Does E-Liquid Expire

Does E-Liquid Expire?

Most vapers like to keep an assortment of vape juice varieties on hand. After all, having access to a wide variety of e-juice flavors is one of the things that makes vaping great. Vapers often want to know if the bottles of e-liquid in their personal stash have an expiration date. Here are some things you should know about e-juice shelf life.

The Components of E-Liquid

To understand the shelf life of an e-liquid, it helps to think about how these juices are made. Each e-liquid typically consists of three things: propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin and nicotine. The first two are commonly referred to as PG and VG, respectively. There are, of course, varieties of e-liquid that eliminate nicotine altogether.
Most e-liquids use a mix of PG and VG to create a base. This base is what allows flavoring and nicotine to bind together and ultimately be rendered as vapor when heated by your mod. As a rule, all three components have a shelf life of about two years when properly stored. That's a number generally accepted by the makers of e-liquid.
But wait; it's a little too simple to assume that the bottle of e-liquid you purchased today will last for two years. Just like any product that carries an expiration date, there are some variables to consider.

Can Vape Juice Go Bad?

Let's say that today you purchased a gallon of milk at your local grocery store. The expiration date on the milk carton is exactly one month from today. This means that your milk should be good for the next 30 days, right?
Not exactly. The expiration date represents how long the milk should last under ideal conditions. When you got home from the grocery store the milk was forgotten in the car, where it sat in the heat for 20 minutes. Or perhaps you left it sitting on the counter after making a bowl of cereal and didn't put it away until an hour later. These variables compromise the expiration date. Under ideal conditions, that milk might have lasted beyond the date on the carton.
It's the same with vape juice. Based on the ingredients it contains, your e-juice should last about two years when kept under ideal conditions. So, what are some of the variables that can reduce the shelf life of your favorite juice?

Things That Can Affect E-Liquid Shelf Life

How long does ejuice last once opened? The answer depends on how often your e-juice is exposed to heat and light.
Heat and light are the greatest enemies when it comes to the life of your e-liquid. The reason for this is that exposure to either of these variables causes the PG and VG in an e-juice to break down.
Remember when we said that PG and VG work as a base and a binding agent for flavor? When these two compounds begin to break down, the flavor in your e-juice begins to diminish. It can even become bitter. Also, the flavor and nicotine can begin to separate.
There are few things less satisfying than an e-liquid that has lost its flavor. If your e-juice has a bad taste or little flavor at all, it's a good bet that your juice has expired.

How To Properly Store E-Liquid

Many vapers only buy a single bottle of e-liquid as needed. This makes it much easier to prevent a vape juice from going bad. You'll probably go through the bottle long before it starts to feel the effects of exposure to light and heat.
Some vapers, however, like to purchase in bulk or buy larger bottles of e-juice. It can actually be more affordable to do it that way. If you're in this group, you'll need to store the e-juice properly to prevent spoilage.
When your e-juice arrives, find a place that is cool and dark. A closet works well for this. You might also be able to store the e-juice in a kitchen cabinet. You can always put a little of the e-juice in a smaller container if you need to take some along when you travel. Just remember to take along a dropper for filling.
Storing e-liquid in a refrigerator is advised by some experts, but it might not be a great idea. The liquid will become thick and harder for your rig to render. Just keep it dark and cool, and you'll be fine. Room temperature in most homes will work great for optimum storage.

Tell-tale Signs of E-Juice Expiration

There are a couple of reliable ways to tell if your e-liquid is expired. You simply need to rely on your senses of sight and smell.
The first thing you want to do is look for separation. When the PG and VG begin to break down, a visual separation of the e-juice almost always occurs. You will be able to see one layer of liquid atop another. Give the e-liquid a good shake and see if the components blend. If not, it's probably time to toss the bottle.
Next, give the e-juice a good whiff to see if it retains its aroma. It should smell like the flavor it is meant to convey. If you get no smell or if the smell is off, the bottle of e-juice is probably bad.

The Bottom Line on E-Juice Expiration

Here's the deal: As a general rule, you can expect one year of shelf life from your e-liquids when they are stored properly. You'll probably get closer to two years under optimum conditions, but just assume that you need to use that e-liquid within a year.
Some e-juices have even lasted as long as five years with proper storage. This is the exception, though, and far from the rule.
Remember, e-liquid is made to vape! It wasn't created to sit in your cabinet for months on end. Buy smart, store well and get the maximum pleasure from your vape juices.

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