Decoding the Myth: Does Water Go Bad or Expire? Unveiling the Facts

Does Water Go Bad?: Can you think of a single food item or ironically a drink that doesn’t contain water? Most probably not. We all can agree that water is the elixir of life. But have you ever wondered whether this magic liquid has any expiration dates? Does water go bad?

It sounds more like a child’s question to many people, but it has serious scientific evidence to back it. Today, we will tell you everything you need to know about water’s shelf life, expiry dates, bottled water, etc.

Does Water Go Bad

Does Water Go Bad?

Practically speaking, yes!! Water can actually go bad or at least become extremely stale for drinking purposes. At best, it will lose all its flavor and at worst, it will have green algae floating on its surface.

It is widely known that water bottles are made of BPA plastic. If water is left bottled for more than 6 months, the BPA chemicals will gradually get mixed up with the water, thereby polluting it. That’s why it is recommended to avoid using water that has been stored for more than 5-6 months.

How Long Does Bottled Water Last?

It may sound absurd to talk about the expiration of water, a liquid that’s practically occupying 3 quarters of our planet’s surface. But, it all began when governments all around the world made it mandatory to print expiration dates on all packaged foods and drinks. Since water was one of the drinks, it was mutually decided that the expiration dates will be estimated at around 6 months.

Bottled water, if stored in a cool and dry place, can last up to 6 months whereas tap water can last up to a year if stored similarly.

Type of Water Shelf Life At Room Temperature Shelf Life In The Freezer
Bottled Water 2 months 6 months
Tap Water 2-3 months 1 year

How Long Does Bottled Water Last

Does Water Go Bad

How To Tell If Water Has Gone Bad?

As mentioned earlier, plastic water bottles are made of BPA, a chemical that slowly dissolves into the water. It will eventually make the water unfit for drinking or take away its natural flavor. However, tap water will generally start turning greenish-brown and lose all its flavor. This may be due to the excessive dissolution of carbon dioxide into the water, thereby expelling natural oxygen.

Not only tap water, but carbonated water also tends to expire due to an unbalance in the number of dissolved gases in the water over time. It might taste “funny” or stale.

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How To Extend The Shelf Life Of The Water?

Although people mostly have access to fresh drinking water on a daily basis, there may be some dire situations when it will be required to save water for longer periods. In such cases, it is important that you are armed with the right tips to preserve the water.

In order to extend the shelf life of the drinking water, it is advised that you store it in a temperature range of 20-27 degrees Celsius. These cool and humid-free spots ensure that water stays clean from algae invasion and bacteria explosion. It also slows down the natural breakdown of the gases dissolved in the water.

FAQs on Does Water Go Bad?

1. How long before the water goes bad?

According to most experts, bottled water and tap water alike are bound to go bad after 6 months of storing them. Therefore, it is better to avoid drinking such water.

2. Can expired water make you sick?

Yes, absolutely. The expired water will most probably have unwanted pollutants like BPA chemicals from plastic water bottles. Also, it may have unarrested bacteria growth which can lead to nausea, vomiting, fevers, etc. Get rid of this old water as soon as possible.

3. Can water grow bacteria?

Yes, water has naturally many germs that are mostly harmless. But, as the water stays stagnant for a long instead of flowing out, these water-borne germs will soon transform into disease-causing pathogens. The bacteria population explodes within a couple of days, thereby completely polluting the water.


Drinking water is extremely important for all of us. As for now, women shall drink 4 – 4.5 liters of water on a daily basis whilst men shall drink up to 5 liters of water every day. Hopefully, this article solved all your queries about water’s shelf life, its storage needs, and other aspects. Keep drinking water and stay tuned for more articles on Can Tonic Water Go Bad and many more similar to this.

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