How Long Does Bottled Water Last? Learn More About Shelf Life

| Last Updated: October 23, 2022

Have you notice that everywhere you look on the internet, TV, and radio there are clear signs that this country is going to hell in a handbasket?  And to stay prepared I've listened to that voice in the back of my head asking me "how long does bottled water last again?". Between all the Walmart fights, global warming crazy weather, and mass shootings, it is no surprise that a lot of us are feeling the pressure cooker rapidly reach its point of explosion. And security in our food stores is almost all we have left.

I personally am not overly paranoid, but I do feel like it is important to be prepared for any given meltdown our society may have.

For this reason, I have done extensive research on how long bottled water lasts, what items should be stockpiled in your pantry, and how to function without our modern conveniences.

How Long Does Bottled Water Last?

Water is one of the most important elements on the planet. We all need it to survive. It is in abundance and on its own has no shelf life. You can easily find spring, river, lake, and well water in abundance. It is not water that has a shelf life.

It is the containers and chemicals within the containers that have the shelf life. You will not always find expiration dates on bottled water because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require it on bottled water. So, the following is a guideline for storing your water and making it last.

Water Shelf Life for Opened and Unopened Bottled Water

There are different types of bottled water on the market. Each one has a different shelf life.

Regular bottled water is the most popular bottled water.

This type of water can last unopen in your pantry for 2 or more years. It can also last in the refrigerator for 2 or more years. An unopened flavored water and/or vitamin water can only last for 9 months in the pantry and in the refrigerator. Unopened sparkling water can be stored in a pantry and in a refrigerator for a year or more.

If you are a coconut water drinker, you will have to play it safe and check the packaging. Unopened coconut water can be kept in a refrigerator for a year, however, due to the different types of preservatives in the water and the different packaging, how long it can last in a pantry depends on the brand.

All opened bottled water, for the most part, can last for up to three hours in the pantry. In the refrigerator, sparkling water can last for two to three days, bottled water will last for three to five days, and coconut water will last for 24-48 hours.

To Freeze or Not to Freeze?

Bottled water has chemicals inside the bottles plastic. Freezing or boiling the bottles can cause the chemicals to seep into the water. These chemicals can be detrimental if consumed, so freezing or boiling bottled water is not recommended.

Properly Storing Water

Due to the adoption of greener products, the bottles used to contain water are thinner and lighter. It is wise to store your bottled water in a dark, cool place away from any type of chemicals. You do not want to store your water near gasoline, paint thinners, or cleaning supplies.

Refrigerating your water will help it stay fresh and last longer. Also, storing water in your car is ill-advised. The heat from the sun can cause the chemicals in the plastic to seep into the water.

If you're wanting to store mass quantities of water you'll obviously want to buy something a bit larger than a 50 smaller bottles to store it in. We recommend something like a water brick that will keep the water sealed, and make storing it much more efficient since you can stack them.

How Do You Know Your Water is Bad?

There is no steadfast way to tell if your water is no longer viable for drinking. The best way to determine its freshness is simply by tasting it. If it taste like chemicals or has an abnormal taste to it, drinking it is probably not a good idea.

If you notice it is cloudy, you probably should not drink it. Also, if you see things floating in it like slime and other particles, that is probably the best reason to call it a day and call it quits.

There are plenty of things you need to store in your pantry for a rainy day, mass weather event, disaster, or zombie apocalypse invasion. Water is the number one thing you need to put up on the shelf. The more water you can store the better.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has recommended we store a minimum of one gallon of water per person for three days to be used for cooking, drinking, and personal hygiene. I would recommend you also choose a water with a decent amount of fluoride in it. You might as well take care of your teeth while you are at it. If it is the end of the world, it may be awhile before you can go see a dentist.

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