You might be surprised to know that vape juice does have a shelf life once you open it. Since it contains food based ingredients (vegetable glycerin = VG & propylene glycol = PG), it’s important to pay attention to the expiration dates on your vape bottles. There are a few things to consider once you leave a vape juice alone for a while and are considering going back to it. Let’s go over some of them now.
HOW LONG DOES EJUICE LAST?
Depending on how the ejuice is stored, ejuice can last quite a long time. Most e-liquids can be kept for up to two years, provided they are stored properly. However, once you open the bottle, the vacuum seal is broken and air can now get to the ejuice. Plan to buy vape juice that you’ll use out completely in 2-3 months. Make sure you check the smell of the ejuice if you haven’t re-opened it in a long time. The color may have changed as well; e-liquid darkens as the nicotine steeps, making the throat hit stronger or weaker. (We’ll go over why your liquid may turn brown in more depth in our next article.) And finally, the consistency of the liquid may change. The e-liquid may thicken and become more dense if left alone for too long, which will ultimately clog your coil. If you’re planning on keeping your ejuice for a while, make sure the top is screwed on tightly before storing it. Check out our previous article on How Long Does a 30mL Bottle of Ejuice last here for more information about using ejuice in smaller quantities.
IS IT SAFE TO VAPE EXPIRED EJUICE?
An expiration date is probably the last thing you’d look on your bottle of vape juice, and not every bottle has one. Try to make a mental note when you purchased the ejuice, especially if you don’t plan to go through it quickly. Certain ingredients in vape juice can be dangerous to vape after the expiration date. Just like with food products, expiration dates are most often a recommendation. You can consume certain foods slightly after the expiration date, and some foods can go bad even before the expiration date. If you do choose to vape the e-liquid after the expiration date, it most likely won’t cause any health effects. However, the e-liquid may very well be discolored, have a low nicotine and flavor level, and may not produce as much vapor. And who wants to have a less-than-excellent vaping experience?
WHY DOES MY VAPE JUICE TASTE FUNNY?
Depending on the flavorings used, some vape juices can taste great when you first get them but then lose their awesomeness over time. As the nicotine steeps and the ingredients break down, the taste will lose its original potency. Some expired flavors will taste absolutely disgusting after they’ve passed the expiration date, so you’ll want to use caution when trying flavors you haven’t used in a while. The nicotine can sharpen or flatten over time, causing you to clutch your throat and gasp for air after the first puff of an expired vape juice. And lastly, once the ingredients start to separate, the taste may be impossible to get back again. The best way to fix this is to vigorously shake your e-liquid before using it. This is a great practice to use for unopened e-liquids too. If you tend to buy e-liquids in bulk, make sure to shake them before filling up your tank. You’ll get a purer flavor and a better vaping experience if the vape juice is well-mixed.
HOW TO PROPERLY STORE E-LIQUID
If you know you won’t be using your vape juice for a while, make sure you store it in a cool dark place. Direct exposure to sunlight or heat can cause the ingredients to expire more quickly, thus ruining the e-juice. Make sure your vape juice isn’t exposed to other liquids, like water, soups, beverages, or household chemicals. While it might be tempting to have a fancy collection of e-liquids, try to finish off bottles of ejuice you’ve already opened before opening up a new bottle. If you know you’ll be trying flavors often, consider buying smaller bottles first to ensure you like the flavor. Then you can start buying larger bottles since you know you won’t waste it. Lastly, don’t freeze your ejuice. While many food products carry a longer shelf life, ejuice is not one of them. The consistency will change and you may not enjoy the taste of the vape as you did when it was first purchased.
THE TYPE OF BOTTLE MATTERS: PLASTIC VS. GLASS
If you’re planning on keeping e-liquid for a long time, consider buying glass bottles instead of plastic. Plastic bottles have a tendency to allow more light and air to come into contact with the ejuice, which can cause a separation of the ingredients. While it may be much more convenient to squeeze and refill your tank instead of using a dropper, you’ll want to choose the bottle based on how often you think you’ll use it. A larger plastic bottle of ejuice will be no good to you if it expires before you use it.
There’s no exact science as to the date that e-liquid goes bad, or that it is useless after the expiration date. Expiration dates were created to encourage awareness on how long something can be left before using. The easiest way to maximize your e-liquid usage is to decide how often you’re going to be vaping. For new vapers, a 30mL might be all you need to get you through the week or month. For hardcore vape professionals, several 120mL bottles will get you through the year without an issue. And for those picky vapers, a smaller bottle may be just the thing to figure out if you like a flavor or not. If you find a less than appealing flavor, don’t just let it go to waste in your kitchen cupboard. Try to find a fellow vaper to swap with so you don’t waste it, or let a few weeks go by before you try it again.
Do you have any experiences with expired e-liquids or how you use unwanted vape juice? Drop a comment below and share your story! Have a funny story on what happened when you tried a vape juice after leaving it alone for a long time? What’s the longest you’ve kept an ejuice before? Tell us about your experiences so we can laugh too! As always, enjoy your clouds and may your tank always be full with delicious flavors!