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Does E-liquid Expire?

One of our top questions is if e-liquids have an expiry date. In essence yes they do. But does this mean that e-liquids go off and are ‘unvapeable’? This guide will take you through everything you need to know about e-liquid and its expiry date.

Does Vape Juice Have an Expiration Date?

Yes, vape juice has an expiration date, but e-liquid is also what we call ‘shelf stable’. This means that it takes a long while before it reaches a point that you shouldn’t vape it.

After the e-liquid has been manufactured it has a shelf life of around two years. This date might be shorter if the bottle of e-liquid is opened, not stored correctly, or depending on the type of vape juice. This is a very broad window of time so vapers will also have to use other methods to determine whether their e-liquid has expired.

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E-liquid being manufactured

Rules and Regulations Around E-liquid Expiration

There are no specific legal requirements that distributors or e-liquid manufacturers have when it comes to lengths of expiration dates, displaying and advertising them.

Shelf life is not specifically covered under TRPR (Tobacco and Related Products Regulations) that govern our rules and regulations. However there is a non-legally binding e-liquid standards that does talk about shelf life. Responsible manufacturers should conduct product stability studies to fully support the shelf life of their products.

The Electronic Cigarette Company ensures that e-liquids not only meet these standards, but vastly exceed them.

How Long Does E-liquid Last?

Believe it or not, the type of vape juice and its ingredients, can have an impact on an e-liquids expiry date. The two ingredients we need to look at are PG and VG, an e-liquids diluent. Learn more - What is VG and PG?

How Long Does PG E-liquid Last?

PG (propylene glycol) naturally prevents degradation over time. This means that vape juices which have a higher PG content have the ability to last longer. But this is again down to correct handling and storage of the e-liquid.

How Long Does VG E-liquid Last?

VG (vegetable glycerine) vape juice doesn’t, in its nature, fend off degradation over time as PG does. But this doesn’t mean it reaches its expiration date any sooner. In fact, if both e-liquids contain nicotine, they would both get to that point at the same time.

How Long Does E Liquid Last Once Opened?

Once the bottle has been opened the main difference over time will be the e-liquid turning darker, as the nicotine is oxidised due to its exposure to oxygen. It matters more how the e-liquid is stored rather than if the bottle has been opened before.

What Happens When E-liquid Goes Bad?

There are a few tell-tale signs that an e-liquid has passed its expiration date. One of the first things you will notice it that the taste of your juice has altered, it might taste different, or of nothing at all. Along with this you might not be able to smell your vape juice in the bottle anymore. Although most e-liquid will not change its smell significantly, if it does smell unfamiliar or significantly different to how it is supposed to, then it is probably past its best.

Another sign is a change in the colour of your juice. As it is exposed to oxygen the colour of your juice will naturally darken over time, if it gets to a point that it is much darker than you have seen before it is probably past its expiration date.

Vape juice is made up of multiple ingredients, some denser than others. This means if they have been sat for too long the ingredients will start to separate, with the thicker liquids sitting at the bottom of the bottle. If this is clearly visible it is a sign the e-liquid is done. With most liquids a few shakes should mix everything back together, however with vape juice this isn’t the case.

Is It Safe to Consume E-liquid After Expiration Date?

It is important to note here, that like many expiration dates, those for e-liquid are a guide. On the day of an expiration date your vape juice doesn’t automatically turn bad and become dangerous to vape. This isn’t what happens;

Your vape juice will start to degrade over time. So it won’t taste the same, or won’t taste of anything at all. You might not be able to smell it and you won’t be getting the same hit or uptake of your nicotine level.

While it is not advisable to vape e-liquid that is past its expiration date, there is currently no evidence that it is dangerous to do so.

TECC E-liquids

How to Correctly Store Vape Juice

Storing your vape juice correctly is one of the best ways to ensure that it stays as fresh as possible throughout its lifespan.

E-liquid doesn’t like direct sunlight, extremes of temperature, or being exposed to too much oxygen. What does this mean? It means that the best possible place for your vape juice is a nice dark, room temperature cupboard.

Some vapers prefer keeping their e-liquid in the fridge and if we are having an extremely warm summer (yes even in the UK), then we would advise this too.

Once the bottle has been opened the main difference over time will be the e-liquid turning darker, as the nicotine is oxidised due to its exposure to oxygen. It matters more how the e-liquid is stored rather than if the bottle has been opened before.

As long as your bottles of vape juice are sealed well when not in use and not sat on a window sill or by the oven or a radiator then it will be ok. Plus, with the amazing flavours at The Electronic Cigarette Company you won’t have them around long enough to worry about storage.

Can You Over Steep Vape Juice?

Steeping is process when producing vape juice where the e-liquid is sat idle for a long period of time in order to mature the flavour. When left for too long it can over steep. This can either result in a weaker flavour, or the flavour can become too strong and become unpleasant to vape. Certain e-liquid flavours take longer to steep than others so it can be difficult to determine when it is ready. Fruity concentrates usually reach their optimum flavour after 1 or 2 days whereas a Tobacco or dessert flavour can take over 2 weeks.

Summary of E-liquid Shelf Life

While e-liquids do have an expiration date, it doesn’t mean that they immediately go bad and can’t be vaped after this date.

Ensure that you are storing your vape juices correctly, in a cool dark cupboard away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Make sure you keep tabs on your e-liquids and when you bought them so you know when an expiration date is near. If you want to learn more read our guide About Vape Liquid and E-liquid FAQ's.


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