Vaping has gained a lot of popularity, being the healthier alternative to regular smoking. One of the main questions we come forward regarding the flavor that comes from the e-liquid used in vape pens and e-cigarettes is whether an e-liquid expires or not. Experts always recommend having proper information regarding the shelf life of your e-liquids as it also gets expensive, regularly purchasing E-Liquids for trying out new flavors. So we want to make sure you get the most out of each bottle you purchase! Which is why you should take care of your juices in a proper manner to extend the life shelf of each of them. Below you will find more information on whether E-Liquids expire or not, and how to keep them good for as long as possible.
E-Liquid Shelf Life
There is no official expiration of E-Liquid confirmed as of now. Still, it is safe to estimate the E-liquid's storage life through its ingredients: Vegetable Glycerin (VG), Propylene Glycol (PG), and Nicotine. As all three have an established shelf life of about two years if stored in the right conditions. Therefore, most of your e-liquid can last up to 1-2 years.
When e-liquids are exposed to direct sunlight or extreme heat, its ingredients begin to break down quickly. The possibility of expiry of the e-liquid can be observed as the breakdown of the flavor over time. Since each flavor is quite different, some e-liquids can last up to 5 years, while others can lose flavor in two. It is also observed that nicotine-free e-liquids tend to have a longer shelf life compared to those containing nicotine. As nicotine has its own expiration date, excluding this ingredient leaves the shelf life of the liquid up to the PG and VG content.
Since expiration dates are only an estimation, it’s up to you to decide whether or not your e-liquid is a little too ripe for vaping. However, one should not neglect the possibility of e-liquid going bad before its expiration date because of external factors influencing the mix. Many signs will help you to know if your E-Liquid has gone outdated. Always keep an eye out for the following:
Change in Smell: If, for any reason, you somehow keep a bottle of E-Liquid for more than 1-2 years, one of the first things you should check is its smell. You most likely already know how a particular e-liquid of yours should smell like, but if you notice it has a different, odd smell, then it is recommended that you throw it right away.
Change in Color: There will be times where your e-liquids will change colors slightly; this happens due to the common chemical reaction known as oxidation. Nicotine oxidation is a natural process that takes place every time nicotine interacts with oxygen present in the air. It can’t be stopped from happening and shouldn’t bother you much, as it does not alter the taste and vaping experience. But, when oxidation occurs on a larger scale, it can affect the e-liquid, which is why your e-liquid changes color. If the color of your vape juice is slightly altered, you have nothing to worry about because, with time, this is a typical reaction. On the other hand, if the color changes significantly from the shade it had when you bought the liquid, then it’s best not to vape it.
Change in Consistency: The thickness of each e-liquid varies with the brand and the ratio of VG or PG in the mix. Higher VG makes your E-Liquid thicker, whereas higher PG results in less thickness. If you notice that your e-liquid has some matter that settles on the bottom of the bottle after a short period of time, don't worry, this is common. The heavier elements of the e-liquid naturally sink to the bottom of the bottle, and with a little shake, everything will blend back together again. But if, after a few prolonged shakes, the contents are not mixing, it is no longer vape-able, and you'll need to dispose of this juice.
How to Get Rid of Expired Juice
After running the checks, if you find a bottle or two of expired e-liquids, we encourage you to dispose of them off but responsibly. There are few safe methods for doing this:
- Avoid dumping the e-liquids directly down a drain. First, heavily dilute the juice to prevent the high quantity of nicotine present in its e-liquids to end up in the watershed.
- You can pour these liquids into a bag of kitty litter before throwing them out. The cat litter will readily absorb the juice, hence preventing any animal from getting sick if they were to get into your trash.
- You can also use coffee grounds or used tea leaves, as they make a suitable absorbent material to soak up the liquid for easy disposal.
- This is for the people who are into gardening, as recommended by some people, pour the e-liquid into a spray bottle and fill it with enough water. Since plant-eating insects and rodents dislike nicotine, you can spray the solution on your plants to keep pests away.
It is very unlikely that expired E-Liquid will do any serious harm, but because there are no actual studies done on this subject, we recommend you always make the judgment call. Vape juice can go bad if you don’t store it properly, even before its expiration date, so keep in mind the advice above next time you purchase your favorite flavors. Properly store your e-liquids by always keeping them sealed and away from high temperatures and light. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Hopefully, this article was helpful!
If you find yourself constantly throwing away expired or spoiled bottles of e-liquid, maybe try buying your e-liquid in smaller quantities every few weeks. Also, since the quality of the product you’re using can also be a huge factor in determining the lifespan of the juice—the fresher the bottle, the better the experience. If you are looking for more quality vape juices, check out our vast assortment of e-liquid blends here at EcigMafia.