Do E-Liquids Expire?
The short answer is – yes, e-liquids can expire. All consumable products have a “best before” or “expiration date” and e-liquid is no exception. When stored correctly, e-juice can have a shelf life of up to 2 years however, there are some factors that can change the time frame drastically. This blog is going to go through some of these factors as well as some tips to help your e-juice stay fresher. Also, what to look out for if you think it may have gone bad.
What Gives E-Juice a Shorter Shelf Life?
Two main enemies of freshness are heat and sunlight. Exposure to these will speed up the ageing process of molecules making them break down at a rapid rate. Have you ever left a bottle in your car on a hot day? I did that once, and never again! When I grabbed my bottle from the centre console, I was shocked and devastated as my Green Kelly turned into a Black Betty. It was literally black and I had no choice but to throw it away.
Oxygen exposure can also have an affect on flavour. Like what happens with wine, oxygen can break down flavours making them weaker and unpleasant.
The Importance of Storage
Storage is key to keeping your e-juice fresh and giving it a longer lifespan. Honestly, cant stress that enough and it isn’t as hard as you think. Simply store your bottles in a draw, cupboard or box to keep it away from sunlight (UV) and heat. On really hot days, you can even store them in the fridge (not freezer). Ensuring the cap of the bottle is on correctly and securely to prevent any air getting in and of course to prevent leaks.
How To Tell If It’s Gone “Bad”
There are four things to look out for that will let you know if the bottle is for the bin.
- Colour – The first thing to look out for is colour. Slight changes in colour will happen with the normal steeping process. However, if it has changed to a really dark colour, like really dark that is the first indication that something isn’t right.
- Separation – Over time PG, VG and flavouring molecules will break down and aren’t able to bond to each anymore. If you give the bottle a shake and it’s still separated, its time to say goodbye.
- Smell – Flavour is another ingredient that breaks down and becomes weaker. If you are unable to smell the flavour or it smells different, chances are it wont taste like it used too.
- Taste – Like most consumables, there is a definite taste difference when somethings not right. There will either be hardly any flavour or it could have a completely different one. Another noticeable difference will be an extremely harsh throat hit.
Its highly unlikely to have a bottle of e-juice around for 2 years, but it can happen if it was accidently forgotten about. A few simple checks is all it takes to see if it’s still vapeable. While there isn’t anything really wrong with vaping expired e-liquid, it wont taste great and will probably cost you a coil in the process to get the stanky flavour out.