How long can water be stored before it goes bad?
How long can water be stored before it goes bad?

We all know how to tell if the milk, juice, or any other liquid is bad, but did you know that water can go bad too? You maybe saw a date on a water bottle and wondered why there is a best-by date? Water should be good to drink indefinitely, as it has no added substances. Well, it’s time to face the facts – both bottled and tap water can spoil, too.

Water can be stored almost indefinitely, but it can also turn bad after just a few days. The length of time that water can be stored depends on various factors, but most important are the purity of the water and the way you’re storing it. The real question is how long can water be stored before it goes bad? Keep reading to find out.

How long can tap water be stored before it goes bad?

Tap water can be stored for up to six months. It should be stored in food-grade containers, in a cold and dark place. It’s recommendable to add some chemical treatments, such as iodine or household bleach to water, to keep it potable. The concentration of iodine in drinking water should be 4 µg/litre and the maximum allowed concentration is 18 µg/litre.

How long can bottled water be stored before it goes bad?

Unopened bottled water can be stored indefinitely if it is stored properly. Unopened bottle water doesn’t have an expiration date, although many producers add it to a bottle because people tend to trust more products that have dates on their labels.

When you open a bottle, it’s suggested to finish it within three days. Water will absorb carbon dioxide and its taste will change, so you’ll have an impression that it’s spoiled. Opened bottles of water are best to store in the refrigerator.

Carbonated, flavored, and vitamin waters should be stored to the best-by date. They won’t get spoiled even a few weeks after the date on the bottle, but carbonated water will lose some of the sparkles, while flavored water can lose some of its taste, and vitamins in vitamin water can change its nutritious profile.

How to properly store water?

Unopened bottles of water should be stored in a dry and cool place, away from direct sunlight, especially if it is kept in plastic containers. Plastic can release toxic substances when exposed to the sun continuously, so it’s best to store it in a dark place. The kitchen cabinet will be a fine place or a shelf in your pantry. If you like to drink cold water, you can keep it in your refrigerator. 

An opened bottle of water should be sealed properly, so it doesn’t get contaminated. It can be kept at room temperature or in a refrigerator. It would be best to use it in 1 to 3 days.

If you store tap water in large plastic containers, in case of emergency, it should be good to use for months, but check on it every once in a while. Store it in a cool and dry place, away from sunlight. It could have an unpleasant taste (its actually more of a smell) of plastic, although it’s not spoiled, so it’s a good idea to replace the water with a fresh one monthly or so.