Does eLiquid Go Bad?

Foggy Waters eLiquid
Foggy Waters "Born on Date"

As a vaper, I go through eLiquid the same way I go through water - fast. So fast I never pay attention to the dates listed on the bottle. At least not until I’ve run out of my favorite ejuice and find an old bottle stuck off to the side. You know the bottle I’m talking about. I bought it, vaped it a few times, and came to the conclusion this flavor wasn’t for me. How long has it been there? A year? Two years? In that moment of desperation, it's hard not to wonder: does eLiquid go bad?

eLiquid Expiration Dates

You'd think published studies would tell us what happens to eLiquid over time. You would think, but you would be wrong. There is no definitive answer on whether eLiquid goes bad. If this is the case, why are there dates listed on the bottle? A 'Born on Date' tells us the date our product was manufactured. Not to be confused with the expiration date, which tells us when a product will no longer be the same quality as the day we purchased it. Everything from food to healthcare products degrade, eLiquid is no different.

Ingredients

eLiquids generally expire 1-2 years from the date of manufacture. How do we know the ejuice won’t be the same quality in that time? Easy! eLiquids consist of three primary ingredients: PG, VG, and nicotine. These ingredients have a shelf life of 1-2 years depending on storage conditions. If stored at less than 104℉, they can last up to two years.

Flavoring

What about eLiquid flavoring? Flavoring is another important component of eLiquid. Maybe the most important since flavor is eLiquid's selling point. Most flavorings are good for 2-5 years, any longer and they begin to produce a “stale” taste.

Is My eLiquid Still Safe to Vape?

If you’re looking for tell-tale signs that your eLiquid is no longer good, here are the things you should check:

  1. Storage: eLiquid should be stored in a cool, dark place. Both heat and direct sunlight cause eLiquid ingredients to break down faster. So I wouldn’t recommend vaping a bottle that’s been sitting in the backseat of your car for a year.
  2. Visual: Looks can be deceiving, but let's be honest: they're usually not. You can tell a lot by examining something - especially eLiquid. If a few shakes of the bottle don't cure separation or particles settle in the jar, it's time to toss it.
  3. Smell: Scent is a fantastic way to determine if your eLiquid is good or not. If your eLiquid doesn’t smell fresh, it probably isn’t.

Don’t Risk It

It isn't proven eLiquids become dangerous past their expiration, but why risk it? I’m cautious, so I apply the age-old wisdom of “when in doubt, throw it out” to my ejuice. Better safe than sorry.

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