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 technically yes – but it’s quite a complicated issue.
While all reputable vape juice retailers include an expiry or produced on date on the bottle, 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 last longer than others.
One of the main issues with storing vape juice for long periods of time is the effect of over steeping. Once added to the mixture, the flavourings in an e-liquid begin to mature and develop. While this is a natural part of the process, and even something we allow time for to ensure our flavours are at their very best, over seriously long periods of time the flavours continue to steep and can become quite unpleasant! Either becoming very strong, stale-tasting or generally pretty "odd", oversteeping is a bigger issue for "expired" juices than microbiological risk, thanks to PG and nicotine's combined antibacterial properties. If it's not obvious to look at, an easy way to check for over steeping is to smell the liquid first - it should be pretty obvious if the flavour has changed significantly!
Correct storage of vape juice
If you store your vape juices in a cool, dark place, out of sunlight and in its original packaging, your juices should be safe to use for up to two years or more depending on the flavour and strength. Be sure to avoid extreme temperatures and once you have opened your e-liquid, you should try to use it as soon as possible so that you don’t spoil your vaping experience. While it shouldn’t cause you any physical harm, E-liquid that has oversteeped and is past its prime can taste anywhere from odd to awful – bear that in mind before you vape an old bottle at the back of a drawer!
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, which means the heavier components like VG sink to the bottom and the lighter ones like flavouring and nicotine rise to the top. Separation can also be detected in extreme cases 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. At LiQuid, we homogenise every batch to create a more stable mixture and stave-off the risks of separation and ensure your juice stays at it's best as long as possible.
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.
If you want to find out more about vaping, check out our FAQ’s and Glossary of terms!
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