Does Bottled Water Expire or Go Bad?

Just like any other consumable product, bottled water comes with an expiry date. This makes many wonder, does bottled water expire or go bad?

And if it does expire, what is its shelf life?

Well, water doesn’t expire, and you can store it for a long time without worries. However, how you store it plus the expiry date of the bottle greatly affects the taste and state of the water.

Most manufacturers include the expiry date to help you identify the batch date. Drinking the water before the indicated expiry date can help you enjoy great-tasting water.

Can Bottled Water Expire?

Does Bottled Water Expire or Go Bad

Although the water doesn’t expire, as time goes by, the bottle can begin to leach chemicals into your water, contaminating it.

Water is usually bottled in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles or high-density polyethylene (HDPE). Once exposed to direct sunlight or heat, these bottles release toxic chemicals into the water.

The toxic chemicals include bisphenol A and antimony, which, if regularly ingested, can harm your gut, respiratory system, and immunity.

After keeping the bottled water in storage for a long time, it can also become flat or develop an off-taste.

Therefore, most bottled water companies print an expiration date (2 years) on the bottle to keep you safe.

There’s no precise way to predict when the bottle will leach the chemicals into your water, which is why you need to store your bottled water properly.

Adverse Effects of Bad Water

Although we all need water to survive, you need to be more conscious of the water you are taking and how it can affect your health.

If your bottled water has been exposed to heat or sunlight for a long time, avoid taking it as it can lead to health problems in the future.

Some of the health implications that can befall you from overexposure to toxins from plastic include:

  • Hormone imbalances
  • Stomach pain
  • Impaired immunity
  • Developmental and reproductive effects
  • Metabolic disorders like obesity
  • Cancer
  • Birth defects in infants exposed to plastic

Proper Bottled Water Storage Tips

Storing your bottled water properly can prevent bacterial growth and all the health problems listed above.

As aforementioned, heat and warm temperatures can increase the release of toxic plastic chemicals into your water. So, keep your bottled water in a cool and dry place out of direct sunlight.

Another important thing to note is that plastic bottles are slightly porous and thus the need to store them away from your household cleaning chemicals and supplies.

And in case you notice that the water has developed an odd taste, discard it or boil it before drinking.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long does bottled water last past the expiration date?

Bottled water lasts indefinitely and doesn’t have an expiry date. Water companies print the date on the water bottle to help you identify the batch date and ensure quality.

Q: Can you get sick from drinking old bottled water?

You can only get sick if you’ve been drinking old bottled water that has been exposed to direct sun or heat for a long time.

Q: Does bottled water ever expire?

Bottled water does not expire. It can last for years as long as it’s stored properly.

Q: How does bottled water expire?

Bottled water only expires if it’s exposed to heat or direct sunlight for a long time. It can get contaminated by toxic chemicals from the plastic bottle.

Q: Does bottled water expire if not opened?

Bottled water doesn’t expire when properly sealed and stored in a cool place.

Q: How long does bottled water last if unopened?

How long the water will last depends on the storage conditions. If stored properly, it can last for the longest time possible.

Q: What is the shelf life of unopened bottled water at room temperature?

If stored properly, unopened bottled water will last indefinitely at room temperature. The water bottle should be in good condition as well (not damaged).

Q: Does unopened bottled water ever go bad?

Although unopened bottled water doesn’t go bad even after storing it for a long time, it can no longer taste as good as it was when fresh.

Q: Do aluminum bottles extend shelf life?

Water packed in aluminum bottles lasts longer. Aluminum cans have a shelf life of 50 years.


Bottled water does not expire but can get bad if stored, not appropriately stored or if exposed, the bottle expires (1).

Chemicals found in plastic bottles can leach into your water and damage your health after taking the water for some time. Therefore, always avoid water that’s past its expiry date as most likely, it has the chemicals already (2).

To ensure that your bottled water stays in the best condition for the longest time possible, practice the proper storage techniques.

This will not only keep you safe from the side effects of taking bad water but also ensure that your drinking water is clean, safe, and healthy at all times.

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