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Eliquidology: Does E-Liquid Expire?

Perhaps it’s like a fine wine that gets better with age, or bottled water that “expires”, or maybe it’s like milk that needs to be thrown out. So it raises the question, does e-liquid actually expire?  

When you pick up your favorite flavor of VOLCANO e-liquid you’ll probably notice that we do not have an expiration date printed on our bottles or pre-filled cartomizers. This is because there is no established expiration date for e-liquid, but you can base it on the life of the PG, VG and nicotine that it is composed of.

On average, you can expect a bottle (when stored properly) to last you about 1 year. With our formula, we suggest a 1-year shelf life because after 1 year, the nicotine content will begin to degrade, as will the flavors, so your e-liquid will no longer be as strong and the flavors may also change over time.

Both PG and VG are effective virucides and germicides, so you will never need to be concerned about microorganisms affecting your eliquids. So the main thing that you have to be worried about is the degradation, not really expiration of the components that make up the liquid. What can speed up this process are light, heat, moisture and air.

Here are some tips to keep your back up stash as fresh as possible:

  1. Store them unopened in a dark, cool cupboard.
  2. Denser elements of the eliquid will always sink to the bottom, so be sure to shake your eliquid bottle frequently, even if kept in storage. Always shake before you vape as it will ensure best flavor distribution throughout the whole bottle.
  3. Mark your eliquids with the date of purchase, that way you will know you have one year from that date to vape it up before needing to worry about the PG/VG, nicotine or flavors degrading.

How to tell if your e-liquid has passed its prime:

If you have gone over our recommended 1-year mark since you have purchased that unopened bottle of eliquid in your storage box, here are a few ways to tell if it has gone bad.

As mentioned above, separation is natural in eliquids, so shaking is always recommended. But if you find that even after vigorous shaking, the ingredients still seem separated—it may be an indicator that your eliquid has passed its prime.

An eliquid that has gone stale may have also oxidized so it may appear darker in color. Vaping oxidized eliquid isn’t hazardous, but it will most likely taste poor.

In the end, when you find that you are nearing the expiration of your eliquid or have already passed the recommended vape-by date, the best advice that we can give you is to use your common sense, as you would with food that’s been in your refrigerator for over a week.

Unless you are really desperate for your vape and cannot get to one of our locations to pick up a new bottle or cannot wait for your order to come in, it is always best to err on the side of caution and just throw out that old eliquid.

Running low on eliquid? Check out our 15ml bottles of eliquid >