How long does E-Liquid last?

How long you should keep your e-liquids

When starting to vape, many questions run around our minds about our e-liquids, and one of the bigger questions is: how long does my e-liquid last?

Does vape juice have an expiration date?

In short, yes, e-liquids do have an expiration date. However, as e-liquid is shelf stable, it can take a year or more before it’s no longer viable for vaping. Most bottles of vape juice will last two years from the date of manufacture.

This length of time can be shorter if the bottle has been opened or not stored correctly.

Vape juice

What happens when e-liquid goes ‘off’?

There are various things that can happen to an e-liquid over time, but here are some of the more common side effects of letting your vape juice expire:

The smell and flavour changes

Over time, if your juices aren’t stored properly, the smell and taste can dramatically change. If you open your bottle of e-liquid and notice that it smells off, it’s definitely time for a different bottle. If it smells fine, but the taste has dramatically changed, or just tastes different than it should, this is also an indication that it’s gone off.

The colour changes dramatically

E-juices, especially those with nicotine in them, will darken over time as the nicotine oxides. This is a natural reaction. If you notice colours other than yellow or brown, however, or a colour radically different from its original colour it’s best to consider a new e-liquid.

The liquid has separated

Most e-liquids are expected to separate a little, with most having “Shake Well” emblazoned on the side, but if you notice that the components of your vape juices separating and not combining again, this is a clear indication that it’s too old. There may also be crystalline elements that have separated that do not dissolve with mixing or heating. At that point, it’s not worth the risk of vaping that e-liquid.

Lack of nicotine

As we mentioned, nicotine degrades over time, especially with exposure to oxygen. This oxidation process removes the nicotine molecules because they bind to oxygen, resulting in less nicotine overall. What this means is that sometimes older e-juices don’t give you the nicotine hit that you were expecting.

It becomes too thick

If the e-liquid seems to have changed to be much thicker than normal, you should reconsider using it. If you’re a plus Ohm device user, any vape pen or kit that isn’t sold as sub-Ohm, you need thinner e-liquids as standard, so trying to vape a thicker e-liquid will potentially damage your coils or leak from the tank.

e-liquid bottles

How long does it take for e-liquids to go bad?

The answer to this question can vary depending on how your e-liquids are stored. All e-liquids will expire over time, and nic salts will degrade a little slower than freebase nicotine. This is due to the chemical makeup of the nicotine used in the liquid.

However, bear in mind that e-liquids with no nicotine in them obviously don’t need to worry about nicotine degradation as there’s no nicotine to affect the liquid.

The flavour of e-liquid you’ve purchased will also determine how quickly the e-liquid goes off. Generally, we find that flavours such as fruity or floral ones are likely to lose their potency or change first, compared to more complex flavours that are doughy or dessert-like.

Sometimes these flavour changes aren’t necessarily unpleasant, but they can be disappointing. Imagine opening up a sour black cherry flavour, only to receive a half-tangy puff instead. Strange, to say the least, really off-putting at worst.

How can I preserve my vape juice?

So, the next practical question is often how can you take care of your e-liquids so that they’ll last as long as possible. We recommend:

  • Keep your e-liquid in a cool, dark place
  • Don’t shake, move, or disturb the bottles
  • Open bottles of e-liquid only when necessary

This is almost the direct opposite of steeping.  Steeping is a process that basically speeds up some of the oxidation processes that we’ve described here, but only to the point where it helps the e-liquid develop the flavour profiles we’re looking for. If we let the steeping process go on too long, we can damage and ruin flavours.

Can vape juice go bad inside the tank?

There’s no reason that if a juice can go bad outside of the tank that it couldn’t go bad inside, too. In fact the tank of your vape is often heated up, jostled around, and open to bright light. These are perfect conditions for e-liquid to go bad.Except that most of the time, the vape juice inside your tank isn’t going to be there long enough to go bad. If you somehow forget about your vape over a period of time and there’s still some e-liquid left inside the tank, we’d highly recommend cleaning out your tank and starting afresh.

Re-filling e-cig with e-liquid

Is expired e-liquid harmful to vape?

Whilst a hit or two of an e-liquid gone bad won’t hurt you, there have not been any studies on the effects of vaping expired vape juice. If you’ve come here because you’re wondering if your e-liquid is safe to vape after realising it has expired: we don’t recommend it.

Even if an expired e-liquid is completely safe to vape, and there’s nothing yet to suggest it isn’t, there’s not much point vaping a juice that has no, or the wrong, flavour and next to no nicotine in it in the first place.

Pick up new e-liquids today

If you are worried about your e-liquids being off, then pick up some new bottles of vape juice today from our range of e-liquids, and be sure to check out the offers we have available.

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