Customers frequently ask us what the best way is to store e-liquid, and we have lots of great tips and tricks to help maximize the lifespan of your vape juice.
Improper storage of e-liquid, especially for long periods of time, can cause changes in flavor, consistency, and even nicotine strength. If you want to be able to enjoy every drop of your e-liquid, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind.
How should I store my eliquid?
The first rule of storing e-liquid is to keep your bottles secure from pets, minors, or any other individual who shouldn’t be accessing nicotine or tobacco products. Nicotine is a toxic substance that can be very harmful when consumed in the wrong dosage, or by people who don’t use tobacco or nicotine products.
We recommend that you keep your vape products in their original packaging and containers, with the labels intact.
For short-term storage, your vape juice should always be kept in a cool area out of direct sunlight. Where that space is, depends on your household; for some, it might be a high cabinet, well away from your stove or other heat-generating appliances. For others, it might be in a bedroom closet with a lockable door.
After each time you use your e-liquid, you should completely close the container and store the container in your preferred secure location.
Why do I need to keep my e-liquid out of heat and sunlight?
Heat and UV light from the sun will cause unwanted chemical reactions in your e-liquid. These chemical reactions can cause your e-liquid to change in flavor and color – often drastically. E-liquid that has been left in a hot car or a sunny location for a long time will become dark in color and will taste different than originally intended.
You’ll also find that e-liquid is thinner when it’s warm. Above-average room temperature or short-term storage in a warm location will cause small changes to your vape juice’s consistency without causing lasting flavor changes.
Keep in mind that even though it won’t change the flavor of your e-liquid if it’s kept slightly above normal temperature for a few hours, the liquid will be thinner than usual when warm and you might find it causes leakage and spitback in your tank if you try to fill a tank with a warmer-than-usual liquid. The best thing to do if your bottle has been in a warm area is to let it drop back down to normal room temperature (about 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit) before you try to vape.
E-liquid that is already in your tank or pod should also be kept out of heat and sunlight, for the same reasons – it may change in color, flavor, or consistency (causing leakage) if it’s left in a hot car or out in the sun for too long.
While vape juice is shelf-stable (it does not need to be refrigerated and will not spoil the way food might), we always recommend keeping it at a comfortable room temperature to preserve the flavor and consistency the manufacturer intended! You should also always keep your e-liquid bottles tightly closed when they are not in use. This will prevent accidental spills and messes, but will also protect your vape juice from exposure to oxygen.
What happens when my e-liquid is exposed to oxygen?
Problems with exposure to oxygen are very similar to the issues we see when e-liquid is left out in a hot or sunny area. Leaving your bottle open or allowing too much air into your bottle of e-liquid will cause it to change in flavor and sometimes in color.
Flavoring components can evaporate or change in chemical composition when exposed to air for long periods of time. Some flavors will become more intense with time and oxygen exposure, while others will become less noticeable. Either way, as time passes, the more air that’s in your bottle, the more your flavor will change. A properly sealed bottle of e-liquid can taste the way the original creator intended it for months or years, while a bottle left without a cap on can taste very different after only a few days.
Exposure to sunlight and oxygen will cause a chemical change to the nicotine in your e-liquid as well; this is called oxidation. The specific chemical process is complex and varies depending on the exact environment, but the short story with oxidation is that the nicotine strength of your e-liquid will decrease over time because the nicotine in your e-liquid is being changed into other chemicals, just because oxygen is present.
This will happen even in the best storage conditions, but takes years if you’re properly storing your e-liquid. However, a bottle with lots of air inside (or an open bottle) will oxidize much faster than a properly stored, sealed bottle. You also don’t want to allow any contaminants into your bottle of eliquid – so it’s always best to keep the cap on securely when you’re not filling your tank or pod.
How long does eliquid stay good?
Most manufacturers recommend vaping your e-liquid within one or two years of the date of manufacture on the bottle. At Giant Vapes, we’re careful never to sell e-liquid that is expired (or almost expired). Almost all the e-liquids we sell have a born-on date printed on the bottle, but a few will have a specific expiration date, usually formatted as “EXP MM/DD/YY”.
Unlike food, most e-liquids don’t ‘spoil’ in the conventional sense. After a few years, even in optimal, climate-controlled conditions like the ones in our shipping center, some flavorings will increase or decrease in strength, and the vape juice just won’t taste the way the creators intended.
It’s also true that after a few years, the nicotine in even a sealed bottle of e-liquid may be somewhat oxidized, so the exact nicotine content might be lower three years after the date of manufacture than it was on the day it was made. How much of a difference there is would depend on storage conditions!
What about long-term storage?
The basic rules still apply for long-term storage – keep your e-liquid away from children, pets and any at-risk members of your household, along with making sure your storage location is cool, out of the sunlight, and your bottles are sealed. There are some other factors you’ll want to consider for long-term vape juice storage too, though!
Fridge or Freezer?
Storing your e-liquid in a refrigerator or freezer may extend its lifespan. However, it’s much more difficult to properly secure your e-liquid in one of these locations.
We never recommend leaving an e-liquid bottle in an unlocked refrigerator or freezer if you have any person in your household who may not recognize your e-liquid as a toxic substance. A small lockbox can be helpful if you want to refrigerate or freeze your e-liquid.
Before using any e-liquid that has been refrigerated or stored in the freezer, it’s best to let the product come back to room temperature. Cold e-liquid is thicker than normal and won’t wick well in your tank or pod.
Storing your e-liquid in a refrigerator or freezer might change or reduce its flavor; it varies and depends strongly on what flavorings are used in the blend.
Have any questions, or awesome storage tips you want to share? Leave us a comment below!