Does Water Expire?

Medically Reviewed on 8/3/2022
Does Water Expire?
In general, there is no expiration date for the water in bottled water.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests that unopened commercial bottled water is safe indefinitely if the bottles are properly sealed and not broken. The FDA reports that the look, smell, and taste of bottled water may change during long-term storage, but the water is still safe to drink.

  • While bottled water makers include expiration dates on their labels, these dates are intended to indicate quality rather than safety.
  • With time the plastic water bottle will decay, and chemicals may leech into the water. 
  • The material of the bottle is porous, so when stored improperly, water absorbs the smell and other pollutants in the surroundings.

It is always recommended to store water in bisphenol A (BPA)-free bottles.

How long does bottled water last?

In general, there is no expiration date for the water in bottled water. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not even require bottled water to have a shelf life. The water itself is designed to be pure eternally.

However, there are additional reasons why you should avoid drinking old, bottled water. While the water itself may remain pure eternally, the container may provide some possible problems. As a result, many bottled water makers advocate not keeping bottled water for more than two years.

How long can I safely store bottled water?

Direct sunshine and temperatures above 70 °F cause the bottle chemicals to degrade. This breakdown releases potentially hazardous substances into the water. It is safe to store water in a refrigerator or an air-conditioned room during summer. Never keep water in an unheated storage room, such as a garage or shed.

Cool-weather conserves water. To properly store your water bottles, choose a cool, dry, covered spot. Do not store water on a shelf alongside chemicals.

It is preferable to keep any opened bottles of water in the refrigerator. Opened water bottles may contain hazardous microorganisms and must be discarded. Discarding does not imply tossing away the water. Instead, water a plant.

A store must maintain 70 °F to store water. Improper storage and transportation have a direct influence on the freshness, stability, and resistance to germs and toxins from the bottles of water.

Is it safe to drink bottled water that is past its expiration date?

It is established that water in bottles has no expiration date. However, it is recommended to consume within two years of manufacturing.

Water in bottles should be colorless and odorless. Discard the water if you notice:

  • An odor
  • A musty or metallic taste
  • Froth or a green or blue tint, which indicates dirt, germs, or rust

Plastic is not an environmentally friendly substance and might harm health. Furthermore, tap water is more regulated than bottled water.


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Does tap water expire?

Most people who consume tap water have no negative side effects. It can be stored and consumed for up to six months.

  • Pure water or water that has been boiled and cooled does not deteriorate. 
  • Refrigerated water should survive indefinitely if properly stored.
  • Tap water that has been chilled and stored in a clean container should be good for a long time.

Water left in an open container overnight or for an extended time is likely to host a significant number of germs, posing a health danger. It is hard to tell how much dust, dirt, and other microscopic particles have accumulated in the glass. It is dangerous to leave water in a bottle for a long time.

The chlorine taste will decrease if you store a jug of tap water in the refrigerator. Because chlorine in water depletes over time, if you store it for a longer duration, you are recommended to replace your water every 24 hours to prevent bacterial activity.

While refilling plastic water bottles, the bacteria in the tap water may accumulate in the bottle and cause illness, such as diarrhea. If you leave the water bottle at room temperature for a few days, you may end up having gastroenteritis after consuming it.

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Medically Reviewed on 8/3/2022
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