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We’ve all done it – reach for that bottle of e-liquid hidden away somewhere, wondering whether it’s safe to vape. It might look different, smell different, or it might even have an expiry date. So, is your e-liquid safe to vape? You’re about to find out.
Expired and Stale Vape Juice – How Long Does E-Liquid Last?
There is a notable difference between stale vape juice and expired vape juice. E-liquids can be stale but not expired or expired but not stale. How on earth does that happen?
VG and PG, which are the two primary ingredients in vape liquid, have a shelf life of around two years at room temperature. Therefore, regardless of whether you’ve opened that bottle of e-liquid or not, the ingredients will only be ‘good’ for so long.
Although, the flavour can become stale. This is because the base VG and flavours may have unmixed over time or degraded over time. It’s safe to vape stale or expired e-liquids, but it just may not provide the most enjoyable vaping experience compared to when your chosen e-liquid was new.
There’s also the nicotine to consider, which oxidises with time. While you can’t stop this process from happening, you may notice that after not using your e-juice for some time, the nicotine can seem harsher. It may also even appear darker.
Check the Expiry Date
If you are not sure whether your e-liquid is old, new, stale, or expired, you gain a fair amount of insight by checking out the expiry date if it has one. Most, if not all, commercially sold e-liquid will have an expiry date or a manufacturing date to learn about the e-liquid’s age.
Old E-Liquid Inside Tanks
Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that you’ve forgotten to buy your e-liquid online, and you’re running out of your current supply. You hunt through boxes and drawers, only to discover an old vape with some e-liquid still left in it.
Even if it hasn’t been tucked away in storage for that long, it’s not in your best interests to vape old vape juice that has been sitting inside your tank. Not only does it decay in a tank when it isn’t being used, but it can also deteriorate in the wicks, as well.
Instead of vaping old vape juice from an old vape, replace the coil and drain the tank. You then won’t be tempted to try it out of curiosity.
My Vape Juice Has Been Exposed to Air – Is It Safe?
Vape juice that has been exposed to air is safe, but it’s possibly just not as pleasant or as effective as a fresh new bottle of e-liquid. When nicotine is exposed to air, such as through not sealing your bottles properly, the flavour quality is affected, as is the nicotine’s potency. Nicotine is also affected by light and heat.
To help your e-liquids last as long as possible, make sure they are in entirely sealed bottles out of direct sunlight.
Vape Juice Thickness
One of the most tell-tale ways to know whether your e-liquid is old, expired, or stale is its thickness. Even the thickest e-liquids produced will still move around freely in their bottles. The older the e-liquid, the thicker it becomes.
Your vaping experience then changes because the liquid is potentially too thick for the coil and other vape product components to work effectively.
You might not think anything of throwing your new bottle of e-liquid in your car for those times when you’re caught short. However, this act may be shortening its lifespan. The heat and light of a car may affect your vape juice’s quality more so than if you were to store it in the drawer of a desk.
The best way to store e-liquids for extended periods is to put it in the freezer. This is also a recommendation for those who purchase concentrate nicotine in Australia.
E-liquids don’t freeze, but the oxidation process is slowed down at sub-zero temperatures. As a result, you can store e-liquid for years without significant flavour or appearance changes.
My E-Liquid Smells Funny – Is It Safe?
Sure, your e-liquid is safe to vape if it has a funny smell, but that doesn’t mean it’s a pleasant experience. You will know what your vape juice smells like when it’s brand new because it only has a few ingredients.
If you have stored it inappropriately or have kept it for a long time, you may notice that the smell changes. This can be a sure-fire way of knowing that it’s not as fresh as it could be.
How to Avoid Vape Liquids from Going Off?
There is no way to stop your e-liquids from expiring or going stale. However, we’ve included a few helpful tips below to ensure your vaping experience can be as positive as possible.
- Buy your chosen e-liquid in a bottle size that you will use up within a short period of time.
- Store it out of the heat and direct sunlight
- Empty your tank and start with fresh liquid if it has been sitting in there without being used for more than two days.
- Make sure you leave the lids on your e-liquid bottles
- Buy your e-liquid and vape products from reputable, high-quality manufacturers
- Know the signs that an e-liquid isn’t ‘fresh’ – such as a change in viscosity, colour, and smell
- Don’t store e-liquids in your vehicle
- Pay attention to the manufacturing date or expiry date on the bottle