Does Lemon Juice Go Bad? You’d Be Surprised That It Doesn’t Last Long

One or two bottles of lemon juice are common staples in almost every house. Although most people need it in small quantities, it’s almost only natural to stock up on it. You’ve probably stared at your bottles of lemon juice for hours and wondered if it’ll ever go bad?

Although we store the juice from lemons for months, they don’t last forever. Like every other juice, the juice from lemons has a shelf life. They are at their best for a period and after which, they aren’t so good anymore. More on that below.

What Exactly Is Lemon Juice?

Lemon juice is a product of crushing the pulp of the citrus fruit, lemon. The juice is known for its distinctive acidic taste and it has found wide use in and outside kitchen activities.

Apart from the many other uses of the juice from lemons, it is commonly used to make lemonade which is a mixture of the juice from lemons, water, and sugar. The juice is a rich source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Therefore, taking the juice from lemons can help boost the immune system functions. It can also help restore the body from dehydration and weakness. And some claim drinking the juice of lemons can help prevent kidney stones.

SEE: This Is How to Preserve Lemons and Prevent Spoilage

Does Lemon Juice Go Bad?

Lemon juice can go bad. It seems to keep for forever but this isn’t true. While the signs of spoilage or deterioration may not be very visible to the eyes, the juice reduces in quality as the day goes by.

Freshly squeezed juice from lemons goes bad faster than a store-bought bottle of lemon juice. Moreover, how you store the juice from your lemons can affect its quality.

Does Lemon Juice Go Bad if Not Refrigerated?

If an unopened bottle of store-bought lemon juice stays unrefrigerated, it won’t go bad for as long as you store it properly. However, if you have squeezed more lemons than you need, you should refrigerate the juice to preserve it. Otherwise, it will go bad and become unfit for consumption.

SEE: Read This to Find Out If Orange Juice Go Bad Or Not

Can Lemon Juice Go Bad in the Fridge?

Fresh juice from lemons won’t go bad in the fridge if remains unopened. A bottle of freshly squeezed juice will only last a few days in the fridge. Bottled lemon juice may last up to six months, depending on how much preservative it has in it.

However, you should consume an opened bottle of lemon juice quickly to avoid a loss of quality and the risk of contamination.

Does Lemon Juice Go Bad if Unopened?

No. Bottled lemon juice can last up to a year, in or out of the fridge, if it stays unopened. How long the bottle of juice lasts depends on how much preservative the manufacturer puts in it.

Most importantly, you should read the label for the best by date. The bottle of juice remains safe for consumption a few days after its best-by date if remains unopened. But if you notice a leakage or a bulge on the bottle, discard the bottle of juice.

Does Frozen Lemon Juice Go Bad?

Freezing the juice you got from lemons is your best bet for preservation. If you keep the juice frozen, you can enjoy its quality for up to 6 months. When juices stay frozen, they become inhabitable to the bacteria and pathogens that would naturally cause spoilage.

SEE: How Can You Store Your Wine and Beverages at Home

What Is the Shelf Life of Lemon Juice?

Freshly squeezed juice from lemons only lasts a few days because it doesn’t contain any preservatives that can extend its shelf life. The only way to preserve freshly squeezed juice is to keep it frozen.

On the other hand, store-bought juice will last up to a year and maybe over because it contains preservatives.

How Long Does Concentrated Lemon Juice Last?

Concentrated lemon juice is bottled juice with less water content. Manufacturers of these lemon juices do not only add preservatives but also remove excess water to prevent bacterial activity.

The juice can keep its quality for up to 6 months in the pantry if it’s unopened. An opened bottle of concentrated juice will keep for up to a year if you refrigerate it. Moreover, the printed date on the bottle also provides information on how long the juice will last.

Can You Drink Expired Lemon Juice?

Expired lemon juice may contain some level of contamination; therefore, it’s unfit for consumption. Drinking or adding expired juice to your meals put you at risk of food poisoning.

When store-bought lemon juice is way past its printed date, discard the bottle of juice. An expired bottle of the juice is only fit for consumption if it’s only a few months past the best-by date.

SEE: Learn About Food Thermometers for Your Food Safety Concerns

How to Tell if Lemon Juice Is Bad

What does it look like?

If the juice is still intact, it should have a clear, uniform, light yellow color. When the juice has gone off, it’ll look darker and cloudy. Also, sometimes the degree of spoilage can show visible mold growth. You should watch out.

What does it smell like?

Fresh juice has a sweet smell of citrus. On the other hand, when fresh juice from lemons goes bad, it smells tangier and fermented because of bacterial activity in it. If you notice this deviation, it’s time to throw the bottle of juice away.

What does it taste like?

How the juice tastes will also help you determine if it’s bad. When the juice gotten from lemons goes bad, it tastes sourer and nothing like citrus. At this point, the bottle of juice should go into the trash.

SEE: How to Get Free Food or Amazing Discount at Church’s Chicken

How to Preserve Juice From Lemons

  • Refrigerate freshly squeezed juice to extend its shelf life
  • Store an unopened bottle of lemon juice in a cool, dry place away from sunlight
  • Also, once you have opened the bottle of juice, refrigerate it
  • Store the juice in airtight, opaque bottles
  • Preserve freshly squeezed juice by turning it into ice cubes


Is it safe to store lemon juice in a plastic bottle?

Yes, it is. Opaque plastic bottles are the safest containers to store the juice in. In glass bottles, the juice will have contact with light and the light will break down the juice quickly.

What makes lemons brown on the inside?

When lemons turn brown on the inside, it could be a sign of spoilage, boron deficiency, or the presence of a sap-sucking bug that feeds on the fruits of the lemon. Do not consume a lemon with brown insides.

Can you use bottled lemon juice instead of freshly squeezed juice?

Yes, you can. For some recipes, bottled lemon juice is a better choice than freshly squeezed juice. For instance, if your dish is supposed to have a sour taste, bottled juice will give the sourness better.

SEE: Can Watermelon Go Bad? Here’s How to Tell if It Has


Well, yes, lemon juice does go bad. The shelf life of the juice varies with its preparation method. Freshly squeezed juice won’t last as long as a store-bought juice. This is because the latter contain preservatives that make it last for months into years.

If you rather want freshly squeezed juice and you want it to keep for longer, the freezer is your best bet. Store the juice in appropriate containers and make the best of your time spent extracting the juice from lemons.

Thanks for reading.

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