How Long Does E-liquid Last?
Does e-liquid have an expiry date?
Expiry date is strong wording, it has a recommendation, much like food. This recommendation is two years after the e-liquid was manufactured.
There are four ingredients in e-liquid: Propylene Glycol (PG), Vegetable Glycerin (VG), nicotine and flavouring. The shelf life of these components determines how long an e-liquid lasts.
PG and VG have a very long shelf life, as these are stable diluent compound, so around four to six years. Flavourings have a shelf life of around a year, but as all flavourings are mixed with PG this is extended. The two-year expiry date is the same for all e-liquids, including mzx VG or zero nicotine.
Remember, your e-liquid needs to be stored correctly and sealed well for it to last the full two years.
How to tell if e-liquid has gone bad
E-liquid won’t ‘go off’ as such. It can still be vaped after two years. But the nicotine will degrade, so you won’t be getting the correct strength or throat hit. The flavour can also alter after a period of time so the vape juice might taste different to how you remember.
Depending on the flavour of the e-liquid, there are key signs that your e-liquid has gone bad.
The colour will darken significantly, in some cases it can look almost black. The smell will change. Something that had a fruit element might lose that smell as an example.
If there are any heavy elements they might sink to the bottom of the bottle. Give the bottle a shake, if it mixes back together it will be fine to vape. If it doesn’t it’s time for the bin.
If it doesn’t taste the same or the flavour has completely altered, it has passed its expiry date.
How should you store e-liquids?
Bottles of e-liquid don’t like extremes of temperature, direct sunlight or oxygen. All of these things contribute to an e-liquid expiring quicker, so you need to ensure that your bottles of vape juice are stored correctly.
Even if a bottle has been opened it can last the full two years as long as it is stored correctly.
Make sure the lid is on tight and the bottle of e-liquid is sealed completely. Then store the bottles in a cool, dark place away from sources of heat.
Some people like to keep their e-liquids in the fridge, but this is not necessary, just a cool dark cupboard is fine.
Can you vape expired e-liquid?
Yes, it is fine to vape expired e-liquid. As previously mentioned, the expiry date of e-liquid is more of a recommendation rather than a date set in stone.
Vaping e-liquid that is past its expiry date isn’t bad for you. But it might not taste the same and the nicotine content won’t be the same after two years as it will start to degrade, so you won’t get the right strength nicotine or throat hit.
How do you dispose of expired e-liquid?
Carefully. If your e-liquid has expired and you need to get rid of it, don’t pour it directly down the sink. While the amount of nicotine in the vape juice is small, we don’t want to be introducing it to the system.
If down the sink is the best option, then make sure it is massively diluted before doing so. Another method some people employ is to pour the e-liquid onto an absorbent material such as cat litter or coffee grounds, then disposing of it in the bin.
Once you have gotten rid of the e-liquid, the bottles can be rinsed and recycled in your plastic bin.