The perennial question of beginners in vaping is if e-juice has an expiry date. If you are a seasoned vaper, you may end up with a couple of out-of-flavor e-liquids stored on your shelf.
Most e-juices have their expiry dates indicated on the bottle itself. Just like any food product, it may come with the words “best before” or “expiration date.”
The truth is that there is no federal law that requires the indication of these dates. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this information is left at the discretion of the manufacturer.
The agency, however, stated that consumable products have to be wholesome and suitable for consumption.
This means that when a product becomes dangerous for consumers it becomes subject to the rule of the FDA regardless of what is indicated on the product label.
Most companies voluntarily indicate expiry dates to their product labels and these are often in adherence to the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) guidelines.
According to the FSIS, these dates indicate the product’s quality rather than the safety of consuming it. E-liquids differ from those of fresh foods like eggs, meat, and milk because the e-liquids are shelf-stable.
This means that the product does not react much with its environment and it is more likely to last long. According to the FSI guidelines, shelf-stable products must print the month and year for their expiration.
How Long ‘Til the E-juice Becomes Bad?
Since the e-liquid is shelf-stable, it takes time for it to go bad. Shelf-life differs from one e-juice to another. It will also vary depending on how long it is stored. As a rule of thumb though, an e-juice may last between one to two years if this is stored properly.
The expiry date is in fact an estimate of the length of time the e-juice will remain safe to consume under normal conditions. However, the e-juice quality may diminish as time passes by.
Shelf life is based on the lifespan of the components that make up the vape liquid. When it goes past the expiry date, the quality of the e-juice will decrease over time as well as its nicotine strength.
Its texture and feel to the mouth when you vape may also feel different. It’s likely for the flavor to fade quickly. However, this does not mean that the old e-liquid is not safe for consumption.
The three general components of an e-liquid, nicotine, propylene glycol (PG), and vegetable glycerin (VG), often have a shelf life of two years. However, when these components are exposed to direct heat or sunlight, they are likely to react and break down more easily. Nicotine, for example, when exposed to too much heat is likely to oxidize much faster.
Another major component of e-juice is flavorings. Its shelf life can vary substantially and this may have a major impact on the e-juice quality. When the e-liquid is made up of more natural compounds then it is more likely to go bad easily compared to one that uses artificial flavors in its composition.
The quality of the ingredients also affects the e-juice shelf life. Cheaper e-liquids can get spoiled easily
Is the E-juice Still Safe to Consume after the Expiry Date?
Since the FSIS guidelines stated that expiry dates only indicate quality not safe for consumption, you should look out for signs if an e-liquid has not gone bad yet.
You have to check if the e-liquid starts to separate from all its components and turns solid, or it starts to gel together, and if it starts to have a foul smell or taste.
The e-juice may also have a dramatic change in color or if it becomes clearer than usual. It is also necessary for you to smell the e-liquid. If you smell something offensive to the nostrils, then it’s better to throw away the e-juice.
As the e-juice starts to go bad, there are changes to its flavor. It may also become darker and give much stronger flavors.
How Do You Store an E-liquid?
It is best to store an e-juice in a dark bottle which is kept in a cool and dark place. It can go stale faster when it is placed in direct sunlight and a warm environment.
It doesn’t have to be kept in the fridge either. The ideal temperature for it is below room temperature. When you store e-liquids it’s best to transfer them to an airtight and tinted glass bottle instead of the plastic bottle when you buy them.
These vials are affordable and don’t forget to indicate the expiry date based on the product label when you move the e-liquid to its new container.