Water is an important resource that we should appreciate, but it’s becoming more scarce despite being abundant on Earth. Most of the water on our planet is from the oceans and not suitable for drinking. When we need drinking water, we often rely on bottled water, especially when it’s not easy to carry our own water. Have you ever noticed that water bottles have expiration dates? This can be confusing and raise questions about whether water can expire or if it’s safe to drink after the expiration date. Let’s explore what you need to know about water expiration dates.
In general, drinking water is considered safe for up to 6 months when stored in a cool and dark place. However, carbonated water can lose its flavor over time as the gas slowly escapes. Scientifically speaking, water itself doesn’t really expire.
But bottled water can have an expiration date because of the plastic bottle it’s stored in. Usually, water in plastic bottles has a shelf life of about 2 years. When these bottles are exposed to sunlight or heat, chemicals from the plastic, like polyethylene terephthalate (PET), can seep into the water, making it potentially unsafe to drink and affecting its taste.
Additionally, packaged water may have an expiration date because companies often use the same packaging machinery for water as they do for other beverages like sodas. So, the expiration date refers to the packaging itself.