Does Water Go Bad?

Does water go bad or not? The only real answer is that water will last forever but it may taste different after a while. Here's a guide with the answers.

Water is a drink that everyone can use more of. You may be a tap water or a bottled water person.

If bottled water is your go-to, you may have seen the date on the bottle and wondered at least once:

Does water go bad? How long does it last in the bottle?

Here’s the deal: water does not go bad and lasts indefinitely. The best-by date refers more to the plastic bottle than the water contained in it.

The plastic bottle may release unharmful chemicals into the water after the best-by date. Although this won’t make the water toxic, the water may not taste as fresh.

Related:Does Distilled Water Go Bad?Does Coconut Water Go Bad?

Signs Your Water Has Gone Bad

glass of water from faucet

Because water doesn’t expire, you will want to look out for signs that your water has been contaminated.

The key thing to look out for here is a damaged seal. The cap of your water bottle provides an airtight seal between your water and the outside world, so any damage to it is a surefire sign your water should go in the bin.

The same goes if you notice your water bottle isn’t as full as you’d expect. It’s a sign there’s a problem with the cap, so some of the water has evaporated. Although that in itself isn’t dangerous, it is an indication that other nasties may have got into your bottle.

If the cap and bottle are all good, but you’re still suspicious, check the bottle for any cloudiness or contaminants inside. If you see anything that shouldn’t be there, discard your bottled water. You can also take a sniff of the bottle. If you don’t like the way it smells, it probably won’t taste good so toss it into the bin.

Storing Water

water bottles

Storing water is an easy task, mostly based on preferences. You can store your unopened bottle of water in a cool and dry place at room temperature. The pantry or kitchen cabinet is the perfect spot. This works for flavored water, vitamin water, and sparkling water.

If you’d like your water chilled when you drink it, you can certainly put it in the fridge.

Once you have opened your bottled water, make sure you seal it tightly. Then you can store it in the fridge for a chilled drink or at room temperature if you prefer it warm.

However, sparkling, flavored, and vitamin bottled water will keep longer in the fridge once you have opened the bottle.

Storing tap water for emergencies? Keep it in a sealed bottle, so no other contaminants enter it. Because tap water will possibly taste bad after a period of storage, replace the water every month or so.

Can You Freeze Water?

three bottles of drinking water

This is a big yes. Freeze your water if it’s a really hot day or you’re craving something frozen. When putting your bottle of water in the fridge, remember to pour out some water to leave space for the ice that will expand.

How Long Does Water Last?

holding glass of water

Water lasts for an indefinite amount of time. As stated earlier, the date on the bottle of water is usually for the plastic bottle itself. Also, some companies find that products with dates on them are more trustworthy.

An opened bottle of water is generally said to be consumed within three days. As the water stands, the water absorbs more carbon dioxide, and the taste changes. It has not gone bad, but rather it’s had a change in taste that may not be satisfactory for you.

The useful date is important for sparkling, vitamin, or flavored water. Over time, the sparkling water loses its fizz. The vitamins may become less nutritious.

The flavored water may lose some of its flavor after a while. For that reason, stick to the best-by-date on the packages. But once opened, 2-3 days is recommended for the best quality.

The Verdict

If you haven’t been much of a water drinker, the many needed benefits of water should convince you to.

Water is an indefinite drink. Whether it is tap, frozen, or bottled, it will last indefinitely.

Once you add extra flavor or vitamins, the shelf-life may be shortened to ensure the best quality of the added components. Generally, 2-3 days after opening sparkling, flavored, or vitamin water, you should toss the bottle out.

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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.