How Long Does Water Last?

How long does water last? Bottled water lasts for years. Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require a shelf life for bottled water, the actual shelf life of water is indefinite! You will probably not find any sell by, use by or best by dates on your bottle of water. Because of this, many people ask does water go bad? Water really does not go bad on its own, but packaging and other environmental factors can actually cause water to go bad. The shelf life of water depends on the preparation method (not all water is created equal) and how it was stored.

Water is the most abundant compound on Earth and it is essential to every form of life. All sources recommend that people drink 8 glasses each and every day. Because of its relatively low cost and proven health benefits, it is one of the most popular beverages in the world. We drink it from fountains, streams and bottles.

So, how long does water last? When properly stored, the shelf life of bottled water past a printed date is:

Our Favorite Food Storage Set!

With oven-safe glass and water-tight lids, these food storage containers are ready for action! Not a Prime Member? Try a 30-day free trial today!


Water Expiration Date

(Unopened) Pantry Refrigerator
Bottled Water lasts for 2+ Years 2+ Years
Flavored Water lasts for 9 Months 9 Months
Vitamin Water lasts for 9 Months 9 Months
Sparkling Water lasts for 1+ Years 1+ Years
Coconut Water lasts for Depends on packaging & preservatives 1 Year
(Opened) Pantry Refrigerator
Sparking Water lasts for 2-3 Hours 2-3 Days
Bottled Water lasts for 2-3 Hours 3-5 Days
Coconut Water lasts for 2 Hours 24-48 Hours

High temperatures can break down the chemicals in plastic bottles which can then leak into the liquid. You can freeze bottled water (not sparkling water) to use in a cooler or ice chest and then drink the water when the picnic is complete. Of course, all food and drink products last for a shorter period of time if they are not stored properly. But remember, UN-like a lot of other drinks, it does not usually have a sell by date because water has an indefinite expiration date. According to Arrowhead (a leading bottler of Spring water) their bottles have a 2 year shelf life and the best before date recommended for best taste is located directly after the letters "BB" [1].

How to tell if Water is bad, rotten or spoiled?

Practicing proper hygiene and food safety techniques will help prevent foodborne illness.

Although not a perfect test, your senses are usually the most reliable instruments to tell if your water has gone bad. Some common traits of contaminated water are cloudiness and a strange taste or smell. But, it is often your sense of taste that can tell the difference - which by the time it reaches that sense, all you can do is spit it out! If there is a chemical taste to your bottled water, it is not healthy (see below).

There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled drinks so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy your drinks before their shelf life has expired!

How to store Water to extend its shelf life?

Store water in a cool dark place away from cleaning products, gasoline, paint thinner and other toxic or odorous materials. This is especially true now that bottles have become greener (new lighter & thinner material). You can help water stay fresh longer by storing it in your refrigerator immediately after use.

Never leave bottled water in direct sunlight or even inside your car all day on a hot sunny day. Chemicals from the plastic container will heat and leak into the water. Drinking these bottles that have been left in the sun have been directly linked to breast cancer in women and studies now show links to other types of cancer in both men and women.

Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

Interesting facts about Water:

  • 40% of all H2O sold in bottles actually originates from a tap!
  • It takes three times the amount of water as is in one bottle to produce that plastic bottle.
  • It takes about 17 million barrels of oil annually just to produce these plastic bottles. So, use re-usable water bottles whenever possible.
  • How long is Water good for when prepared in a dish?

    How long does water last? That depends. How long does wine last? In general, all liquids last only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient in the recipe.

    What are our shelf life resources?

    In determining how long Water lasts, our content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scoured the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of Water.

    *An important note about expiration dates...

    Although the Water shelf life information on Eat By Date is generally reliable, please remember that individual cases will vary and that our advice should only be taken as an opinion and not a replacement for your health care professional. Please drink responsibly!

    Our Favorite Food Storage Set!

    With oven-safe glass and water-tight lids, these food storage containers are ready for action! Not a Prime Member? Try a 30-day free trial today!


    Top 10 Most Popular (NEW)