Have you ever noticed that your e-juices have  an expiration date? Do you feel the e-juice from one bottle doesn’t taste the same way anymore? E-juices can get spoiled, for instance, if e-liquids aren’t stored or sealed properly, then they expire faster, even before the expiry date. The most common and main ingredients of e-juices are PG, VG, flavored concentrates and nicotine.

How Do I Know if my Vape Juice is Expired?

Your E-Liquid has Changed Color

Nicotine can react with oxygen and it can cause your vape juice to change in color. You can hardly prevent this from happening. However, don’t worry about it, as it’s a common process. Nonetheless, if it’s a drastic change, you better stop vaping it.

Has your e-juice turned brown but it taste the same? This is a normal process that happens when the sweeteners caramelizes. Don’t panic as this is a normal reaction.

Separation

If you notice that the e-juice doesn’t mix up any more even after you shake it a few times, then it’s very possible that your vape juice has expired and got spoiled. It is normal that good quality e-juices have heavier particles sinking to the bottom after a long time. However, if you notice that the e-liquid has solidified parts, then you better through it away and vape a new e-liquid.

Smell and Taste

The e-liquid doesn’t smell like as it should any more, just like food gets spoiled, e-liquids have a similar degradation process. When you vape e-liquids that have expired, you will notice that the flavor is drastically different, and the nicotine fades away. When this happens then just throw it away.

Flavors like vanilla and caramel, are relatively stable, because of larger molecules that are not volatile. Some fruity e-juices may become less flavored, because the raw materials of fruit flavors have smaller molecules, which can escape from the opened bottle. I would recommend transfering the fruit -flavored e-liquids to smaller bottles if you can’t finish them quickly. But there is an exception.

Thickness

Both PG and VG have an estimated duration of one or two years. The e-juice may become much thinner if it is high in VG, and vice versa. The high PG becomes thinner when it has expired. A trick to tell if the juice has gone bad, is that e-juice should drip from the bottle, no matter how thick they were at the beginning.

How to avoid expiring your e-juice?

Storage

Keeping the juice away from sunlight or high temperatures as  they can can speed up the aging process. You’d better place them in a dark and cool place, or store them in tinted glass bottles. On the other hand, plastic bottles are not good for long term storage.

Boxes, shelves and drawers are the ideal places in your home to store the e-juice. Refrigerators are also a good place to store your e-juices. If you have already stored them in a refrigerator, seal the caps tightly, or else the food in the fridge can alter the taste of your e-liquids.

Cover or Seal the E-Liquid Bottles

Exposing the juice to air can also accelerate the aging process of your e-liquids. This is because the oxygen can react with the flavored concentrates or the nicotine in the e-juice. Always cover the e-liquid bottles to prevent the oxidation process of your e-liquids.

Is it Safe to Vape Out-of-Date E-Juices?

A lot of vapers ask in vape forums whether it is safe to vape with expired e-juices or not. FSIS (Food Safety and Inspection Service) says the expired date indicates the quality not the safety. There are no guidelines to whether you should stop using the e-juice if it has passed the expiry date or not. Sometimes, vapers may find that vape juices that have expired hasn’t diminish flavor or tastes weird. This is because the expiry date may not be accurate and external factors can affect the quality of the e-juice. Manufactures will print the ‘Best Before’, ‘Used By’ or ‘Expired By’ only to estimate the expiry date.

This post was originally published on May 16, 2019. It was most recently updated on May 5, 2021.