Most vapers have a time when they realize they’ve bought way more vape liquid than they need. After staring at their bottles, a question comes into their heads.
“DOES VAPE JUICE EXPIRE?”
The answer is yes. E liquid does have an expiration date, and it is not just there for show. Although both propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG) are why the expiration date for vape juice is 1-2 years, most of the changes in vape liquid are due to the oxidation of the nicotine and the degradation of the flavorings. The effects of aging will vary from liquid to liquid. Generally, older e juices will have less nicotine and weaker tastes.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN VAPE JUICE GOES BAD?
There are many things that can happen to vape liquid as it ages.
- Separation – Vape juice is made up of different components. Sometimes, its ingredients begin to separate. Some separation is normal – that is why our bottles say “SHAKE WELL.” However, when vape liquid is too old, it may not come together no matter how much it is shaken. There may also be crystallized flavors or debris that doesn’t dissolve with heat or mixing. At that point, vaping the e liquid would be a risk not worth taking.
- Color Changes – E juices will darken over time, especially juices with nicotine. Some will darken over time esp, nicotine ejuices. That is a normal reaction. Nicotine goes through a process called oxidation, in which it chemically reacts with oxygen and changes form. In this process, it also gets darker and so does the vape liquid. However, if a vape liquid starts looking much darker than it originally was or starts turning colors that aren’t yellow and brown, it is probably time to replace your liquid.
- Smells and Tastes – Vape liquids should taste and smell good when the bottles are fresh. However, flavors degrade over time, causing them to change taste or lose aspects of a profile entirely. If a vape juice doesn’t taste remotely like what you remember it being, the flavors have gone bad and it is time to find more juice.
- Thickness – Generally, vape juice that has become much thicker or runnier than it originally was has gone bad. Not only could it be unpleasant to vape, it may also ruin your coils or leak out your tank.
- Nicotine Content – Because nicotine degrades over time, the amount of nicotine in the vape liquid will decrease over time as well. In addition to tasting bad, expired vape juice may not even satisfy your nicotine cravings.
WHAT MAKES EJUICE EXPIRE?
All ejuice will expire, given enough time. There are several factors that can affect how fast any ejuice will expire.
First of all, nic salts degrade more slowly than freebase nicotine does. This is due to their chemical nature as a salt rather than a base. However, e liquids with no nicotine do not have to worry about nicotine degrading at all.
Next, the flavor of the e liquid will also affect how fast the eliquid goes bad. Some flavors degrade faster than other flavors. Generally, fruit and floral flavors lose their potency and change before complex flavors like dough or custard do. This may lead to changes in the flavor profiles which, while not strictly unpleasant, can be disappointing. Imagine if you picked up a bottle of Loaded Lemon Bar, expecting a sour lemon treat only to find a slightly tangy puff of pastry!
While nicotine type and flavor may not be something you have full control over, you can take steps to make any ejuice last longer. Heat, agitation, light, and exposure to air can all make your ejuice degrade faster. So if you want to preserve your vape juice:
- Keep it in a cool, dark place away from sunlight.
- Don’t shake or move the bottles unnecessarily.
- Open the bottles only when needed.
HEAT, AGITATION, AND LIGHT… ISN’T THAT STEEPING EJUICE?
Yes! Steeping is a slight acceleration of the same aging processes to make ejuice taste better, or to make ejuices more uniform. It is like letting a fruit ripen – some ripening can make it taste great. Too much, and you will end up with rotten fruit. Our guide to steeping ejuices mentions that it can reduce the lifespan of vape liquids as well.
CAN EJUICE GO BAD IN THE TANK?
There is no reason ejuice can go bad outside a tank and not inside a tank. Given that tanks are often heated up and carried around, tanks are the perfect conditions for e liquid to age quickly.
IS IT OKAY TO VAPE EXPIRED JUICE?
Realistically, a hit or two will probably not kill you – that is how many vapers noticed there was something strange about their liquid in the first place. However, there have been no studies done on the safety of expired vape juice. It is unclear if vaping expired juice can be harmful, or what could happen if you decided to vape a lot of expired juice. If you have found this article, wondering if your ejuice is safe to vape, we do not recommend it. The main degradation of ejuices is with the nicotine and flavoring. So you would most likely be vaping something that tastes off and doesn’t satisfy any nicotine cravings. There is very little reason to try that when you can pick up a new bottle.