How long does vape juice last? When to buy new e-liquid

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Ah, one of the great mysteries of the vaping world: how long does vape juice last? It’s certainly a question that remains popular among all types of vapers. After all, no one wants to vape a spoiled batch! 

Luckily, MIST has delved deep into the subject in order to let you know when your e-liquid may be on its last legs. So check out our guide below in order to find out how long vape juice lasts, and when to buy new vape juice.

How long does vape juice last? When to buy new e-liquid breakdown:

  1. Does vape juice ‘go off’?
  2. How to avoid shortening the shelf-life of your vape juice
  3. How to tell if youre vape juice has ‘gone bad’
  4. How to extend the shelf- life of your vape juice

1. Does vape juice ‘go off’?

Contrary to how it may appear, your favourite e-liquid will not survive the heat death of the universe! Though it is certainly a robust, long-lasting concoction, it does have an expiry date.

Vape juice is a consumable product, and all consumable products contain ingredients that have a shelf-life. If e-liquid didn’t consist of food-based ingredients, it wouldn’t be safe to put into your body.

It’s important to realise that, like other perishables, vape expiration dates are only a rough approximation of when the contents are likely to ‘go bad’. Though these estimations may be kept on the conservative side for insurance purposes (we’ve all braved that milk that was past its sell-by-date!) they are, on the whole, fairly accurate. 

Most vape juice has a shelf-life of between one and two years from the date it was produced. This is due to its components—most notably,  PG  (propylene glycol), VG (Vegetable Glycerine), and nicotine. 

Chances are you’re already aware of the ‘big three’ which, in addition to flavouring, make up nearly all types of e-liquid. It’s been established that PG, VG and nicotine have a shelf-life of around two years, though this is dependent on them being stored in optimal conditions. 

So, what are the optimal conditions? You may think we’ve already answered the question, ‘how long does vape juice last?’ But if you’re not following the steps below you could unintentionally reduce the life-span of your e-liquid.

2. Avoid shortening vape juice shelf life

TIP: Keep it out of heat and direct sunlight. 

Who doesn’t love letting their hair down in the sunshine? But be careful, because those UV rays you relish won’t exactly make your e-liquid beach-ready!

Quite the opposite—if you leave your bottle of vape juice exposed to the sun for too long it will degrade its ingredients and cause it to go bad.

When VG is exposed to temperatures above 250 fahrenheit, the components within the liquid will separate and fail to recombine even at lower temperatures. And when PG is under the same conditions it can also become unstable and lose its flavour. 

This also applies to heat in general, so don’t leave that bottle of e-juice next to the stove or on top of the car dashboard!

TIP: Don’t expose it to too much air

We all know about air-flow and how essential it is to get a good vape. But forgetting to screw the lid back on your bottle of vape juice can have less than pleasant consequences. 

Though air is actually made up of a plethora of different chemicals, it’s the oxygen that can cause problems for the longevity of your e-liquid. 

When oxygen reacts with nicotine it produces cotinine. This is called an “oxidation” process which essentially means the loss of two hydrogen atoms and the gain of one oxygen atom. Put simply, too much exposure to oxygen will impair the flavour, and reduce the nicotine content of your vape juice.

Of course, this isn’t entirely avoidable, but the effects are only really noticeable after long periods of exposure. So stay vigilant!

3. How to tell if you’re vape juice has ‘gone bad’

Though we already mentioned that most e-liquid last between one and two years, there are some that can last up to a whopping five!

This is because every flavour and brand is different; each has a unique chemical structure that will determine how long the vape juice lasts.

Therefore, as expiration dates are only an estimation, it’s down to you to sniff out when your e-liquid has gone bad. Could it be time to buy new vape juice?

Luckily, determining when your vape juice has expired is often fairly obvious. There are usually clear-cut signs that it may be beyond repair, and it’s time to ship out for a new batch.

The components stay separated

When you’ve left e-liquid idle for a while, it’s a natural occurrence for the heavier elements to descend to the bottom of the bottle. Most of the time, a good shake will mix everything up again. However, when the ingredients fail to properly mix even after a few shakes, it’s a good indication your vape juice is no longer fit for purpose. 

It smells ‘off’

This is fairly obvious. We’re all accustomed to our favourite flavours, so when your tried and tested vape juice smells unquestionably funky, it’s probably time to buy new liquid! 

It was incorrectly stored

We’ve already outlined what would constitute the wrong kind of storage (too much heat, sunlight or air). Often the signs of bad storage are less flavour, vapour and nicotine, as well as discolouration.  

So what is an optimal way to store your e-liquid?

4. How to extend the shelf-life of your vape juice

Firstly, let’s bust the myth that prolonged storage causes e-liquid to go bad. In actual fact, storing your vape juice in the right conditions can, similar to wine, enhance its flavour. This is called steeping.

This may all sound rather pretentious but, for the most part, steeping is actually easy to do and the results are often clear to see. In a nutshell, it involves leaving your e-liquid to sit idly for a few weeks in order to mature its flavour. Remember though, it has to be stored in the correct conditions for the process to take effect. 

We’ve already discussed how heat, sunlight and air are kryptonite to a good vape so, beyond that, just ensure you keep your e-liquid stored in a cool dark place—like a bag of potatoes! 

We hope we’ve provided you with enough information regarding how long vape juice lasts, and when it’s time to buy new e-liquid. 

Following these steps should be easy enough and, in so doing, you could be ‘steeped’ in a delectable bouquet! 

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