A Beginner Vaper’s Guide to E-Liquids and Expiration Dates
Can E-Liquid Expire?
Have you ever looked at your bottle of vape juice and wondered if it’s any good still? As more and more manufacturers of vaping liquid put expiration, sell by, or best before dates on their bottles, maybe you’ll notice that yours is past its date? Or maybe there’s just something about it that seems off. Whatever it is that have you unnerved, an off smell, a difference in flavor, maybe less of a throat hit, it’s got you wondering if it’s still safe to use. Lucky for you, we’ve got the breakdown on e-liquids and expiration dates!
The Expiration Date
Many vapers aren’t even aware that their vape juice has an expiration date. But, just like any other food or drink item, vaping juices can expire. The time a vape juice is considered to keep depends on several factors. Certain flavorings or colors might cut the shelf-life a little shorter. Plastic bottles might let in more air and light than glass bottles, making the vape liquid degrade faster. Storage has a lot to say for the shelf-life of vape juices, both before they’re sold and after.
So if e-liquid actually has an expiration date, does that mean that you have to throw your favorite vape juice away as soon as it starts to near the dreaded date on the bottom of the bottle? No, not at all. Just like with all the other food products you keep in your home, the expiration date printed on a bottle of vape juice is nothing but a suggestion. It is a “Best Before” date, not a “Throw Out After” date. In fact, your vape juice can go bad even if it hasn't reached the expiration date. So while the expiration date on the bottle isn't an absolute last day of use, it's also not an excuse not to notice changes in the quality of your vape juice.
How Do You Know Your Vape Juice Is About to Expire?
It is not necessarily harmful to your health to use vape juice that has passed its expiration date. Even so, there are a couple of changes in the appearance of your vape juice that you should pay attention to. Below are several signs that your vape juice is about to expire, or recently has expired.
- The nicotine content starts to fade.
Perhaps the most important thing to know about soon to expire vape liquid is that its nicotine content can fade. This is a significant issue if you are a cigarette smoker who vapes to maintain a nicotine habit while still avoiding the harmful effects of smoking. A lower nicotine content can easily lead to withdrawal symptoms if your body depends on the nicotine you get through vaping. If you experience sudden withdrawal symptoms without any change in your vaping habits, it's worth checking your bottle for that expiration date. Feeling better might only be a brand new bottle away.
- The color of the vape juice might start to change. This one is easy to keep an eye on regularly.
- The flavor is less intense than what you'd normally expect. If your E-liquid no longer has the strong flavor you got used to when first using the bottle it might be a sign that the vape juice is about to expire. It’s important not to confuse this with the natural dulling of flavor that happens after your taste buds get used to a certain flavor.
- The vape liquid doesn’t smell as strongly anymore. If the smell of your vaping juice fades, that’s another sure sign that your vape liquid is about to expire.
- The bottle looks tinted. If the bottle your vape juice comes in suddenly starts to look tinted there’s a good chance your vape liquid is expired.
If any of these things happen to your vape juice, there is a possibility it has already passed its expiration date, but even if it hasn’t, it’s not a bad idea to get rid of it. Vaping e-liquid that has gone bad, versus just expired, may not be good for your health. Why risk it?
Is There Anything You Can Do to Make Your E-Liquid Last Longer?
After reading all the effects time and circumstances has on your vape liquid, is there any way to extend its shelf-life? Well sure, there are several things you can do to make your vape juice last a little longer. And if nothing else, these things will make your vape liquid less likely to expire before the expiration date. Many vape juices can be expensive, and having to throw them away simply because they have gone bad is not a good feeling. So make these small changes in how you store your vape liquid, and there's a good chance you will be able to
enjoy your stash for as long as possible.
- Shake it. Unless you use a bottle of vape juice every day, it needs to be shaken up on the daily to avoid separation of the ingredients. If you are shaking up a bottle of vaping juice and the sediment on the bottom doesn’t mix back in, this is usually a sign it’s already gone bad.
- Keep your vape juice in a dark room, out of sunlight that might cause the liquid to go bad faster.
- Keep your vape juice in a cool and dry place.
- Keep your vape liquid in tightly sealed bottles, air will also cause your vape liquid to go bad faster.
- Never freeze your liquid.
So, now you know. E-liquid can expire. And even if it may be safe to vape even after the expiration date, why risk it? So even though the many exciting flavors of vape liquids make you feel like you want them all, try to limit your purchases to an amount that you expect to use up within 2-3 months. This will make sure you will not waste money on vape liquid that expires faster than you can use it.