Does Bottled Water Go Bad?

I am certain the question does sound strange. Afterall, drinking water is an everyday affair. Be it tap water, bottled water, or anything like that.However, as a matter of fact, many brands have the ‘best before date’ and some do not which brings up the concern of can bottled water go bad and worries us about its consumption.

In fact, sometimes I even believe in expiry claims that brand share because ultimately, it is processed and packed in plastic bottles which isn’t healthy! However, I took a sigh of relief when I learned that No, bottled water doesn’t go bad, but the plastic bottle makes it inconsumable after a certain time.

Some blogs suggest that plastic used in water becomes carcinogenic once it goes after its use before the date. But when it comes to authentic information, very few people are aware of it. So in this good read , I am sharing the details of the expiration of bottled water and the method of storage, along with some additional important information with some important references. 

5 Warning Signs That Bottled Water Has Gone Bad

Does bottled water go bad

Water is a natural substance that won’t go bad but the plastic bottle will start degrading over time and it can make the water contaminated. There are no strong signs that can tell you that the water has gone bad. Water, unlike other products, will not show any color changes and it doesn’t have any odor. But still, you can tell if the water has gone bad or not by looking for the following details. 

1. Contaminants or cloudiness 

If the bottom of the bottle shows any contaminants or cloud appearance then the water has gone bad and it is not suitable for drinking. 

2. Develop any sort of odor

Water, if not flavoured, doesn’t have an odor. If the bottled water is smelling like anything then it is an indication that it has absorbed impurities such as carbon. So, it is not suitable for drinking. 

3. The yellowish appearance of the bottle

If the bottle turns slightly yellow then it shows that the plastic has degraded and it can release toxins that alter the quality of water making it not suitable for drinking. 

4. Become slimy

If you keep a water bottle open for a longer time, and now it has a slimy texture then it has gone bad and you should not consume it. 

5. Visible impurities

It is the most obvious sign and everyone should keep in mind that if there is any impurity in the water you should not consume it. ( Reference 2) 

How To Store Water

Does bottled water go bad

I know it is a little bit silly to write about the proper storage of water, but I don’t want to miss any points, so I am writing about it. 

  1. If the bottle is unopened then store it in a cool and dry area. For this, a pantry is the best choice and you can use the kitchen cabinet also. 
  2. If the bottle is opened then you can use the fridge or even at room temperature. Make sure to seal it tightly when not in use.
  3. In case of storing tap water for emergencies, then you can store it in heavy and big bottles and remember that tap water that is stored for a long time tends to taste bad. 

What Is The Shelf Life Of Bottled Water?

Does bottled water go bad

When you use bottled water, you have noticed that some companies put expiry dates while others do not. It happens because putting the shelf life of water is not needed, some brands do this to become more authentic as it is a food-related matter.

As long as you store water properly, you don’t need to worry about its expiration, it will last for many days. Once the bottle is open, it should be used in a few days as it will absorb carbon dioxide from the air and the taste won’t be the same.

If you open a new seal of a water bottle then use it within three days. If you take flavoured, carbonated, vitamin-rich, or any other type of water, then best-by dates can be the savior. So, it can be said that the shelf life of open bottled water is 2-3 days and if it is not opened then it can be used for an indefinite time.  ( Reference 1)

Can Using Expired Bottled Water Make You Sick?

So now you understand that water does not expire but the plastic water which you drink starts degrading over the period. It is because plastic bottles contain polyethylene terephthalate and high-density polyethylene. When bottles are exposed to heat for a longer time, toxic chemicals in the bottle will start entering in water and thus making it toxic. These chemicals will not only alter the taste of water but also make you sick. It can cause several severe health complications that can affect your health such as metabolic disorders resulting in obesity, hormonal imbalance, impaired immunity, and others. (Reference 3) 


Q1. How long is water safe in plastic bottles?
Ans. It is recommended to use plastic bottled water within its use before the period. If you are using plastic bottles after that for storing water then it is not suitable for drinking. However, you can use that water for other purposes. 

Q2. Can you drink old unopened bottled water? 
Ans. It is not advisable to drink old unopened bottled water as it might have absorbed lots of impurities which can make you sick. 


Our mission is to provide accurate and researched insights to our readers. Thus, we wish to share the references of the studies conducted on the subject matter for detailed read for our readers to refer:

  1. Bottled water:
  2. Consumer Buying Behaviour of Package Drinking Water:
  3. Research Gate:

You may Also Like