How Long Can Water Sit in a Plastic Bottle?

At one point in your life, you must have taken bottled water. In fact, almost everyone has. Bottled water is clean, safe, and a tasty alternative to tap water.

And the best part is that there are lots of bottled water options on the market today. Therefore, you can keep yourself stocked with clean drinking water for your family.

A question most frequently asked about the water is how long can it last? How long can water sit in a plastic bottle?

In this post, we give you answers to these questions and more. Stick around.

Is it Safe to Store Water in a Plastic Bottle for Too Long?

Drinking water in plastic bottles is safe, but if stored in the bottle for too long, it’s not the best for consumption.

This is simply because if the plastic bottle is exposed to heat, it leaches toxic chemicals into the water, making it unsafe for drinking.

How Long Does Bottled Water Last?

Water has a long shelf life and can last for a very long time without going bad if you store it in an airtight bottle and in the right environment.

In fact, the FDA doesn’t require a shelf life for bottled water as it is set to remain clean indefinitely.

However, although that’s the case, there are other reasons you might not want to drink bottled water that is too old.

While the water remains clean indefinitely, you need to be concerned about a few issues the bottle presents. Actually, it’s because of these issues that bottled water manufacturers recommend that you store your bottled water for no longer than two years.

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Keep Bottled Water for Long

Discussed below are a few issues that make bottled water less ideal for drinking if left to sit for long. They include:

  • Chemicals in the Bottle

The main issue in bottled water is caused by chemicals in the plastic bottle itself. Remember, the water itself won’t expire.

Any safety issues are caused by the bottle.

All plastic bottles are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or high-density polyethylene (HDPE). When exposed to high heat, the plastic melts, leaching the toxic chemicals in the plastic into your water.

These chemicals will not only affect the taste of your water but also create serious health implications depending on the amount you’ve consumed.

To prevent the chemicals from seeping into your drinking water, avoid leaving bottled water in direct sunlight or where it can be exposed to extreme heat.

  • Taste

The taste of bottled water changes with time. And yes, it’s not the best of flavors.

Even sealed bottled water gets exposed to tiny bits of air, which alters the taste as it mixes with the water. The water that was initially great-tasting gets an unappealing taste.

This is one of the reasons why however airtight bottled water is, manufacturers, recommend that you store it for not longer than 2 years.

How Long Does Open Bottled Water Last?

Once you’ve opened the seal to your bottled water, it’s game over. Well, the water will still be good to drink, but it’ll develop a stale taste.

Reason? It mixes with the air.

Think of when you leave a cup of water on the counter overnight. It gets a stale, metallic oxidized taste to it, right? The same happens to unsealed bottled water.

You can choose to refrigerate the water to add a couple of days to the water. However, the water won’t last very long before getting bad.


As you’ve seen from the guide, the main factor influencing how long your water can sit in a plastic bottle relates to the condition you store it in.

To keep your bottled water for a long time, store it properly in a cool and dry place. Do not keep it near heat sources, direct sunlight, or hazardous household chemicals.

With proper storage, your water will sit in an airtight plastic bottle for up to 2 years. The water can only last a few weeks if the bottle is opened.

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