You might be wondering if the expired e-liquid you forgot about in the back of your cupboard is still any good. While most of us know that the shelf life of most products depends just as much on the best-by date as it does on how we store it, does the same apply to the juice?
The answer is a loud and resounding “Maybe.”
A lot about vaping and e-liquids remains to be experimental. You might find that your supply of e-juice survives a year past its expiration date, or you might find that the flavours are starting to degrade after a few months.
This is because different flavours use different chemicals, and this can result in varying shelf lives.
How long does e-juice last?
Generally speaking, vape juice can last around one to two years before a perceptible change in its flavour. Eventually, it becomes unacceptable for consumption and should be thrown out.
Most companies indicate a best-before date on the bottle, while some don’t. In cases of the latter, it’s better to be safe. If you don’t know when you bought it or if it has been about a year, dispose of it.
One factor that determines the longevity of e-liquid is its nicotine content. Nicotine expires more quickly than most ingredients. The higher the percentage of nicotine in the liquid, the shorter its likely lifespan.
Ingredients like propylene glycol (PG), and vegetable glycerine (VG), and other flavourings are known to last longer and therefore extend the lifespan of e-liquids.
Beyond the chemistry of the juice, its lifespan is also determined by the following factors: heat, light, and oxygen. Extended exposure to any of these can cause your e-liquid to expire far more quickly than you expect—even earlier than the expiry date.
How to identify expired vape juice?
The first thing you should watch out for is the colour of the juice. While any nicotine-containing juice will experience a slight change in colour over time (because nicotine is oxidative), it takes a stark change in the colour to show that it has gone bad.
The smell of e-liquid will also change as it begins to expire. Make sure to give the liquid a good sniff before you take a puff to see if it’s still good.
A third is to check the separation of the fluids in the juice. The properties of most e-liquids mean that they will eventually separate and form layers while in storage. Freshly bought or made juices will only need a bit of a shake to make it usable again, but if it’s getting harder to get a homogenous mixture, it is a likely indicator that the juice is expired.
A definite way to see if a vape juice has expired is if it tastes bad or leaves a bad aftertaste in the mouth. Consume no more of it and throw it away.
Dispose of it properly
Improperly handled, vape juice wastes can pose a threat to your children, pets, and the environment. While it might be easy to just toss the bottle in the trash or dump the fluids down the drain, neither of those are the proper way to dispose of expired e-liquid.
Pour expired juice into something absorbent, like coffee grounds, kitty litter, or cotton. Seal the absorbed fluids in a plastic bag, and then you can throw it in the trash.
Is it safe to consume expired e-liquid? We don’t know. There are too many mixtures, recipes, and flavours to give one single correct answer. As such, it is more important to err on the side of caution. Know the warning signs of expiring vape juice, and dispose of it properly when you have to.
For more information on e-liquid and vape equipment, send us a message at No1 Ejuice. We have a wide selection and the expertise you need for your optimum vaping experience.