Does Lemon Juice Go Bad?

Does lemon juice go bad or not? How do you tell if your lemon juice has gone bad and is it safe to drink? Here are the answers you seek.

Maybe you’ve got a few tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice left over from your last baking session.

Or perhaps you’ve just got a half-finished bottle of lemon juice out of your cupboard.

Whatever kind of lemon juice you have, you’ll find answers on how to store lemon juice, how long lemon juice lasts, and how to tell if your lemon juice has gone bad below.

Want the quick info?

Expect your commercially-bottled lemon juice to last for over a year unopened. But that’s only if it has preservatives in – freshly squeezed lemon juice will only last a few days in the refrigerator, and store-bought lemon juice without preservatives will last 1-2 weeks.

Related:Do Lemons Go Bad?Does Lime Juice Go Bad?Does Orange Juice Go Bad?

How To Tell If Your Lemon Juice Has Gone Off

glasses of lemon juice

Even though lemon juice is acidic, it can go bad, especially if it’s preservative-free – that probably means you’re squeezing your own lemons – or stored at room temperature.

You should follow the appearance, smell, then taste, and in that order. First, look for any changes in texture or color, especially a dulling or darkening. Then, smell your lemon juice – if it smells different, it’s time for the bin.

If your lemon juice passes the appearance and smell test, try a little. Don’t worry – it won’t be unsafe, though it may be unpleasant!

One last thing. If your freshly squeezed lemon juice has been left on the counter for over 24 hours, don’t risk it. Just throw it out.

How To Store Lemon Juice

lemon juice in glass and jug

Put newly squeezed lemon juice in the fridge using a sealed container, like an old bottle. The lemon juice has no preservatives, so the Vitamin C level decreases fast. Use it quickly or only squeeze what you need for the day.

Store-bought lemon juice often has preservatives in it, which means it can be stored in the pantry before it’s been opened. Once it’s opened, reseal it tightly and transfer it to the refrigerator.

As for store-bought lemon juice without preservatives, store it as you would fresh lemon juice.

How Long Lemon Juice Lasts

freshly squeezed lemon

Expect freshly squeezed lemon juice to last up to 3 days in the refrigerator, provided you’ve followed the storage instructions above.

Store-bought bottles of lemon juice will last for over a year in your pantry and over six months once opened in your refrigerator. However, you should note the storage instructions on the packaging, as different quantities of preservatives are used in each brand.

You must use lemon juice sold in stores that is without preservatives within 1-2 weeks. It should be stored inside a fridge always.

The Lowdown On Lemon Juice

Here are the key takeaways on lemon juice:

  • If you’re squeezing lemon juice fresh from the lemon, only squeeze however much you need that day. The rind of the lemon acts as a protective seal, and once you’ve squeezed the lemon, the juice will start depleting in Vitamin C.
  • For a storage life of over a year unopened and over half a year opened, opt for store-bought lemon juice with preservatives.
  • With store-bought lemon juice with preservatives, you can store it at room temperature before it’s open. Otherwise, opt for the refrigerator.

You Might Love These Too

Does Distilled Water Go Bad
Does Distilled Water Go Bad?
Alisa Shimoyama

Alisa eats her way around the world on her travels and likes to have good food ready and waiting for her when she gets back.