Vape juice, also known as e-liquid, is made up of 4 key essential ingredients: Vegetable Glycerin (VG), Propylene Glycol (VG), food flavourings, and nicotine. E-liquid is used in your vape tank, cartridge, or disposable vape and is heated to produce vapour you inhale.
Have you ever picked up an old bottle and noticed a difference in the taste or colour of the e-liquid you are vaping? Or have you ever seen that you're close to the expiration date on the bottle and rush to vape it? Reading this article, you'll learn how vape juice changes over time, if it's bad to vape expired e-liquid, and what you can do to increase its shelf life, providing you with the tools and knowledge for the best vaping experience possible.
Does Vape Juice Expire?
Almost all vape juices have an expiry date, usually one or two years after their initial manufacture date. However, no need to stress, as this does not mean that your vape juice will suddenly turn bad after the date has passed. Instead, it indicates that degradation is most likely to start from the expiry date, not giving you the best vaping experience compared to a new bottle of e-liquid.
On average, an e-liquid will have a shelf life of around two years after its initial manufacture date. However, this can decrease if the bottle of vape juice has been opened or is not stored correctly, or if your chosen brand uses slightly different ingredients from other popular brands that use premium juices.
Vape liquid is 'Shelf Stable', meaning it would take a considerably long time before it reaches the point where it can no longer be suitable to be vaped.
Factors That Contribute To Vape Juice Expiration
Whether you vape throughout the day or only at specific times, it is important to know the factors contributing to the degradation of your vape juice. It's essential to store your e-liquid in a cool dark place and avoid direct sunlight, heat, and open air.
Signs That Indicate Vape Juice Has Expired
A few signs indicate when you need to throw your e-liquid away. If you notice any of the below, we recommend you throw away your vape juice and purchase another.
E-liquids degrade over time and change their colour, especially e-liquids that contain nicotine. When a bottle is opened, nicotine is exposed to oxygen and is oxidised. If you leave a bottle open for long enough and it has not been stored correctly, you will see the colour of the e-liquid turn darker.
When nicotine becomes oxidised, the strength of the nicotine will weaken, especially if it's freebase nicotine. Nicotine salts degrade more slowly than freebase nicotine due to their chemical state as a salt rather than a base. So if you're not getting a satisfying vape and a throat hit, it's time to buy vape juice.
If you begin to see your e-liquid separate, it's a sign you need to throw away your vape juice. Vape juice is made up of separate components that initially mix. If the components in your e-liquid are not mixing, even after a good old shake, throw it away.
Taste And Smell
If your vape juice does not taste the same as it normally does and smells off, we recommend you throw your e-liquid away. The type of flavourings used contributes to expiration. Fruit-based flavours will likely degrade quicker over time, losing their potency than complex flavour profiles such as desserts.
If your e-liquid has become thicker or thinner than a fresh new bottle, it must be thrown away. It'll be unpleasant to vape and affect your coils and tank.
Does Vape Juice Go Bad After Opening?
If you have just opened a new vape juice bottle and are worried that you won't vape it in a few weeks, do not worry too much! You won't notice a difference if you leave your e-juice for months. With exposure to the environment, e-juices slowly start to degrade over time. However, this happens gradually if left for an extended period. If you have not vaped an opened e-liquid for a while, you may find that the nicotine strength has weakened over time, and there is a slight change of colour, smell and consistency.
How opening a bottle of vape juice affects its shelf life
When you open a bottle of vape juice, you expose it to the environment. Once exposed, oxygen enters your vape juice. Over prolonged storage, this oxidises the nicotine, resulting in a change of colour and taste.
Tips on how to properly store an opened bottle of vape juice
Follow these tips to ensure you have your opened bottle of e-liquid stored away properly:
Keep your e-liquid away from direct sunlight in a room-temperature environment; find a cool dark spot on a hot day.
Do not store your juice where it may face high temperatures, such as above a radiator or on your car dashboard.
Tightly close the lid of the juice to stop it from becoming over-exposed to the outside Air.
It is essential to store your e-liquid in a cool, dry place. If you make vape juice, we also recommend using dark glass bottles to reduce UV exposure, especially for long-term storage.
What Vape Juice Lasts The Longest?
What vape juice lasts the longest? If you're looking for a vape juice that will last longer, look no further than Nicotine salts. Nicotine salts provide a smooth throat hit and a satisfying vape experience. They last longer than traditional freebase nicotine due to their chemical structure in a salt state. Perfect to use with high-resistance coils and devices with relatively low power output.
Different types of vape juice and their expected shelf life
There are various types of vape juice available, each with a different composition and shelf life. The main types of vape juice include freebase nicotine, nicotine salts, and nicotine-free e-liquids. Here is a brief overview of their expected shelf life:
Freebase Nicotine E-liquids: Freebase nicotine e-liquids are the most common type of vape juice. They typically have a shelf life of around 1-2 years. However, the shelf life can be affected by various factors, such as the flavourings used and storage conditions. Freebase nicotine e-liquids are more prone to degradation due to exposure to heat, light, and air.
Nicotine Salts E-liquids: Nicotine salts e-liquids are made by combining nicotine with an acid to create a more stable compound. This results in a longer shelf life compared to freebase nicotine e-liquids, typically up to 2 years or more. The chemical structure of nicotine salts makes them less prone to oxidation, which helps to preserve their potency and flavour.
Nicotine-Free E-liquids: Nicotine-free e-liquids, also known as 0mg e-liquids, do not contain any nicotine. As a result, they are not subject to the same degradation processes as e-liquids containing nicotine. The stability of the flavourings and other ingredients used primarily determines the shelf life of nicotine-free e-liquids. Generally, they can last between 1-2 years if stored properly.
How Long Does Vape Juice Last In A Bottle?
The longevity of vape juice in a bottle varies depending on several factors, such as the type of vape juice, the ingredients used, and the storage conditions. As mentioned earlier, vape juice generally has a shelf life of around 1-2 years from the date of manufacture, generally labelled on e-liquid bottles. This estimate applies to both unopened and opened bottles, but the quality may degrade faster if the bottle is opened and not stored correctly.
How Can I Make My Vape Liquid Last Longer?
There are several ways to extend the life of your vape liquid and preserve its quality. Here are some tips to help you make your vape liquid last longer:
Proper Storage: Store your vape juice in a dark, cool place away from direct sunlight, heat, and open air. This will help prevent oxidation, which can degrade the quality of the e-liquid.
Keep it Sealed: Keep the bottle tightly sealed when not in use to minimize exposure to oxygen. This will help preserve the potency of the nicotine and maintain the flavour of the e-liquid.
Buy Smaller Bottles: Purchasing smaller bottles of vape juice can help ensure that you consume the e-liquid before it starts to degrade. This can be particularly beneficial if you vape infrequently or like to switch between different flavours regularly.
Use High-Quality Ingredients: Opt for e-liquids made from high-quality ingredients and reputable manufacturers. Premium vape juices are less likely to contain impurities and are more likely to have a longer shelf life.
What Can You Do With Leftover Vape Juice?
If you have leftover vape juice that has not expired but is no longer suitable for your vaping preferences, there are a few ways you can put it to use:
Mix With Other Flavours: You can try mixing the leftover vape juice with another flavour to create a unique taste profile. This is an excellent way to experiment with new combinations and make use of e-liquids you may not have enjoyed on their own.
Gift it to a Friend: If you have a friend or family member who vapes, consider giving them your leftover vape juice. They may enjoy the flavour or find a way to mix it with their e-liquids.
Recycle the Bottle: If the vape juice is expired or no longer suitable for use, you can still recycle the plastic bottles. Make sure to clean the container thoroughly before placing it in your recycling bin.
In conclusion, vape juice does expire, with most e-liquids having a shelf life of around 1-2 years from the date of manufacture. However, the actual longevity of the e-liquid can be influenced by various factors, including storage conditions, the type of vape juice, and the ingredients used.
By paying attention to the signs of expired vape juice and following proper storage practices, you can ensure that your e-liquid remains in good condition and provides a satisfying vaping experience. Remember to consider the type of vape juice you purchase, as nicotine salts tend to have a longer shelf life compared to freebase nicotine e-liquids. Always prioritize the quality of the ingredients and the reputation of the manufacturer when selecting your vape juice to maximize its shelf life and overall vaping experience.
For those who have leftover vape juice that is still suitable for use, consider mixing it with other flavours, gifting it to friends, or donating it to local vape shops or clubs. If the vape juice is expired, make sure to recycle the bottle after cleaning it thoroughly.
By understanding the factors that contribute to vape juice expiration and employing proper storage techniques, you can extend the life of your e-liquid and make the most of your vaping experience. In the end, the key to ensuring a great vaping session is to stay informed and take good care of your vape juice and vaping equipment.
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Learn more with our articles about what ingredients are in vape juice and what colour should vape juice be?