Does bottled water expire?

By May 14, 2021

You probably have been stocking up on canned food during this COVID-19 quarantine, just to make sure they don’t run out. But when it turns to bottled water, can you be sure that they will last forever?

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The thing is, water itself doesn’t expire, but packaging and other environmental factors can cause water go bad. The package is usually plastic, either polyethylene terephthalate (PET) for retail  bottles or high-density polyethylene (HDPE) for water cooler jugs. When exposed to heat, such as sunlight and hot cars, these toxic plastics will leach into the water. For the long run, they will cause damage to your endocrine system and immune system, and lead to reproductive symptoms, various cancers, and neurological problems. Because these plastics are slightly porous, water in it will absorb smells and tastes from outside the packaging, making it taste dusty and musty.

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So generally, bottled water will be labeld a two-year expiration date to keep you safe, and to help stores know when to rotate through product and restock. Still, it is also important to remember that this is just a rather arbitrary number — there’s no precise way to predict when the bottled water is no longer good to drink. For instance, even a brand new plastic bottled water which sat in delivery truck for hours or more in summer may develop adverse and toxic compounds when first delivered to the grocery store. And the longer the water is in circulation, the more likely it is exposed to heat and start to degrade.

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However, as a general rule, you should be perfectly safe as long as you store the bottled water away from heat or household chemicals, and refrigerate it between sips to slow down bacterial growth, and at least finish that water within four to six days. On the other hand, you could drink out of glass or aluminum water bottles instead of bottled water. Using these water bottles will help your body get back to a healthier and more equilibrium state.

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Bottled water typically lasts for two years, so how about other water? Because of the additive, they tend to have a much shorter shelf life. Sparkling water lasts for one year, while flavored water and vitamin water lasts for about 9 months. Once opened, however, the figure drastically falls to 2-3 hours.

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