lemon juice shelf life

Does Lemon Juice Go Bad?

You squeezed a fresh lemon yesterday, and it stayed on your counter overnight. Can you drink it anyway? We bring you all the answers about the durability of lemon juice.

You know lemon is very sour. And it’s really acidic. Because of this feature, you could easily think that squeezed juice from it could last a long time. And you would be wrong. Despite its high acidity, lemon juice is not a long-lasting product at all. If you leave it at room temperature, it will spoil much sooner than you think.

There is, of course, a difference with ready-made lemon juice. The durability of these products will vary depending on how many preservatives are in them. 

Some manufacturers put more substances to preserve the value of the liquid, and some put less. While it may not be clear in the ingredient list itself, you can deduce how many preservatives there are based on the expiration date.

Of course, those with fewer artificial stabilizers will last shorter and will have a faster best-by deadline written on the packaging.

How Long Does Lemon Juice Last?

Different durations apply to fresh juice that you made yourself at home or one purchased that has a preservative in it. It will depend a lot on the method of production and composition for purchased ones, but here are some guidelines.

Freshly squeezed homemade lemon juice

If you squeeze lemons or limes yourself, be sure to keep the juice in the refrigerator and consume it within two to three days maximum. 

We must note that vitamin C is quite unstable and will start to disappear quickly, so it would be best to squeeze fresh lemon juice for consumption each time.

Bought ready-made lemon juice

For purchased products, the best guideline will be the best-by date written on the package. Since different products have a different proportion of preservatives, the manufacturers themselves best tell you how long the product can last. 

This generally ranges from a few weeks for products with little preservative to one year for those with a slightly higher preservative content. Lemon juice is unlikely to last significantly longer than the deadline written on the product.

Can Lemon Juice Go Bad?

Undoubtedly, lemon juice is sure to spoil, and it may be much faster than you think.

Here are some signs how to tell if lemon juice is bad:

Sign 1: It stayed out overnight

It’s crucial to keep the lemon juice in the fridge. It goes for all freshly squeezed ones and purchased ones after opening without exception. So if you accidentally left it out overnight, be sure to throw it in the trash tomorrow without any doubt.

Sign 2: The appearance is not right

The discoloration will indicate that the lemon juice has expired. The juice may become darker or appear pale. In any case, if the color is not what it seemed at first, throw the liquid down the drain.

Sign 3: Taste or smell is not right

In the end, if you notice that anything is wrong with the smell of the juice or with its taste, it will be a sign that the liquid has come to an end. Lemon juice should be just as delicious as when you just opened it or squeezed it.

What Is The Best Way To Store Lemon Juice?

Lemon juice is a very perishable drink, as we have already described in our article. That is why it is extremely important to keep it in good condition so that spoilage does not happen sooner than it should.

Tip 1: Keep in the fridge

Any freshly squeezed juice must stand in the refrigerator. Also, any juice purchased after opening must be stored in the fridge and not at room temperature as it could stand until opening.

Tip 2: Keep in a bottle with a cap

It would be good to have a bottle with a stopper instead of keeping the juice in an open bottle. The air will certainly enable faster oxidation and spoilage.

Tip 3: Consume it as soon as possible

Even though it is not spoiled yet, lemon juice and lime juice certainly loses valuable vitamins over time. If you have the opportunity, consume it as soon as possible to get the maximum value.


How can you tell if lemon juice is bad?

If you notice changes in the color of the juice, it will be a clear sign that it has expired. Also, a more rancid smell or taste will indicate something is wrong.

Can expired lemon juice make you sick?

Spoiled lemon juice can certainly cause food poisoning, and it will not be pleasant. Therefore, it is better to pour the liquid into the drain if you are unsure how long it has been open and whether it is rotten than to risk your health.

How long is lemon juice good after the expiration date?

Manufacturers will generally advise you to stick to the date written on the label. While the juice can last a few days or a week after that, it will be safer to buy a fresh product.

Does lemon juice need to be refrigerated?

Leftover freshly squeezed lemon juice must be refrigerated immediately and used within 2-3 days. You must also refrigerate lemon juice bottle once opened to prevent spoilage.


Lemon juice is an excellent source of vitamin C as well as other valuable vitamins. As a rule, it is highly recommended for consumption, and many doctors will praise it if you include lemon juice in your daily diet.

But one should be very careful when it comes to its duration. Despite being a very acidic product by nature, it has an extremely short shelf life if it does not contain preservatives. Therefore, pay close attention to the expiration date and always keep open juice in the refrigerator.

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*image by gpointstudio/depositphotos

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