Can Bottled Lemon Juice Go Bad

Most of us would agree that drinking freshly squeezed lemon juice is good for our health. Thus, many would store this for several days or weeks, but does it go bad?

Of course! Freshly squeezed lemon can only last for up to days, while commercially bottled lemon juice with added preservatives can last for months. 

Lemon juice goes bad over time, but determining when it has done so is not always simple. The greatest approach to remember when you buy lemons is to check the expiration date on the bottle.

If the date was printed more than a year ago, it is probably time to toss it out and get a new bottle.

Commercial lemon juice will have varying amounts of preservatives. While it does not taste as good as fresh juice, it can last a long time if kept properly and easily be used in a marinade. Lemon juice can also be used in making glazed carrots to go with Corned Beef

To discover how long lemon juice can last and what the one method is to extend its shelf life, keep reading.

DIY Lemon Juice vs Bottled Lemon Juice
DIY Lemon Juice vs Bottled Lemon Juice – Bottled lasts Longer

How Long Does Bottled Lemon Juice Stay Fresh

The best way to determine how long your bottled lemon juice stays fresh is by looking at the label. Bottled lemon juice usually stays fresh for six to twelve months and can extend for a couple of months if unrefrigerated. This is possible because of the lemon concentrate, preservatives, and water mixture. Many vendors add preservatives to their products to prevent spoilage. These chemicals are usually safe and do not cause any harm. However, they may also make the lemon juice less tasty.

How to Properly Store Bottled Lemon Juice

If you want to ensure that your bottled lemon juice stays fresher for an extended period, follow some basic guidelines.

1. You need to store the bottles in a cool place. Cold temperatures slow down the growth of microorganisms and thus prolong the shelf life of the product.

2. Avoid storing the bottles in direct sunlight. Heat speeds up the process of oxidation and thus makes the lemon juice turn rancid faster.

3. Shake the bottle before opening it. This helps break up the carbon dioxide gas bubbles that form inside the bottle during storage. It prevents them from forming into large bubbles that could burst open the container.

4. Once opened, refrigerate the bottles immediately. Do not leave the bottles sitting around.

5. Drink within two weeks after opening the bottle. Once the product starts to degrade, it begins to lose its flavor.

Store All Opened Lemon Juice In The Fridge
Store All Opened Lemon Juice In The Fridge

How to Properly Store Fresh Lemon Juice

If the lemon juice contains no added preservatives, then it should stay fresh for about six months in the refrigerator. This is true even if the bottle says it is stored at room temperature because the preservatives work well at low temperatures. However, the lemon juice is much better off being stored in the fridge. 

Here are more guidelines for properly storing fresh lemon juice:

1. You need to use only freshly squeezed lemon juice. If you buy the juice in a carton or jar, then you must squeeze it yourself. The juice loses its freshness quickly when exposed to air.

2. Keep the juice in the refrigerator. Even though the juice will last longer outside the fridge, it tastes better when stored in the fridge.

3. Do not let the juice sit out for too long. The taste deteriorates rapidly once the juice sits out for a few hours.

What are the Signs of Spoiled or Bad Lemon Juice

There are three signs to look out for for spoiled or bad lemon juice:


The first sign of bad lemon juice is a change in color. When the juice turns yellowish-brown, it means that the juice has become acidic and therefore unpalatable.


Another telling sign of spoiling lemon juice is having mold on the surface of the liquid. If this happens, you should discard the entire batch of lemon juice.


Another sign of spoiling lemon is the smell. A sour odor indicates that the juice is going bad. If it smells like vinegar, then you know that the juice is already ruined.

Homemade Lemon Juice vs Store Bought

Preservatives are often found in store or supermarket-bought lemon juice, and their purpose is to keep the juice fresh longer. As a result, they’ll survive a lot longer than anything squeezed from scratch would. This is due to the lack of preservatives in most homemade or DIY lemon juice.

Remember that the amount of preservatives included in store-bought lemon juice might vary greatly depending on the kind of brand.

As a general rule, opened store or supermarket-bought lemon juice may be stored in the refrigerator for up to six months, while freshly pressed homemade lemon juice can them be stored in the refrigerator for only two to three days.

What Color Should Lemon Juice Be

The color can range from yellow to a light grey depending on the lemons used, and was there any lemon zest added. What is key is that it should be a homogenous or consistent shade of color throughout.

How Long Does Bottled Lemon Juice Last in The Fridge

Lemon juice lasts about 4-6 months in the refrigerator. However, it must be in an airtight bottle or container.