Does Water Expire?

Does Water Expire

As we all are aware of the importance of water for our survival. It is a boon given to our planet earth. Water has unique properties that make it different from other chemical compounds. Whatever we consume in daily life has its expiry period after which if intake can cause sickness. One such question is whether water expires or not? In this article, I will answer this question and cover the surrounding topics as well.

So, does water expire? No, water itself does not expire. The expiry date mentioned on water bottles indicates its quality, not safety. After the expiry date, plastic bottles can gradually start leaching chemicals into the water that can contaminate it. Therefore, water can be used after indefinite time if stored in a proper environment. Therefore, water does not go bad.

People may worry if they intake water having its expiry date passed without having look over it. So, should you worry about it? Of course no, water doesn’t go bad. The expiry date mentioned on the bottles containing mineral water indicates its quality, not safety.

It will not impact any ill effects on health because water will not get intoxicated however the taste of water can change. The taste of expired water can be lesser than the mountain freshwater as shown in advertisements.

If any consumer raises a complaint about the bad taste of water crossed its expiry date mentioned on its bottle, the organization can point out fault for drinking water exceeding its expiry date. However, bad taste will not cause any sickness.

The manufacturing of standardized products that are consumable requires a stamp of expiry date as per the government guidelines. This does not ensure that water will get contaminated as like other food items such as bread, milk, etc.

Many complaints are filed with the taste change of water kept for a few months of expiry. But as per U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the unopened water bottles can be kept for an indefinite period of time. Until the bottle is sealed, there is no risk of water contamination.

After long storage of sealed water bottles, the appearance of water can have some variations. And the smell and taste can also change somewhat. But importantly, the water is safe to drink.

Stamping expiry date with a QR code over the sticker of bottles of beverages defines the reliability of its brand and also a mark of standard. But, technically people should not misjudge the stamp with the safety of the water.

Water Bottles

What is the shelf life of water?

As per many companies manufacturing water bottles, the shelf life of a water bottle is considered to be between 1 to 2 years. Bottled water should be placed under the proper conditions where we put other food items that easily go bad after a few days.

Bottled water should not be placed near chemicals, gasoline, or cleansing chemical agents. In addition to it, don’t keep bottled water in excessive warmth or sunlight.

Therefore, if it is stored under a favorable environment and sealed, it will not go bad for an indefinite period of time even the water bottled exceeds the expiry date.

However, if we talk about the shelf life of an opened water bottle, it is considered to be around 2 to 3 days for best use. And over a few days, the opened water absorbs Carbon Dioxide, and its taste changes.

However, refrigeration of an opened water bottle can protect it for some more days to get bad. Because of the improved environment than putting it in the kitchen openly.

Therefore, once you open the sealed bottled water, it is best to use it within a few days. The shelf life of a food item is the life for its best use.

Therefore putting expiry date stamp especially on the water bottles is not necessary. But almost all brands put it for the sake of mark of standard and also the reason that people trust the item of a brand that has some ‘best for use’ mark over it.

Does Tap water go bad?

Water Bottles

In many countries around the world including the US, tap water is regulated by the authorities to check the quality statistics of water fed to the citizens. It is also important to keep an eye over the quality test of the water coming in our kitchen, washrooms through taps.

It should be noted that tap water is chlorinated by adding chlorine content into it. This is done to remove bacteria and eliminate slime, algae, and other undesirable content and make the water safer to drink. Therefore, the tap water sometimes gives chlorine flavor. Many people misunderstand that with the threat of lead.

Hydrogen sulfide is present in the groundwater that comes out through different means of groundwater like bored well, drilled well, and driven wells. Chlorine removes the hydrogen sulfide from it.

With an estimation, it is recommended to use tap water within a day for the best case. But it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. However, its taste will change but it is still safe to drink. It will not cause any ill effects on your body.

So, It is right to say that tap water has a shelf life of about 6 months because after that the chlorine will dissipate and algae and bacteria can start growing in it making it pretty bad.

In such a case, use that water for plants and clean off the container properly and refill the fresh water. And if you’re using plastic bottles for storing tap water then according to experts it should be replaced within 15 days.

Plastic water bottles should also be kept closed tightly and in a dark cool place. Because if it is kept in direct sunlight exposure for a longer time. The plastic can peach chemicals into the water making it unsafe for drinking purposes.

As we know that the tap water contains chlorine amount added that kills the microorganisms. But when it is kept in a container or bottle at room temperature, the small community of little microorganism starts growing rapidly. Therefore, after a few days, carbon dioxide starts getting absorbed in water and lowering its PH value.


How to check if the water is bad?

tap water

  • If the water brings out changes in its smell and color, it is one of the main signs of indicating water getting bad.
  • Usually, the water becomes unclear, cloudy when it is left for a longer period in open and it turns out bad for us anymore.
  • If the water turns out to be green due to the growth of algae and bacteria in it, it is a strong sign of water getting bad.
  • It is not necessary that every time the color of water changes in case of water getting bad. We have to just use our senses too for judging if the water is consumable or not.
  • If the tap water tastes metallic or fishy, it should be understood that it is not to drink.
    These are some of the points to determine the bad nature of water.

effects of bad water quality

There are many water-borne diseases that happen through tap water having low chlorine content. Diseases like diarrhea, nausea, cramps, etc are caused by a parasite known as giardia which is developed by the low chlorine content present in tap water.

A high level of the lead amount present in water can cause cancer-related problems. Trihalomethane (TMH) is a common byproduct of chlorination which can cause bladder cancer disease.

Arsenic present in groundwater which is taken out through bored wells can cause skin and blood vessels.

Solutions to contaminated water

As per the guidelines of local authorities, the chlorine supply is regulated in the tap water to kill the unwanted bacteria, algae, and other harmful particles.

The water which is stored for a longer time and seems to smell different than normal water should be boiled in order to kill the harmful bacteria present in it.

The bottled water should be kept in dark cool place and closed tightly and should not be placed in direct sunlight as due to continuous heat plastic can peach the chemical into the water making it unsafe for drinking purposes.

if bottled water is opened, It should be recommended to finish the bottle within 2 to 3 days to the best use of it. Although the water will not get bad even for a few more days, its flavor can change.


We conclude it by referring that water itself does not get expire if stored under a proper environment. The expiry date stamp on the sticker of the bottle does not indicate its safety but quality. It ensures the best use of water. There is no need to worry about safety if expired water is consumed. It will not have any negative impact on health.

In case, if the water is stored open for a long time that its color becomes cloudy and smells off then it is not a good idea to consume because that can contain a large community of bacteria and algae which can result in sickness.

The water stored under proper condition ie; placed tightly closed in a dark cool place is useful till an indefinite period of time.

If you guys have any more doubts regarding water getting bad. You can reach us by commenting on your question in the comment box below. We will reach out to you as soon as possible

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