Does Sweetened Condensed Milk Go Bad? (How to Tell)

Sweetened condensed milk is a staple ingredient in many desserts. It is used to make candies, cakes, and other treats. If you’re a fan of this canned milk product you might be wondering, “Does sweetened condensed milk go bad?”

Yes, it does, but not so fast. Sweetened condensed milk has a long shelf life, especially if you store it in a cool, dry place. And if you refrigerate or freeze it, it will last even longer.

Read on to learn more about this milk product, its shelf life, spoilage signs, and what to do to make it last longer.

What Is Sweet Condensed Milk?

Sweetened condensed milk is a thick, sweet and creamy milk product. It’s made by heating fresh whole milk until it reduces by about half. The result is a thick syrup that you can use as a topping for desserts and in many other recipes.

Does Sweetened Condensed Milk Go Bad?

Yes, it does. However, sweetened condensed milk is a shelf-stable food product, meaning it can stay for a long period at room temperature without spoiling.

If you find that your condensed milk has gone bad, don’t use it for baking or cooking purposes. The bacteria that cause spoilage may affect the taste of your food and even make you sick if consumed.

SEE: What You Need to Know Before Opening a Carton Of Evaporated Milk

What Is the Shelf Life of Sweetened Condensed Milk?

The shelf life of sweetened condensed milk depends on several factors such as the brand of the product, whether or not it’s opened, and how it’s stored.


The shelf life of unopened sweetened condensed milk is 1 to 2 years past its manufacturing date according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. When buying condensed milk, check the “Use By” date on the label to make sure it hasn’t expired.

If this date has passed, you should not buy the product because it’s no longer safe to consume. Such products may contain harmful microorganisms such as foodborne pathogens or dangerous toxins that may cause health problems.


Once you open it, sweetened condensed milk will keep at room temperature for about 5 days and in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks. If you decide to store your opened condensed milk in the freezer, then it should last for up to 3 months.

If you notice any changes in the color, smell, taste, or texture of your condensed milk, throw it out immediately.

SEE: Can You Freeze Milk in the Carton to Keep It Fresh for Long?

Can You Use Expired Sweetened Condensed Milk?

Yes, but it’s not advisable. Expired milk has a higher chance of harboring harmful bacteria like E. coli and other pathogens that can cause food poisoning.

Food poisoning from expired milk can lead to vomiting and diarrhea within hours of consumption and sometimes even death. It can also cause severe infections in infants and pregnant women during pregnancy and after delivery.

In addition, expired condensed milk tends to absorb odors and flavors from the environment around it. This will cause it to develop an unpleasant smell and taste, making it less appetizing.

SEE: Does Cream of Tartar Go Bad and Changes Its Color?

How to Tell if Sweet Condensed Milk Is Bad

Look at the expiration date

To determine whether the condenser milk you purchased is still good, check the expiration date on the package. If it’s been more than a month since it has expired, throw it away and buy a fresh one.

Smell the product

Take a whiff of the milk to see if there’s any difference in odor. If the smell has changed (like ammonia) or gotten stronger, throw out the product and buy a new one.

Check for discoloration

If the milk has turned yellowish or greenish with black dots on its surface, it has likely developed mold. Throw out the product immediately and get a fresh one from the grocery store.

Check for changes in texture

If you notice any changes in the texture of your milk (such as clumping), throw it out immediately because this could indicate spoilage.

Taste it

If you notice that your milk tastes sour or different than usual, it has probably gone bad. Throw it away immediately as it can cause several health problems and even death.

SEE: Get a Chance to Win a $500 Gift Card at Giant Foods

How to Preserve Sweetened Condensed Milk

Store in a cool, dry place

Don’t store your milk in direct sunlight or areas near heat sources, such as next to a stove or radiator. Also, keep it away from moisture sources like bathrooms, where humidity levels are high.

Exposure to any of the factors above can spoil your condensed milk quickly. Therefore you must store your milk in a cool, dry place where there are no chances of any direct exposure to sunlight or heat or moisture.

Use an airtight container

After opening a can of condensed milk, transfer the remaining contents into an airtight container. This will prevent contamination of the milk by microorganisms present in the air. You can use a plastic bottle or a glass jar as both these materials are airtight.

Refrigerate it

According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, you should refrigerate opened milk immediately to preserve its shelf life. If you don’t have a refrigerator, keep your milk cool on ice and use it as soon as possible.

Freeze it

If you want to keep your opened condensed milk for longer (up to 3 months), transfer it into a freezer-safe container and freeze. You can also freeze it in ice cube trays, and then transfer the milk cubes into a freezer bag.

SEE: Can You Freeze a Gallon of Milk and Still Have It Taste Good?


Are sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk the same?

No, they are not. The main difference between sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk is that the former contains sugar. This makes it easier to use as an ingredient in recipes where you need some sweetness like cakes and candies.

How do you make sweetened condensed milk?

To make sweetened condensed milk, all you have to do is add sugar to evaporated milk and stir until the sugar dissolves. You’ll then have sweetened condensed milk that you can use in any recipe that calls for it.

What does sweetened condensed milk do in baked goods?

Sweetened condensed milk adds moisture to baked goods, which means they’ll be softer than they’d be without it. You can use it as an ingredient or topping for cakes, pies, and other baked goods.

Can you put sweetened condensed milk in coffee?

Yes, you can. Just like sugar or honey, sweetened condensed milk can make your coffee taste sweeter, without adding much liquid or volume to your drink.

If you want to try putting condensed milk in your coffee, just use a teaspoon or two as an alternative to sugar or honey. You should be able to achieve the same effect without affecting the taste of your drink too much.

SEE: Is Heavy Cream a Better Option Compared to Condensed Milk


Sweetened condensed milk is a shelf-stable product that can last for up to 2 years if unopened. Once opened, store it in an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze it immediately to prevent it from spoiling.

To determine whether or not condensed milk has gone bad, check for signs of spoilage like sour smell or discoloration. You should also check the package of the milk for the expiry date. If it has expired already, throw it away and buy a new container.

Thanks for reading.

To learn more about the shelf life of different kinds of milk, visit Cheffist today.