E-liquid shelf life isn’t something you’ve probably given much thought to if you’re just starting out as a vaper. Most first-time vapers buy a small bottle of vape e-liquid, use it up, and then go back to the vape shop to buy more.
You should think about the shelf life of e-liquid if you like to switch up flavours frequently, mix large batches of DIY e-liquid, or buy in bulk. The good news is that with a few easy tweaks, you can keep it performing like new for years to come.
Always check expiration dates and/or when the product was bottled.
In general, 1-2 years is the maximum recommended storage period given by most e-liquid manufacturers. Respectable e-liquid manufacturers always include the date of bottling in their product descriptions, and some even go so far as to recommend a use-by date.
It’s always a good idea to double-check the bottling date of your favourite premium e-liquid before buying it on sale. It could simply be nearing a year since bottling, which is fine if you plan to vape it within a short time frame. Still, if it’s been more than a year since bottling, you should get a new batch even if it costs more money.
Maintaining a safe environment for e-liquid storage
The shelf life of e-liquid depends on a number of factors, including the way it is stored but also on factors inherent to the formulation itself. Degradation of e-liquid occurs more quickly when it is exposed to light, heat, or air.
Therefore, keep your e-liquid in a cool, dark place and make sure the bottle is tightly sealed. It’s tempting to make an attractive display of your e-liquid on your kitchen counter, but doing so runs the risk of hastening the liquid’s deterioration. An e-liquid cabinet in the basement is a great place to keep it when it’s not in use.
Use dark glass bottles if you’re steeping a large batch of DIY e-liquid for an extended period of time, such as 250 ml of a rich dessert. Glasses in amber, brown, or dark green colors help to keep the contents of the bottle from being affected by the outside environment. Furthermore, unlike the plastics typically used for commercial e-liquids, which are intended to be consumed within one year, glass is far less likely to interact with e-liquid over long periods of time.
In what ways does e-liquid deteriorate over time?
Deterioration of Flavor
E-liquid flavourings are also referred to as volatiles. This tendency to run away from problems is part of what gives them their distinctive flavour.
Volatiles that are lighter, like fruit flavours, have a greater tendency to evaporate than do heavier, dessert-focused flavours. So, as your e-liquid deteriorates, the potency of its flavours may lessen. Flavorings in e-liquids can undergo significant changes over time due to their interactions with one another.
When e-liquid is stored for long periods of time (more than 1-2 years), the taste begins to change. This may not be a major issue by itself, but it will undoubtedly alter the experience from what the manufacturer intended.
Inactivation of Nicotine
As time passes, the nicotine in your e-liquid will oxidise and react with the other components. This is a slow process, so as long as the data is stored correctly, you shouldn’t worry too much about it. However, e-liquid will degrade more noticeably if it is stored improperly or left for extended periods of time.
Peppery flavour and increased harshness are telltale signs of nicotine degradation. In addition, the nicotine in your e-liquids will lose some of its potency over time, making them less enjoyable to disposable vape and less successful at satisfying cravings if this has happened to any of them. There’s nothing worse than having to buy a new bottle of e-liquid because the nicotine content has diminished.