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Howl long do flavors really last?

Discussion in 'DIY E-Liquid' started by traderljp, Sep 5, 2013.

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  1. traderljp

    traderljp Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 16, 2013
    South Florida
    Do flavors go 'bad'? I know that expiration dates are not the whole story. I am curious if any long-time DIY'ers have any flavor that is 2 or 3 (or even more) years old and if it is still good. Any input from personal experience would be greatly appreciated...especially with Flavor West.

    I am thinking of buying some flavors directly from Flavor West. Their 4 ounce bottles are about $6 which is such a bargain relative to the smaller amounts you can buy from their retail webfronts ( is $2.75 for 7.5ml and vaporenew is $6.49 for 30ml). This is not as much of a bargain, however, if the flavor goes bad after a year. I figure a 4 ounce bottle will make about 1000ml of juice, which is a rather daunting amount, especially if you are considering buying 6 flavors:p . I know that I could just buy the smaller amounts, but the bargain hunter in me really wants to go for the best price/ounce.


  2. zee91105

    zee91105 Full Member

    Feb 5, 2012
    6-8months if not opened often and stored well ...... after that flavor starts to decline and from 12months+ its very less of the original intensity and taste.
  3. Aheadatime

    Aheadatime Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    I have some that have been sitting at room temp away from the light for ~7 months and they're gross. They've stained the bottles they're in, some of the materials have separated, and the mixtures smells 'old' and flat. I'll be trying to rinse them soon in an attempt at salvaging the bottles, but those will probably have to go also.
  4. traderljp

    traderljp Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 16, 2013
    South Florida
    zee and Ahead, thanks for the input.

    Seems like 4 ounce bottles are not worth it if you only get 7 months or so before they start to go bad. I might be able to put a good dent in one bottle, but not 6 or 7 bottles! I think it is time to start looking at the many places that sell smaller amounts.
  5. glasseye

    glasseye Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 15, 2012
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    I've read they last longer if they're in glass but just today I was wanting to put TFA Sweet Cream in something and it smells pretty sour. It's about 7 months old and came in a glass bottle. I thought I had longer. :(
  6. flylane1102

    flylane1102 Senior Member Verified Member

    Feb 3, 2010
    NW Indiana
    I was watching on a vape show last night that you should store it in the refrigerator in a glass bottle. Or you can freeze it if you want to store it for longer periods of time.
  7. DHCrocks

    DHCrocks Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 26, 2013
    if the flavors go bad in only 7 months why do they say juice can last over a year? once it's mixed does it not go bad anymore?
  8. glasseye

    glasseye Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 15, 2012
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    I have no answer for that. I'm thinking because it's a 'cream' flavor it might have turned faster, but I really don't know. That's the oldest flavor I have. None of the other ones I have changed. No way do I have room in the refrigerator for these. lol
  9. GaryInTexas

    GaryInTexas Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 20, 2013
    NE Texas, USA
    I buy the 4 oz sizes. If I make 300ml of finished juice from a bottle using 45ml(15%) of flavoring then I am dollars ahead over buying the smaller bottles. If they go bad after that and I toss it I am still ahead on cost savings.
  10. traderljp

    traderljp Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 16, 2013
    South Florida
    Gary, that is a good point. It is so cheap that you don't need to worry about tossing it once you have made a good amount juice.
  11. aikanae1

    aikanae1 Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 2, 2013
    I'm guessing because the base, pg or vg, is also a preservative.
  12. Aheadatime

    Aheadatime Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    Oops, just re-read the OP. I was referring to finished juice.
  13. FlamingoTutu

    FlamingoTutu Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Aug 5, 2013
    In the Mountains
    8-o Seven months?! I bought a buttload of them. I mean, you buy vanilla, toss it on a shelf over the over the oven, two years later you make a batch or cookies and other than being a bit singed they turn out fine.

    OTOH, we just spent a week thinking we'd have to evacuate (police banging on the door in the middle of the night and everything) because of a large fire almost virtually next door. We packed everything into the car and I found a bit of space for the flavorings in the wheel well (expensive when you've bought about 30 of them). After baking in there for a week many of them had started to darken. Most had been clear when they were so rudely flung in. Thank you flylane for suggesting they be put in the fridge, where they are now gratefully chilling out. :toast:
  14. we2rcool

    we2rcool Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 31, 2013
    Iowa, IA, USA
    Some thoughts for consideration:

    Alcohol, PG & VG are all preservatives. Most flavors use alcohol, PG or VG as the preservative.

    TFA does state somewhere that 'whipped cream' and 'vanilla swirl' contain some actual dairy some-thing/s-or-other, and they have a 6-month shelf life. There may be more of the TFA ones that do, but those are the only two I noted because those were the only two I had at the time I read it. 'Sorry, but I don't remember where I read it.

    "Shelf life" and "use by dates" (in many cases) is just a way for sellers to get us to throw away safe, usable product & buy more of their product.

    The major makers & vendors sell & buy in MAJOR quantities (huge vats, pallets of gallons, etc). A one year (or less) shelf life before degrading substantially? Why aren't we seeing all kinds of "nearing expiration date" close-outs & sales?

    I suppose it's possible, but I've never heard of a vendor actually having someone (or a team of someones) testing or comparing the flavors they sell (by date/age of batch, or my various batches). If something like that isn't in place, a vendor only knows (and repeats) what the seller tells them.

    That brings up another thought - we DIYers are major sitting ducks for any company/vendor selling flavors (typical disclaimers always apply: all taste varies; no promises; no guarantees; end of story). I've seen dozens of reports of experienced DIYers state 'a recently received flavor' is substantially different than ones bought previously; I've also seen reports of larger bottles being weaker (these seem to come from vendors that 'rebottle'). So if thousands of dollars worth of flavors do degrade over time, the vendors either sell them or pitch them, eh?

    E-juices are (to me) a different story, as once flavors are mixed with each other, there may be unknown chemical interactions that alter the flavors. Also, many of the juices are diluted with water (which would dilute the preservatives in the flavors). And after only 5 months vaping, I've seen juices (like Aheadatime) that were somehow degraded and 'too old to vape'.

    I'm guessing the only way to really know for sure is to compare our experiences with certain flavors mixed in specific bases over time.

    And that's my .02 cents worth on that :blink:
  15. FinallyQuit

    FinallyQuit Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 27, 2011
    I've been pondering this idea and sort of ashamed to post, because I have a box full of flavors, and fully half of them were purchased more than one year ago. I still use them and do not note any difference in consistency, color, scent, or taste. I do not sell juice so I don't need to keep my stock fresh, and if I come across one that is rancid I have no problem pitching it, but so far so good. As always YMMV.
  16. DeeDee1234

    DeeDee1234 Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 8, 2013

    Thank You for posting,
  17. Caridwen

    Caridwen ECF Moderator Senior Moderator Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Jan 15, 2011
    Three of the flavorings I bought from Capella's during their last sale taste sour- that hasn't been that long ago- couple months.

    I few are fine but the tangerine, grape and peaches and cream all taste sour.
  18. SeniorBoy

    SeniorBoy Founder Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 21, 2013
    Las Vegas, NV
    Please humor me. :)

    I've read the entire thread and appreciate the input. I'm only on my 5th DIY mix and grateful for the outstanding help. Natch, I've managed to collect maybe 50 flavors from the major vendors like TFA and CA and others. Some in 10 ML and others in 30 ML sizes and other sizes.

    QUESTION: If I wanted to be "better safe than sorry" and store these flavors (NOT juice or NIC base/PG/VG) in my freezer or refrig ? would this "preserve" the flavor? Freezer or refrig, I'm not sure? Special bottles? I have plenty but why not just use the glass the flavor came in? I ordered to many flavors and I also love a deal so please help me.

  19. GrannyM

    GrannyM Super Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 23, 2009
    Saginaw, MI
    I started buying flavorings in Dec. 09. The Capella flavors I keep in the original bottles from Capella's. All the others are in glass bottles. I keep my flavors in a cool, dark place ... Not frig or freezer, rather in a separate closed container in a closet.

    Accordingly, some of my flavors are "old" (dependent on your point of view, lol). I have not had any flavor go "bad". I haven't thrown any out, but I've repurposed some to "kitchen use" that didn't suit me for vaping. Right now I'm vaping a mixture with a flavor that I purchased over 3 years ago & it's fine.

    I'm not sure why my experience differs from some of the posters above, but there it is. :)
  20. FinallyQuit

    FinallyQuit Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 27, 2011
    I'm not sure where I read this, but I read NOT to store flavorings in the refrigerator. I keep mine at room temp, in a fishing tackle box, in a 40 gallon rubbermaid container with a lid. Dark but not so cool, our house gets hot in the summer. As stated above, haven't found a spoiled one yet.

    Do some research before you decide what to/not to refrigerate.
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