About vape juice
Vape juice or e-liquid is the substance that evaporates within the atomizer of your e-cigarette. Using either propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycerin (VG) as a base, flavourings and nicotine are added before being packaged and sold.
The answer to ‘does vape juice go bad’ is yes – but it’s quite a complicated issue.
While all reputable vape juice retailers include an expiry date on the bottle, can you be sure that these dates are accurate? And how can you identify e-liquid that has started to go bad?
Expiry of vape juice
Due to a lack of BMA and FDA accreditation, there is no true regulated expiration date for e-liquid. However, the general consensus is that depending on the base and nicotine content, most vape juices last between one and two years. As different flavourings use different chemicals, some e-liquids will most likely last longer than others.
PG vs VG?
Interestingly, there is a difference in shelf life between PG and VG based vape juices. Propylene glycol is itself a natural anti-bacterial and anti-viral chemical, helping to prevent degradation over time. VG liquid on the other hand tend to need a little more care when choosing a place to store, as it is more susceptible to bacteria over a long period of time. It is worth noting, however, that both liquids contain nicotine – and as nicotine is susceptible to heat and sunlight, it is important to store both types of e-liquids correctly.
Correct storage of vape juice
E-liquid is a very stable, viscous mixture that is unlikely to go bad in the short-term. But there are certain steps you can take that ensure your vape juice stays viable for as long as possible:
- Make sure that the receptacle containing the liquid is sealed correctly to prevent air and bacteria from reaching the juice and possibly spoiling it
- Find a place to store the liquid that is away from direct sunlight, as infrared light often leads to separation within the mixture
Does vape juice go bad if the temperature isn’t right where you’re storing it? Unfortunately yes. Heat can often spoil the liquid before the quoted expiration date. The best conditions for vape juice are within room temperature, or slightly cooler – and try to avoid storing your juice in the fridge.
Has my vape juice gone bad?
So how do you know if your vape juice has gone bad? One of the clearest ways to determine whether or not your e-liquid is still viable is by checking its viscosity. If the liquid appears more ‘watery’ than normal, then there is a chance that the juice has separated. Separation can also be detected by the presence of sediment that does not re-combine with the liquid when shaken. For those who are unsure, however, the most obvious difference will be the lack of flavour when vaping.
Is expired vape juice dangerous?
Whilst the e-liquid itself is unlikely to cause any serious harm – especially when compared to the chemicals found in traditional cigarettes – like any consumable if you’re having doubts about the status of the vape juice, it’s best to simply throw it away. After all, there’s no point risking feeling queasy if a new bottle only costs a pound or two.
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