The Truth About Bottled Water Expiration Dates (And How Water Goes Bad)

Bottled water is sold with an expiration date on the label, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t still drink it once the date has passed. This video explains how water can potentially become undrinkable, and when it’s safe to drink otherwise.

If you’ve ever left a glass of water out overnight and taken a sip the next day, you probably noticed that it tasted a little funky. You might suspect that the water started to spoil, but this video from the DNews YouTube Channel explains that the funky taste is actually because the water was exposed to air, making it slightly more acidic and potentially filled with things like dust and microbes. It’s probably still safe to drink for another day or so as long as it wasn’t outside, but it will continue to get more gross over time.

Bottle water, however, keeps dust, oxygen, and microbes at bay. That means, according to the CDC, bottled water can be safe to consume for a very long time as long as it’s stored out of direct sunlight (or high heat), kept away from pesticides and gasoline, and the bottle isn’t compromised.

Essentially, you can ignore the expiration dates on your bottled water; just make sure it was stored safely (and that you’re getting enough every day).

Does Water Ever Expire? [YouTube]


      • Because the plumbing at my place is shithouse and our water is awful, we buy 24 600ml bottles from Woolworths for $7.

        That’s roughlty 50 cents per litre. I *wish* that was more than petrol.

        • That’s a horrible amount of packaging you’re getting each time! If you have to pay for packaged water how about a 10L cask of water or the big 25 litre re-usable bottles. Most likely would end up considerably cheaper and a shitload less wasted plastic and packaging. If you need a bottle to carry around just re-use one.

          • We already do re-use bottles, for cordial, which is the only way our tap water becomes palatable.

          • Buying one reusable bottle every 6-12 months is a bit different to still buying slabs of 600mL bottles regularly. So I kind of think you missed my points about waste and also reduced cost. But hey, it’s unlikely some stranger online will change your ways as you obviously think you’ve found the best option for you already. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • Conversely, sunlight and a clear plastic bottle is used to make water potable – 6 hours on a clear day with clear water, 24 hours for overcast or murky water. The WHO does this for water treatment in Africa.

  • Money saving tip: drink tap water. Can’t get tap water when you’re out and about? Fill up a bottle of water at home and take it with you.

    I never buy bottled water unless I’m travelling in a country where the tap water isn’t safe to drink. Even then it’s probably okay to drink, but they recommend that foreigners don’t drink it due to having more sensitive stomachs. I wouldn’t risk it either way. I used to buy a bottle of water from time to time and reuse the bottle though the quality isn’t great so I use a Nalgene bottle now.

  • …you probably noticed that it tasted a little funky…

    Funky in America = bad/off
    Funky in Australia = hip

    How many more years until the US version becomes the predominate? Will be interesting to keep an eye on.

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