What is The Shelf Life of Bottled Water in Plastic Bottles? by M.D. Creekmore for MD Creekmore
What is the shelf life of bottled water? That’s a great question and one that everyone who stores more than a case of bottled water has probably asked at some point.
From what I’ve read online and from the emails that I’ve gotten from my readers it seems that many think that drinking bottled water that’s over a few weeks old will result in sickness or instant death and this simply isn’t the case.
So what is the shelf life of bottled water… well, the simple and most accurate answer is that bottled water has an indefinite shelf life if it’s stored properly. However, the plastic bottles can breakdown or leach chemicals such as BPA causing problems… this is especially true if bottled water isn’t stored properly.
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How to Store Bottled Water
Since the shelf life of bottled water depends mostly on storage conditions it’s important to know what those conditions are so that you can store your bottled water under optimal conditions which provide the longest possible shelf life and water quality for consumption.
Store in a cool, dark place away from products with strong odors such as cleaning supplies.
Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight and if forced to store water outside then keep it covered up and protected from the elements and temperature extremes as much a possible, however, outside storage isn’t recommended and water stored this way should be brought inside and stored under proper conditions or consumed as soon as possible.
Don’t store bottled water near a heat source or directly on the floor or on the ground (this also applies to any other consumable beverages or food items). To minimize the possible growth of bacteria and algae store bottled water in the dark.
I store bottled water in my basement on free wooden pallets that I get from a local hardware store and cover with a tarp to keep out any light.
To avoid crushing or damaging the cases of water on the bottom I stack the cases no more than six cases high. If you have a lot of cases than you could build or buy shelving to make better use of storage space in your allotted storage area.
As with food storage, bottled water should be dated using a permanent marker to note the storage date on each case and then use on a first-in-first-out rotation this will minimize the chance of the plastic bottles breaking down or any degradation of water quality.
What Happens When Plastic Water Bottles Get Hot?
According to The University of Florida water stored in plastic bottles can be unsafe to drink after being left in a hot car because some water bottles (maybe all?) are made from polyethylene terephthalate and can release the chemicals antimony and bisphenol A, or BPA, when exposed to heat and can raise the BPA levels above what is considered safe..