How Long Does Bottled Water Last When Opened & Unopened?

Undoubtedly, bottled water these days is becoming very popular. If you step out, you are sure to find people carrying it in their bags. People buy them for different reasons like hygiene, fashion, taste, convenience or just to refill from the tap once it’s over. Though there are many reasons associated with it, the major reason making people buy bottled water is “safety”. They believe that it is much safer than tap water. However, this is not true. Now, considering all the factors, it is claimed that there will be a sudden increase in the purchase of bottled waters in the upcoming years. In fact, it is anticipated that bottled waters might become nation’s 2nd most accepted beverage right after soft drinks. Now, the question is – is bottled water safe to drink? And how long does bottled water last? To be aware of everything, read the article further.


How Long Does Bottled Water Last?

FDA (Food and Drug Administration) reports that bottled waters have an unclear shelf life, especially if it is produced according to regulations & remains unopened. Hence, expiry dates on water bottles are voluntary, & might reflect odor and taste rather safety. Because of this reason, you will possibly not find “sell by”, “best by” or “use by” dates on the bottle. So, the question is — can the water inside not go bad? Well, it doesn’t go bad, however, things like plastic packaging & environmental factors make it bad. Therefore, the water’s shelf life all comes down its preparation. Methods what a water company uses to purify water will be different with the other. Moreover, the way the company stores it also differs. So, how long does bottled water last? Below is the answer

  • Opened bottled water lasts for only 2 to 3 hours if stored in pantry and 3 to 5 days if stored in refrigerator
  • Unopened bottled water lasts for 2+ years if stored in pantry and 2+ years if stored in refrigerator

Other Information To Make A Note Of

  • Opened sparkling water lasts for only 2-3 hours when stored in pantry and 2-3 days when stored in refrigerator
  • Unopened sparkling water lasts for 1+ years when stored in pantry and 1+ years when stored in refrigerator
  • Opened flavored water lasts for only 2 to 3 hours when stored in pantry and 3 to 5 days when stored in refrigerator
  • Unopened flavored water lasts for 9 months when stored in pantry and 9 months when stored in refrigerator
  • Opened vitamin water lasts for only 3 to 4 hours when stored in pantry and 2 to 4 days when stored in refrigerator
  • Unopened vitamin water lasts for 9 months when stored in pantry and 9 months when stored in refrigerator

I hope these bottled water facts have been helpful to you. But this is not the end of this article. There are still few more things, I would like to share.

Can The Bottled Water Go Bad?

Water on its own doesn’t go bad. So, it’s the plastic and environment that does. Over time, plastic begins to break & leach into water. To make you more clear, let us examine how long does the ingredients of bottled water last.

So, The 3 Primary Ingredients In Bottled Water Are:

  • Water
  • Air
  • Bottle

Water does not expire.  It does not have any chemicals to mix with.  It is basically inert.  And even if you had to leave the water in vacuum for billion years, it would be still good to drink.

Now let us learn about air.  Air consists of few contaminants. However, the quantity of contaminants inside a sealed bottle wouldn’t enhance over time. It wouldn’t be worse to drink but then it comes down to how tightly the lid has been sealed. Is it airtight?

Finally, comes the bottle.  Now this can make the water bad. The reason: it is made of plastic.  And remember, plastic can do whole lot of nasty things.  Thank god, there is expiry date!  Believe it or not, plastic bottles constantly leak its badness into it, making it unsafe for you to drink. Otherwise, the water is perfectly drinkable, especially if the bottle is sealed tight.

What Is Hard And Soft Water?

“Hard Water” holds more minerals when compared to ordinary water. And these minerals are

  • Calcium – (Ca)
  • Magnesium – (Mg)

Hardness of water is usually expressed in CaC03 (calcium carbonate). Water less than 75-mg of CaC03 per liter is said to be soft whereas 76 to 150-mg per liter is moderately hard & above 150-mg per liter is hard water. So, the hardness level increases when more magnesium & calcium dissolve. “Soft water” contains small proportions of calcium & magnesium. Though it occurs naturally but are often produced by water softeners (where the water is made free from minerals).

Is Bottled Water Safe Than Tap Water?


Water is one of the most abundant compounds on Earth & it is important to every life. All health sources suggest people to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. It is relatively inexpensive & has multiple health benefits. We drink water from streams, fountains & bottles. Ah, yes, talking about water bottles now, are they safe to drink? There is a big misconception on this. People believe that it is more hygienic and pure. Yeah, it is true to some extent but the truth is that companies purify the water so much using chemicals that all of its vital minerals, which our body needs are completely washed off. Leaving you nothing. So, bottled waters have 0% minerals. According to different studies, drinking tap water is always good since it sustains you with all the necessary minerals.

On the other hand, if you make it a habit of drinking bottled waters every day, then you are more likely to get few health problems. The most common is “Thyroid” — when you start lacking iodine in your body. If you really want to see your Thyroid Gland functioning properly, avoid drinking and eating from something that has been stored in plastic containers. Prefer ceramic or glass vessels instead.

When Should You Drink Bottled Water?

It is highly advised to drink bottled waters only when it is really necessary or you don’t have any other option left other than this. Say for example, when you don’t have a safe water supply on a camp trip. At such a time, you could drink bottled water. On the other hand, few illnesses could also call for bottled water, For example, few people might have a condition, where he or she requires maintaining low sodium levels. In such cases, bottled water has been proven to work. However, it is vital to consult your doctor before taking any step.

Where Does The Bottled Water Come From?

Bottled waters come multiple sources and not just one. Sometimes, it uses the same resources from which your tap water originates. Few reports say that bottled water is just tap water but just enhanced in few ways whereas other bottled water sources include wells, surface waters and springs.

Are Plastic Water Bottles Safe To Reuse?

No, they are not. Reused plastic bottles might be contaminated with a lot of bacteria & some disease-causing organisms. And reusing those packaged water bottles might expose to harmful microorganisms, particularly if the bottle is not washed properly after every use.

How Are Bottled Waters Labeled?

Bottled water labels should match FDA standards to ensure better quality. For instance, if the bottled water label says, “spring water” – it literally means that it has come from spring. Though this might evoke a pure image in your mind, there is nothing really magical about spring water. The water must have been piped from any of the underground spring, leading it to the water plant, where it’s then filtered & processed before its bottled.

How To Tell If The Stored Water Is Spoiled, Rotten Or Bad?

Although there is no perfect test for this, “senses” are the reliable ways to find out if the water is bad. However, some common characteristics of contaminated or impure water are

  • Odd taste
  • Strange smell and
  • Cloudiness

Nevertheless, it is frequently your taste senses that can actually tell the difference. And by the time contaminated water reaches those senses, you will spit out for sure! If there’s chemical taste with the bottled water, remember – it isn’t healthy. So, practice better hygiene and food safety. Enjoy your bottled water prior its expiry date.

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