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Does E-Liquid Go Bad?

West Coast Vape Supply

Have you ever shopped at a website like and found a great bulk e-liquid deal that you just couldn’t turn down? If you have, then you’ve probably wondered how long you can safely store vape juice. Does e-liquid go bad? How long does it last, and what’s the correct way to store it? The last thing that you want is to invest in a huge supply of e-liquid only to have it go bad, and we’re going to help you avoid that. Here’s everything you’ve ever wanted to know about how to maximize the shelf life of vape juice and prevent it from expiring.

How Long Does E-Liquid Last?

As a general rule, e-liquid remains at peak quality for about one year from the date of manufacture. In many cases, it’s common for e-liquid makers to put “best by” dates on their bottles. In those cases, there’s no need to worry about how long the e-liquid will last because you can just look at the date. If you buy e-liquid without an expiration date and are planning to store it for a while, though, it’s a good idea to make a note of when you purchased it. Once the e-liquid gets to be around a year old, you should strongly consider using it soon.

Although e-liquid does go “bad” eventually, it doesn’t self-destruct on the expiration date – and it isn’t necessarily unsafe to use after you’ve stored it for a year. In fact, there is no specific time at which e-liquid is unsafe to use – although we’ll give you some pointers shortly that you might find helpful.

As e-liquid ages, the ingredients begin to degrade. Nicotine, for instance, is a volatile molecule. It breaks down over time, so the nicotine content of the e-liquid will decrease in long-term storage. Flavors break down as well, which means that an old e-liquid seldom tastes as good as a new one. In addition, because nicotine breaks down over time, you’ll find that an old e-liquid isn’t as satisfying as a new one and that you may need to vape more often in order to maintain your normal level of satisfaction.

How Can You Tell if E-Liquid Is Expired?

So, with those things in mind, how can you tell if e-liquid is expired? The simplest way is to check for an expiration date on the bottle. If there’s a date on the bottle – and the date has passed – it’s a good idea to use the e-liquid as quickly as possible. If the bottle doesn’t have an expiration date, though – and you’re not quite certain when you purchased it – here are some other tips that can help you know when e-liquid has expired.

  • Look for a change in color. Nicotine oxidizes over time, and the e-liquid will start to turn yellow – and eventually brown – as a result. This change is particularly evident in an e-liquid with a higher nicotine content.
  • Look for a change in flavor. As the flavoring ingredients in an e-liquid break down, the flavor quality will start to become muted. The individual notes will start to meld together and become more difficult to discern from one another. Some volatile flavor notes may even disappear entirely.

As we mentioned above, you generally don’t need to worry about whether e-liquid is safe to use even if you’ve been storing it for a long time. Although we certainly wouldn’t recommend building a wine cellar for your vape juice and storing it for decades, you don’t necessarily have to throw a bottle of e-liquid away just because it’s a year old. If you’re not sure, just try the e-liquid. If it’s not enjoyable to use, you shouldn’t use it. If it still tastes fine to you, there’s really no reason not to use it.

How to Store E-Liquid for Longer Shelf Life

Light and air are the two things that make an e-liquid go bad. They cause oxidation, and they speed up the chemical processes that cause the nicotine and flavors in an e-liquid to degrade and break down. Here’s how to slow down those processes as much as possible and store your e-liquid for maximum shelf life.

  • Leave e-liquid bottles closed tightly until you’re ready to use them. A bottle of vape juice is tightly sealed at the factory, and that helps to keep air out of the bottle. When you open the bottle, you’ll break the seal, and that’ll cause the e-liquid to degrade more quickly.
  • Store your unused e-liquid in a cool, dark place that protects it from exposure to heat and ultraviolet radiation. A high cabinet is usually a good place to store e-liquid. It keeps your vape juice away from sunlight, and it also ensures that young children won’t be able to reach it.

Have you purchased some bulk e-liquid that you intend to store for a long time? If you think that it could be several months before you get around to using a bottle of vape juice, you might consider storing it in your refrigerator. As with many other consumable products, storing e-liquid in a cold environment can greatly help to slow down the processes that degrade its quality. Storing e-liquid in a refrigerator, however, is only safe if you don’t have children. If you do, it’s important to ensure that your e-liquid is always kept out of their reach.

Storing E-Liquid May Improve Its Flavor

In this article, we’ve mainly discussed the degradation processes that can rob an e-liquid of its flavor. In most cases, a bottle of vape juice tastes best on the day you buy it because it’s already spent some time in storage and has had more than enough time for the flavors to meld and coalesce. In some cases, though, you might buy a bottle of e-liquid that tastes a bit too “young” – certain individual flavor notes taste a little harsh or dominate the overall flavor profile in an unpleasant way. If you’re not completely happy with the flavor of a bottle of e-liquid, you should consider storing it for a while. Some people find that a few weeks of storage can greatly improve the flavor of a young e-liquid with harsh flavor notes.

Blake Brown
Blake Brown

Blake is the owner and creator of the Guide To Vaping blog. He has expressed his passion for the vaping industry through his deeply rooted and highly informative content. Being a writer and content provider for the vaping industry for year's, Blake has also gained experience from working with multiple blogs and well respected companies.

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