be a sign that your e-Juice is too old.
How long does e liquid last once opened?
Properly sealed, e-Juice may last up to two years after opening. This will vary across brands and nicotine concentrations.
How do you know if vape juice is bad?
If your vape juice has expired, you will notice that you are not getting the same hit you would expect. You may find yourself vaping more and the flavor may weaken or go bad.
What can you do with old vape juice?
Do not leave expired e-Juice sitting around your house as it may pose a threat to children or pets. To properly dispose of expired e-Juice, pour it into a small bag filled with something absorbent like cat litter. Do not dump e-Juice down the drain and avoid throwing the whole bottle into the garbage.
Is it OK to vape expired juice?
Like many foods, expired e-Juice does not become toxic, but it will lose its potency. The nicotine level will drop and the flavor may go bad. The color of the e-Liquid may change, as well.
Does vaping liquid expire?
Based on the shelf life of propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, you can expect vape juice to last for one or two years before diminishing in quality.