Everything that surrounds us does not last forever. Even liquids for electronic cigarettes, though strange as it may seem, have a shelf life. If you use manufactured liquids, things are simple — you just need to check the label on the bottle. If the shelf life is not expired, feel free to buy and vape it, but if you do custom e-liquids, it’s worth elaborating the point.
Shelf life is the period of time during which, under the storage conditions, the manufacturer guarantees you the preservation of all properties and qualities of the liquid. Does it mean that the liquid can not be used after the expiration date? No, it doesn’t. However it should not be supposed that you can prepare a tank wagon full of your favored liquid, just to survive in zombie apocalypse.
Who to blame
Time is not the liquid’s archenemy. Light, air and temperature are dealing much more better with the task.
Ultraviolet and oxygen oxidize nicotine and flavors. In fact, you won’t be able to avoid their harm completely. If it is a question of months, it is not so important, but in the context of long-term storage changes can be significant.
The tastes of the liquids we vape are the premeditated molecular connections of all the ingredients. However, due to heating the molecules of different substances begin to interact in a different way. That is how we get the taste of chocolate brownie with a smack of stagnant water.
Propylene glycol and glycerin are least affected by time. When stored under suitable conditions, they can be used even in a year. Nicotine and flavors spoil much faster.
Shelf life of propylene glycol is about two years and it is five years for glycerin. We are not going to write something else about this, let’s better talk about things that spoils really fast.
The dire foe of nicotine is oxygen. Nicotine oxidizes and loses its properties: TH disappears, a bitter aftertaste appears and the body is not saturated with nicotine. You can not completely avoid oxidation because oxygen will penetrate into the container with liquid at each opening. Nevertheless, if you treat the process carefully and store nicotine in the fridge, the changes can be minimized.
Spoiled nicotine is nicotine, which has lost its properties. This means that it cannot "turned sour", but you won’t be able to make much use of it anyway. It’s difficult to determine exact storage period, it depends on the storage location and how often you open the bottle, letting more oxygen to get inside. To avoid nicotine oxidation to the fullest extent possible, we recommend not buying it in large quantities. And besides, for sure, it’s better to do without nicotine at all.
Flavourings are highly volatile substances. That’s why they spoil faster than anything. Many flavors smell even through a plastic bottle. Should you store them in a warm and well-lit place, this process will proceed even more swiftly.
It should be noted that there are no preservation agents in natural flavors, so their life time is less than that of artificial ones. Outdated natural flavorings can be a breeding ground for microorganisms. On average, the shelf life of natural flavorings is about two months.
If you notice that the liquid has started to separate, most probably, natural flavorings are to blame for this. Shake the bottle. Is it still separating? Throw it out. But remember that there are such flavorings that are being separated even when everything is fine — these are flavourings based on essential oils, flavors of watermelon, coca-cola, eucalyptus and some others.
Spoiled flavoring is not, а poison. It will not kill you, but still we do not recommend experimenting.
How to store your liquid
Fridge is the most suitable place for storage. Propylene glycol and glycerin both have a sufficiently low freezing point, so a freezer can be used. The shelf in the fridge door is also quite suitable, as well as drawer or cupboard. The main point is to prevent impact of light and heat. Keep your liquid away from radiators and other heat sources.
You can use small plastic bottles to store small amounts of liquid. Just make sure that bottles are sealed. Larger amounts will require darkened containers made of glass or ceramics.
Such containers will significantly increase your liquid’s shelf life.
Propylene glycol and glycerin quickly absorb the surrounding odors. Therefore, the containers in which they are stored are to be hermetically sealed and, if possible, located away from the flavorings.
Take note that 100 mg nicotine is to be stored in containers made of dark glass.
The shelf life is kinda check point. If the liquid or ingredients taste and smell have not changed much, you can use them. Take due care using natural flavorings. Follow the storage rules and use only high-quality materials. All this will make your vapour tasty and saturated.