Contrary to what you might have been told in the past, e-juices do have expiration dates. Some even come with those dates stamped right on the bottles. You can see when the manufacturer intended for you to use the e-juice by and then vape with it accordingly.
But every now and then, you are going to come across an old bottle of e-juice without a date on it and think, “Is this OK to use?” Maybe it’s your emergency bottle that you keep tucked away just in case you ever run out of your regular supply. Or maybe it’s a bottle you forgot you even had that got tossed in a box in the back of a closet.
Regardless of the situation, you’re going to wonder if that old e-juice is still good. And the truth of the matter is that…it depends.
Even those e-juices that come stamped with expiration dates might not necessarily be bad if you use them beyond the recommended date. There’s also no scientific evidence that shows that old e-juices are harmful. They might not taste or smell that great, but they won’t necessarily be bad for you if you use them once or twice.
It’s always best to proceed with caution when it comes to using an old e-juice. If you genuinely can’t remember how old the e-juice is or if you suspect that it’s older than 12 months, you should probably get rid of it and buy new e-juice just to be on the safe side.
You should also consider the answers to a few important questions before using an older e-juice. Keep these in mind before you crack open an e-juice that has been hanging around for awhile…
When did you buy the e-juice?
If you buy e-juices on a regular basis, you might not be able to remember when you bought one specific bottle. But you should do your best to identify approximately how old a bottle is before opening it up. If it’s a brand you used religiously six months ago, that might be one way to tell when you bought it and stashed it away.
Finding the purchase date for your e-juice is important because most vape shops recommend that vapers steer clear of using e-juice that is more than a year old. In some cases, you can get away with using an e-juice that is up to two years old as long as it has been stored properly. But that’s really pushing it and you will probably notice a sharp decline in e-juice quality when you use it.
Where has it been stored?
The second thing to consider before using an old e-juice is where the e-juice has been stored. Have you kept it on a window ledge in your apartment for the last six months waiting to bust it open and use it? If so, we have got some bad news for you: Your e-juice is most likely not going to be good.
There are some simple steps you should follow when storing e-juices in order to keep them as fresh as they can be. In general, you should keep e-juice bottles in a dark, cool place in your home. Sunlight and heat can cause irreparable damage to e-juices and have a negative impact on them, so you want to keep your e-juices away from those things and avoid using them if they have been subjected to them for long periods of time.
You also want to think about whether or not the e-juice was used in the past. If it’s still sealed, it will have a significantly longer shelf life than if you have a bottle that was opened and used in the past. Exposure to air can change the way an e-juice looks and tastes, so you should probably stay away from using a bottle of e-juice that has been opened and then left to sit for several months.
Does it have any noticeable signs of age?
Before you use an old e-juice, take a long look at it and check it for any signs of age. The most common sign is a big change in the way an e-juice looks. In some cases, e-juices will change color quickly in a short amount of time. But if the color has changed dramatically—maybe it’s gone from being light yellow to dark brown—that’s not a good sign.
You should also take a look at the bottom of your e-juice bottle to see if any sediment has built up there. It’s not all that uncommon for a little bit of sediment to form at the bottom of a bottle. By shaking it up, you can usually get rid of it. But if there is a lot of sediment and it just floats around when you shake the bottle, your e-juice has gone bad.
And finally, you can usually tell if an e-juice is still good by smelling it. A watermelon or vanilla e-juice should smell like, you guessed it, watermelon or vanilla. If it smells like anything else, it’s probably on the verge of going bad or already bad. Don’t bother vaping with it.
How does it taste?
If everything else checks out okay, you can go ahead and use your old e-juice to vape. But you should still be mindful of one last thing while using it. How does it taste? Taste is obviously something that’s extremely important to vapers, and you’re probably not going to get great taste out of an e-juice that is too old.
Chances are, an e-juice that is a year or more old isn’t going to taste as good as it would if it was still fresh. So don’t expect it to. But you should, at the very least, enjoy your vaping experience when you’re using the e-juice. If that isn’t the case or, worse, if you can’t stand to use the e-juice, just get rid of it. It’s not worth your trouble, and you can easily go and scoop up a new bottle of e-juice right away.