Storing Bottled Water: Does It Go Bad, and How to Store It

I’ve been storing water in case of an emergency for a long time and some of that is bottled water.

Bottled water doesn’t go bad even though most bottled water companies recommend that you use their products in 1 – 2 years. If your water ever has a strange smell, gets cloudy or grows algae, you should get rid of it or boil it for 1 minute before drinking it.

There are a lot of questions that come up about using bottled water. Let’s see if we can straighten out some of the bad information out there.

Can Bottled Water Go Bad

A lot of people are worried about bottled water these days. It mostly comes people being scared of chemicals leaching into the water from the plastic bottle.

Luckily, the plastics used in making water bottles have been approved to be used in contact with food and water by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

There have also been studies looking into the amount of chemicals that leach into water from these bottles. After 3 months, the chemicals in the water were still only 1/30th of what’s allowed by the EPA and barely higher than what is commonly found in tap water.

Ultimately, bottled water doesn’t ever go bad. If you suspect that something is wrong with your water because it started to get cloudy or has algae growing in it, you should boil the water for 1 full minute before drinking it.

Can you get sick from drinking old bottled water?

I see questions like you “why do you have to drink water within 3 days” and “is week old water safe to drink?” If you’re worried about anything like that, just relax. Water doesn’t go bad.

The expiration date on water bottles is there because bottled water is considered a consumable food product, and all food products are required to have an expiration date on them by law.

Expiration dates also help the company out. If someone happens to drink a bottle of water that’s several years old and it doesn’t taste as good as it should then the company doesn’t have to worry about complaints because it’s after the expiration date.

Is it safe to drink bottled water that’s been frozen or heated up?

There is a lot of conflicting information regarding drinking bottled water that’s been frozen or left in a car for a while.

The truth is that the FDA has determined that there’s no risk from chemicals leaching into water from plastic bottles. Even when they found increased levels of chemicals in the water it was far below dangerous levels.

How can you tell if water is safe to drink?

Water that is in sealed bottles should be safe to drink.

If you’re worried about the safety of the water, hold it up to the light to see if there is anything growing in the bottle or floating in the water. When you open the bottle, smell the water to make sure that there aren’t any strange odors. Finally, if the water looks and smells good, take a small sip and see if it tastes strange.

If everything seems fine, then the water is okay and you can drink it. If not, boil the water before drinking it.

Bottled Water Storage

Bottled water should be stored in a similar way to other food items. Keeping your bottled water in a cool, dark place will extend the life of the bottles and keep the water tasting its best for as long as possible.

Don’t store bottled water with chemicals like paint and gasoline or cleaning compounds. Don’t store bottled water in garages or sheds where it could be exposed to the fumes from chemicals and large swings in temperatures.

Get rid of any water that you suspect is contaminated or off in some way. In an emergency, keep the water but make sure you boil it or run it through a water filter before you drink it.

How do you store bottled water?

You can run into problems when stacking cases of water for long periods of time. After a while, the bottles at the bottom can start to bulge and leak, and the cases at the top can begin to lean or fall over.

Don’t stack cases of water more than 5 high. It also helps to stack them against the wall or in a “pallet style” where the cases alternate in different directions like interlaced sandbags. This keeps the stack straighter and prevents the cases from leaning.

Related Questions

How many water bottles are in a gallon? Most water bottles have 16.9 oz of water in them. A gallon of water is 128 ozs. This means that 7.57 bottles of water make a gallon.

Is it okay to refill a plastic water bottle? Plastic bottles contain chemicals that can leach into the water. Luckily this happens so slowly that it’s not a concern. The real issue is the potential to grow bacteria inside the bottle. If you want to keep using it, clean it with soap and water and let it dry.

How long can you safely store water? You can safely store water for years without problems. Over time, bottled water should be rotated out as the bottles can bulge or leak when they get older. As long as the container holding the water doesn’t break down, water doesn’t go bad.


Storing bottled water for long periods is fine as long as the bottles don’t break or bulge and the water doesn’t get cloudy or start to smell strange.

Keeping bottled water in a cool dark area will make the water taste better for longer and extend the life of the bottles. When you’re stacking cases of water, don’t stack them more than 5 high and interlace the cases to help prevent the bottles at the bottom from bulging and leaking. It also keeps the cases on the top from leaning and falling over.