Does Soda Go Bad?

Does soda go bad or not? The real answer is that it does indeed go bad. Here's how you tell and how you should store soda properly.

So you’ve bought a bunch of soft drink multipacks on offer. But you’ve just got home and you’ve realized that you have no idea how long soda lasts and how to store it.

We’ve got you covered, whether you’ve just found an old can in the back of your pantry or you’re looking for storage solutions.

What’s the lowdown?

Soda definitely does go bad, but it’s pretty easy to store – opt for the pantry before it’s opened and the refrigerator once opened. If you’ve got a few cans that are past their expiration date – provided they’ve been kept in decent conditions, diet soda should be fine for 3 months after the expiry date and full-sugar soda for 9 months.

Have My Soft Drinks Gone Bad?

two glasses of soda

The good news is that the tin or bottle your soft drink comes in acts as a seal, protecting your delicious drink from bacteria and unwanted moisture.

Therefore, if there are any problems with the tin or bottle, you should discard your soda.

If that’s fine, then pour some of your soda into a glass and look for odor or color changes. It’s pretty unlikely you’ll find anything, but, provided it doesn’t look or smell weird, you’ll be safe to take a sip.

When you taste old soda, you’ll be able to tell very quickly. It will have lost its taste and potentially carbonation as well. Having a sip won’t do you any damage, but you probably won’t want to drink the whole can!

Now: Soda that’s older than the dates we’ve given below should be discarded. Better safe than sorry!

How To Store Soda

soft drinks in can

Just like all sodas show pretty similar signs of having gone bad, storage recommendations for soda are the same across the board. Whether you’ve got a bunch of Coca Cola, Pepsi, Fanta, or 7Up, go by this advice:

  • Before you’ve opened your soda, store it in the pantry or a kitchen cupboard that’s away from light and heat sources, which could cause your soda to deteriorate faster.
  • If your soda is in a clear bottle, make sure it’s kept in a dark place.
  • You can also keep unopened soda in the refrigerator. However, it won’t noticeably extend the life of your soda, and it will probably clog up your refrigerator space! Instead, pop your soda into the refrigerator for a few hours before serving.
  • Once you’ve opened your bottle of soda, make sure you seal it tightly and place it in the refrigerator.
  • After opening an aluminum can of soda, transfer it to a sealed bottle for storage in the refrigerator. Storing an open can in the refrigerator will allow your soda to absorb odors and flavors of food!

How Long Soda Lasts

soda with ice

All soda should come with a best-by or expiration date, printed on the can or bottle. To get the most out of your soda and really enjoy it, you should drink it before this date.

However, provided your soda’s seal is intact and you’ve stored it according to the instructions above, your soda should be fine for a few months after.

According to the USDA, you should “consume unopened diet sodas within 3 months after the date expires; regular sodas within 9 months.” That’s because sugar can act as a preservative, preventing microbial activity.

As for opened soda and soft drinks, they will only keep their flavor and carbonation for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

A half-finished but re-sealed bottle of soda will last at room temperature for a little over 24 hours before you notice a deterioration in taste and carbonation. An open can will lose most of its carbonation within 12 hours.

The Round-Up On Soda

As you’ve probably gathered, soda is super simple to store. Keep it in the pantry or a kitchen cupboard before opening and resealed in the refrigerator after opening.

Remember: unopened soda, provided the tin or bottle is intact, will last at least a few months after the expiration date.

However, soda that’s opened will stay good for a maximum of 3-4 days in the refrigerator, even if re-sealed.

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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.