You may spot an expiration date on bottled water that is way in the future, or the use-by date has already passed. Here, it could cause you to worry; however, you’d be surprised to find there’s no need to panic.
However, just because you can drink past the expiry date doesn’t mean you can stock up on water without worry. So, how long is bottled water good for, and does water expire? In our guide, you can learn more about bottled water and that it is more the bottle than the water that goes off.
By the end, you’ll learn that high-density polyethylene terephthalate leaches chemicals into the water after an extensive period. You’ll also understand how long does water last, as an unopened bottle can last a long time. (Read Christmas Tree Not Drinking Water)
How Does Bottled Water Go Bad?
You shouldn’t worry about drinking damaged water, but you should understand why bottled water has expiration dates.
It’s not the water quality that’s dangerous, but the plastic it’s stored in. Water is bottled in PET bottles for retail and HDPE jugs for water coolers.
The frightening bottle about these bottles is that plastics contaminate the drink once expired or exposed to severe heat, such as sunlight or hot automobiles.
Toxic chemicals in this plastic will enter the water, changing the taste and posing significant health risks to consumers.
Many bottled water companies, to keep you safe, retail bottles have a two-year expiration date on the bottle. Although, there’s no precise way to forecast when the plastic may leach into the water.
The two-year expiration date is a guess of when the water bottle was most likely exposed to heat in hot cars or when decaying.
How Does Bad Bottled Water Affect Your Health?
In the scorching heat, you may assume you’re helping your body by drinking water.
The hotter the day, the faster water becomes contaminated with hazardous plastic compounds, so you’re not truly helping your body.
Although, it doesn’t mean if you can’t find high-quality water in safe containers, to stop drinking water from the plastic bottles you can drink water from.
It is advised not to add hot liquids to a reusable water bottle.
Use glass or metal water bottles to reduce plastic way. However, because water bottles are one of the most common methods to ingest hazardous substances, you must find better alternatives.
Thankfully, some bottled water firms use cleaner methods. These water bottles are better for your health than plastic ones.
Don’t drink from harmful plastic bottles. Instead, plan ahead and use high-quality bottled water with reusable containers that will save you money and improve your health. (Learn How Long Does Eggplant Last In Fridge)
Frequently Asked Questions
Does bottled water go bad?
Water is a natural substance and doesn’t go bad; however plastic water bottles degrade and leech chemicals into the water, so buy BPA-free bottled water.
How long can you keep bottled water?
Shelf life is 2 years. The FDA, which governs bottled water, does not require a shelf life, but we recommend two years for still water and one year for sparkling water due to plastic degradation over time, especially in the heat.
Is it safe to drink old bottled water?
The FDA doesn’t require bottled water to have a shelf life, yet plastic bottles can leach hormone-like substances. BPA-free bottled water reduces hazardous chemical exposure. The shelf life of calm water is 2 years.
Does Water In Bottles Go Bad?
The short answer is yes. Unfortunately, some individuals see water bottle expiration dates as guidelines or think only paranoid people follow them.
Believe it or not, the expiration dates on plastic water bottles are essential.
Thankfully, bottled water has a long expiration date.
- Unopened bottled water lasts two years.
- Opened water bottles last weeks.
- Packaged tap water expires after six months.
Consuming bottled water after the expiration date tastes the same. Drinking bottled water after the expiration date could cause harm, yet it won’t have immediate implications.
What Happens When You Drink Bad Bottled Water?
PET or HDPE is used for bottled water and water cooler jugs. Plastics dissolve or seep into the water. This process is sped up by heat from the sun, engines, or a hot garage or delivery truck.
Plastic is porous, so it will take outside scents and other materials wherever it’s stored. So bottled water stored in a hot garage will take on hot garage tastes and any exposed contaminants.
Again, the detrimental effects aren’t immediate. Experts warn drinking expired water might cause reproductive problems, cancer, immune system health, and neurological problems. Overall, it’s best to avoid outdated drinking water. Health professionals sometimes advise against drinking from plastic bottles.
There are more reasons to not drink bottled water out of date.
While the water may stay clean forever, the bottle may not. Many bottled water makers recommend keeping water for two years.
Plastic water bottles are typically packaged in bottles that are made of either high-density polyethylene (HDPE) or polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
Storing Bottled Water Safely
As you’ve seen in this guide, storing it is the most important thing that affects how long bottled water will last. Ensure you store bottled water correctly to keep it safe and last as long as possible.
Bottled water should be kept in a cool, dry place. This keeps the water from getting too hot or too cold, which could be dangerous, and also keeps the temperature of the water from changing too much.
Ensure you don’t store the bottled water near dangerous household chemicals for extra safety.
Never use a disposable bottle more than once to store water. If you use it often, the plastic will break down, especially if you wash it at a high temperature.
Buy a bottle made of BPA-free plastic or one made of stainless steel.
The IBWA says that it’s essential to keep bottled water in a cool place, out of direct sunlight, and away from household chemicals and solvents to keep the water’s quality.
So why do water bottles have an expiry date then?
There are a few reasons why expiration dates are always on bottles. The first common reason is that the government requires manufacturers of all consumables, like water, frozen food, and other products that people need to live, to put a “best before” date on every package.
Another reason for these date stamps is that the water bottle makers want to show when the water may lose its taste. Most spring, mineral, and other natural water flavors or products are like this when in a plastic material.
Experts still say that you should always err on the side of caution, avoid a health hazard, and avoid drinking water from plastic bottles that are way past their expiration date, even if you know it is clean drinking water.
This is because, over time, the plastic on old bottled water bottles can begin leaching into the water, leading to chemicals like antimony and bisphenol A. (BPA). (Learn Why Does It Sound Like Water Is Constantly Running)
How Long Will Bottled Water Last?
Here’s a general rule of the average shelf life of the different bottled water:
Unopened plastic bottle:
- Regular bottled Water: 2+ years in pantry or more when refrigerated.
- Flavored Water: 9 months pantry and fridge
- Sparkling Water: 1+ years
- opened Bottled Water: 2-3 hours in a pantry or 3-5 days refrigerated
- Sparkling Water: 2-3 hours in a pantry or 2-3 when refrigerated