The past few years have seen a massive increase in the number of vape users out there. Vaping is now considered an accepted and common-place activity, especially amongst younger working professionals and those who have recently switched from smoking.
With that said, there are still lots of unknowns when it comes to the vaping experience. Since vaping on a broad scale is so new, even the most seasoned vape users don’t know everything there is to know about its production and usability.
It might come as a surprise to new and experienced vapers alike that vape juice mostly consists of plant-based ingredients. What this means is that it can expire, just as all items made from organic compounds.
It’s best to avoid using anything past its prime, including e-juice. Read on to learn the basics about how long vape juice lasts, how to avoid consuming expired products, and how to make your e-juice last longer.
How Long Does Vape Juice Last?
There is no set-in-stone length of time in which vape juice lasts. Depending on the brand or type of juice under consideration, the shelf life can be pretty variable.
However, as a general rule of thumb, vape juice tends to last roughly two years after opening if stored properly in a cool, dry spot. Like most other food ingredients or medications, too much heat or light can make juice go bad or become ineffective prematurely.
Some brands claim that their VG vape juice lasts up to 4-6 years, while others stick to the 2-year standard. PG vape juice generally expires within a 2-year period.
Most reputable brands will include a printed label detailing the approximate expiration date, though you should regard this as a guideline. If you are still within the timeline of the expiration date, but there are some apparent inconsistencies in the appearance, smell, or taste of your vape juice, you should consider it expired and stop using it.
How to Tell if Your Vape Juice Is Expired?
If your vape juice lacks an explicit expiration date, you’ll want to proceed with caution. Luckily, there are several easy ways to tell if your vape juice has already gone bad.
Because vape juice primarily consists of plant-based ingredients, the ins and outs of its shelf-life are generally the same too. Most of what you already know about testing food longevity and expiration applies to vape juice, as well.
Basically, what you should be doing is checking for any changes. Look out for changes in smell, density or thickness, color, and taste.
- Smell: A rancid smell may indicate that the VG in the e-juice has become spoiled. This odor can result from leaving the cartridge exposed to extreme heat.
- Density: Cloudy liquid could indicate either the PG or VG has expired.
- Colour: Most e-juices range from light golden yellow to a rich brown. If the cartridge looks different from when you first purchased it (such as turning an oily black), it’s possible the e-juice sat in direct heat for too long.
- Flavor: Your vape juice may taste of a distinct flavor, or it may taste of tobacco. But a lack of flavor means that the flavor components have expired.
If you notice any of these alterations in your vape juice since the last time you used it, chances are it’s no longer in the best condition to consume.
If you still are unsure whether any of these changes have occurred, try checking your e-liquid against some new bottles. If the newer product is noticeably different in texture and appearance, you most likely have some expired product on your hands.
You can also make a judgment call based on where and for how long you have been storing it. As noted, most juice has a shelf life of around two years if stored correctly in a cool, dry place.
Is It Safe to Consume Expired Vape Juice?
Fortunately, consuming expired vape juice is only considered to be explicitly harmful to your actual vaping experience.
However, just because it doesn’t come with any severe complications doesn’t mean that you should make a regular practice of it. Overall, the quality of the nicotine and the vapor significantly decreases with age and element exposure.
When vape juice is expired, it loses its flavor, coloration, vaporous quality, and nicotine. So, practically everything most consumers want from a vaping experience disappears.
It also needs to be said that while consuming expired vape juice isn’t currently known to be outright harmful, not enough research exists on the subject. Most brands don’t recommend you consume expired vape juice at all, much less regularly.
How to Correctly Store Your Vape Juice?
As alluded to above, the best way to keep your vape juice fresh is to store it in a spot that’s cool and dry, without too much access to light. Since vape juice contains plant-based ingredients, any exposure to the elements can compromise its quality.
If you’ve already opened the seal on the container, you should take even more caution. While sealed liquid can still go bad, an open seal increases exposure to oxygen and bacteria, which will speed up the expiration process.
To avoid using vape juice that’s gone bad, try to finish the bottles you’ve already opened before moving on to the next. Not only is this less wasteful, but it lessens the time the bottles sit on the shelf exposed to heat and light. While buying in bulk can sometimes be tempting, it’s not the best idea for a liquid with a set expiry date.
Like anything else, e-juice expires. Essentially, if something smells, tastes, or appears out of the norm, steer clear and reinvest in a new supply. Consuming expired juice might not be life-threatening, but it’s certainly not a pleasant or effective experience.
Also, how you store your vape juice can have a considerable impact on how long it lasts. If you want your bottles to stay fresh for as long as possible, keep them sealed and out of direct sunlight and heat.
Like most other vape accessories, investing in quality products and taking proper care of them are steps that pay off when it comes to making sure your smoking experience is as satisfying as possible.