How Long Will Bottled Water Last? 

Bottled water is a safe alternative to tap water, but there are some concerns about how long it will last. While water does not go bad after expiration, it can become contaminated by chemicals and microplastics. In some cases, bottled water may change in taste, color, and smell. To ensure that your water is safe, you should read the label and follow the manufacturer’s recommended storage guidelines. 

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When you buy a bottle of water, you should store it in a cool, dry location. You should also avoid storing it near heat or chemicals that can cause harm. Some plastic bottles contain antimony and bisphenol A (BPA). These chemicals can leach into the liquid, and can cause serious health problems. 

The best way to ensure that your bottled water remains fresh is to refrigerate it when you buy it. If you don’t refrigerate it, it will continue to absorb carbon dioxide and lose its bubbly appeal. It should also be stored in a cool, dark location. 

Bottled water should never be kept for longer than the time indicated by the manufacturer. In fact, some companies add a shelf life, or use a best by date, to help keep track of their inventory. This date is not legally required, but is a useful indicator of quality standards. However, it is a good idea to discard water that has passed its expiration date, as it could have become contaminated. 

Many bottled water brands put a two year expiration date on the bottle. While this is a good estimate, it is not an exact prediction of how much chemicals will degrade the bottle. For example, plastic degradation can begin as early as one year. But it is better to be safe than sorry. 

You should also look at the container. If it is open, you will likely find a lot of bacteria, germs, and dust. Water is best consumed within two to three days of the bottle’s label. Open bottles are not only a health hazard, but can have a funky smell. 

Another common concern is how long water in plastic bottles will last. These bottles are often made of polyethylene terephthalate, which can absorb potentially harmful chemicals such as antimony. Antimony has been linked to lung and heart problems. Other chemicals, such as BPA, can also leach into the contents of the bottle. 

The FDA doesn’t require bottled water manufacturers to label their products with an expiration date. However, it does review all food and drink products. They determine if the product meets their quality standards. Drinking bottled water past its expiration date can lead to many negative health consequences, including metabolic disorders such as obesity. 

Some bottled water brands, like Arrowhead, have recommended using the best before date after the letters “BB”. Even if the water is still tasty, you should discard it after the date. 

Although the USDA doesn’t regulate the long-term shelf life claims of food and drink products, some companies still use these codes to help manage their stock rotation.