Once you fill your vape tank with e-liquid, you may be wondering how long it's safe to leave it in there before it goes bad. The answer depends on several factors, such as the type of e-liquid, how frequently you vape, the quality of your tank, and the conditions in which it's stored. In this article, we'll explore these factors in more detail and provide you with some useful tips for ensuring your e-liquid stays fresh and flavorful for as long as possible.
What is an e-liquid’s shelf life?
The shelf life of an e-liquid depends on a number of factors, including the ingredients used and how it's stored. Generally, vape juice has a shelf life of 2 years from the date of manufacture, but some high-quality products can last for up to 3 years.
Factors that Affect E-liquid
Whilst e-liquids do have a relatively long shelf life, that's not to say that there aren't a range of factors that can reduce this. e-liquids that contain nicotine can deteriorate faster, so it's important to store them in a cool, dark place, away from heat and light, to help prolong their shelf life.
When it comes to the type of e-liquid being used, it’s important to note that some e-liquids have a longer expiry date than others. For example, shortfill e-liquids tend to have a longer shelf life compared to other types of vape juice with higher contents of propylene glycol (PG). This is because VG is thicker than PG, which means it takes longer to break down and spoil. On the other hand, PG is a thinner liquid that tends to break down more quickly, leading to a shorter shelf life.
Exposure to sunlight and oxygen
Factors such as sunlight and exposure to oxygen can also have a major impact on e-liquids shelf life. To ensure that your juice stays fresh, it is also best to keep the lid of the bottle sealed until you actually intend to use it. It is always recommended to keep your e-juice in a dark cupboard away from sunlight.
When your vape juice is left in your tank, it can be exposed to oxygen and sunlight far more frequently than if it were in its original bottle, stored somewhere safe. Vape liquid is also very sensitive to extreme temperatures and being exposed to them can drastically reduce its expiry date.
Frequency of vaping
Depending on how frequently you use your juice can have an impact on the liquid too. If you do not vape frequently and prefer direct-to-lung vaping, there's a chance you may have noticed the flavour of your shortfill e-liquid deteriorating over time.
This is because of the constant exposure to the air that the e-liquid has over time from opening the bottle and slowly using it. This doesn't commonly happen to mouth-to-lung vapers as much as 50/50 e-liquids and nic salts come in 10ml bottles which are typically used up much quicker.
Quality of vape tank
Another factor that affects shelf life is the type of tank being used. Some tanks are designed to be airtight, which helps to preserve the flavour and quality for a longer period of time. Other tanks are not as airtight, which can result in a faster breakdown of the e-liquid.
How long will vape juice last in your tank?
The burning question is how long can you leave vape liquid in your tank for. On average, our vape liquid can sit quite comfortable inside your tank for up to two weeks. You will be fine for a few days after this too, however once it starts to reach the 3 week mark you may start to notice some changes.
However, thicker, more viscous e-liquids cannot be left in the vape tank as long as other, thinner e-liquids such as nic salts. Shortfills are composed of more VG than nic salts, for example, which makes them a lot more thick and gloopy. These typically have VG content of 70%, but you can even find shortfills with an 80% VG ratio. In this instance, it's best not to leave these in the tank for too long as something called caramelisation can occur. Caramelisation is when the e-liquid thickens over time and eventually leads to a build-up of gunk around the coil. This will completely ruin a perfectly good coil and cause a very unpleasant vaping experience if it goes unnoticed.
Signs to spot when your e-liquid has gone bad
Leaving e-liquid in a vape tank for an extended period of time can have a negative impact on the flavour quality and overall vaping experience. This can lead to a less enjoyable vaping experience and a greater likelihood of switching back to traditional smoking. Here are some of the tell-tale signs to look out for when judging if your e-liquid has gone bad:
Loss of flavour
Over time, e-liquids will start to break down and this can result in a loss of flavour. If you have been vaping with the same bottle of juice for a while, pay close attention to the strength of your e-liquid flavour. This is especially important for the flavour chasers out there, as it's a key factor in why you vape.
As well as a loss of flavour, leaving e-juice in a tank for an extended period of time can result in a reduction of nicotine content. This isn't so much an issue for sub-ohm vapers, but more so if you're vaping an e-liquid with a higher nicotine content such as nic salts.
No matter which way you like to vape, whether it be flavour-chasing or cloud-chasing, the colour of your vape juice is a key indicator that something might not be quite right. If your e-liquid has been in your vape tank for an extended period of time, you may notice the colour has changed to a darkish brown colour. This is a telltale sign that your e-liquid has been in your vape tank for too long and has now gone bad.
As we've mentioned, vape juice breaks down over time. Along with the e-liquid flavour diminishing, so too will the consistency. You can gauge how older the juice in the vape tank is by identifying how thin it is as the loose the consistency, the older the juice is.
The smell test
The smell test is probably the most clear-cut way to spot when your vape juice has gone bad in your tank. If you notice a horrid smell coming from your vape tank, it's time to discard your vape juice and clean your tank.
How long an e-liquid will last in your tank depends on a variety of factors such as the ingredients used, how it's stored, the quality of the tank, and how frequently it's vaped. Whilst vape juice can last up to 2 years, it's best to use it within 2 weeks of opening and avoid leaving thicker, more viscous e-liquids in the tank for too long to prevent caramelisation.
By paying close attention to the signs that your e-liquid has gone bad, you can ensure that you have an enjoyable and satisfying vaping experience. Ultimately, taking care of your e-liquid and vape equipment will go a long way in preserving the quality and flavour of your vape juice. For any more information on anything vape-related, contact us today and our team of experts will be happy to help.