How long will apple juice keep after opening?

Apple juice that has been opened will keep for 5 to 7 days when stored properly in the refrigerator. The exact shelf life depends on a few factors like the best by date, the storage conditions, and the quality of the juice.

Quick Summary

  • Unopened apple juice will keep for 7-10 days past the best by date when stored properly.
  • Once opened, apple juice will keep for 5-7 days in the refrigerator.
  • Keep apple juice sealed in its original container or transfer to an airtight container.
  • Store apple juice towards the back of the fridge, away from the door.
  • Signs apple juice has gone bad include changes in color, smell, or taste.
  • Apple juice can be frozen for long term storage, lasting 6-12 months in the freezer.

How Long Does Unopened Apple Juice Last?

An unopened bottle or container of apple juice typically has a best by date printed on the label. This best by date tells you how long the manufacturer guarantees the juice will remain fresh and retain peak quality. For unopened apple juice, the best by date is usually set between 7-10 days past the packaging date.

So if you purchase a bottle of apple juice and the best by date is 1 week away, you can expect the unopened juice to stay good for up to 2-3 weeks from when it was packaged. The best by date is your best guide for juice that has not yet been opened.

Factors that Shorten Shelf Life

There are a few factors that can decrease the shelf life of unopened apple juice:

  • Storage temperature – Juice stored at room temperature will deteriorate faster than juice stored in the refrigerator.
  • Exposure to sunlight and heat – Keep juice away from direct sunlight or heat sources.
  • Damage to packaging – Any cracks, dents, or breaks in the bottle seal can introduce bacteria and shorten shelf life.
  • Acidity level – Juices with lower acidity tend to have a shorter shelf life.

To get the longest shelf life from apple juice, store unopened containers in the refrigerator and avoid damage to the packaging. An unopened bottle stored this way can potentially last 2-3 weeks past the printed best by date.

How Long Does Apple Juice Last After Opening?

Once you break the airtight seal on the original container, oxygen is introduced into the bottle and the apple juice becomes more perishable. An opened bottle of apple juice will only last 5-7 days in the refrigerator.

It’s important to re-cap or re-seal the bottle or container after pouring out juice to drink. Any exposure to air starts to degrade the quality and fresh flavor. Follow these guidelines for maximum shelf life of opened apple juice:

  • Re-cap the bottle tightly or transfer juice to an airtight container.
  • Make sure containers are sealed to block out excess air.
  • Store opened apple juice in the refrigerator.
  • Use within 5-7 days for peak flavor and quality.
  • Discard any juice that is older than 1 week after opening.

Apple juice that has been continuously refrigerated and re-sealed should retain good quality for 5-7 days past opening. But don’t go by the best by date after opening – it no longer applies. Use your eyes, nose and taste buds to determine freshness after the first week.

How to Tell If Opened Apple Juice Has Gone Bad

Here are the signs that your opened apple juice is past its prime and should be discarded:

  • Appearance – juice becomes cloudy or develops dark spots
  • Smell – smells unpleasant, fermented, or spoiled
  • Taste – flavors become dull, bitter, or strange
  • Texture – becomes excessively thick or grainy
  • Mold – any fuzz, spots, or slimy residue in juice

Apple juice that displays any of these characteristics should be thrown out. If you notice your juice changing in this way shortly after opening, it likely went bad prematurely due to contamination or storage issues.

Does Apple Juice Go Bad or Expire?

Apple juice does eventually go bad, but juice stored properly in sealed containers should stay fresh for the standard shelf life. Here is a summary of expected apple juice expiration:

  • Unopened juice lasts 2-4 weeks past the best by date.
  • Opened juice is good for 5-7 more days in the fridge.
  • Expired, spoiled juice shows changes in sight, smell and consistency.
  • Contaminated juice can spoil before the best by date.

The printed expiration date is valid for unopened juice stored under ideal conditions. Once exposed to air, apple juice has a shorter window before it goes bad – no more than 7 days. Keep your nose and eyes peeled for any signs of spoilage after opening.

Does Apple Juice Go Bad If Left Out?

Leaving apple juice out on the counter accelerates the spoilage process. Juice left out at room temperature encourages rapid bacterial growth as well as chemical breakdown from exposure to air. Here’s what happens if you leave apple juice out after opening:

  • 30 minutes – juice starts losing cold temperature
  • 1-2 hours – juice comes to room temperature, separation may occur
  • 3-4 hours – oxidation and separation increase
  • 5-6 hours – juice smells and tastes stale
  • 8+ hours – juice is fully spoiled and warm

For the longest shelf life after opening, apple juice needs to remain chilled in the fridge. Leaving it out on the counter for more than 2 hours speeds spoilage. Any juice left out overnight should be discarded in the morning.

How to Store Apple Juice Properly

To get the most shelf life out of apple juice, follow these storage guidelines:

Unopened Apple Juice

  • Store in pantry or fridge, away from direct light and heat.
  • Avoid storing bottles directly on the floor of fridge (too cold).
  • Check best by date and use within 1-2 weeks after.
  • Keep bottle caps sealed tight.
  • Refrigeration can extend life 1-2 weeks past best by date.

Opened Apple Juice

  • Re-cap bottle tightly immediately after pouring.
  • Transfer to airtight container if not finishing within 2 days.
  • Store opened container in fridge.
  • Use within 5-7 days for best quality.
  • Never return unused juice to original bottle.

Apple juice stays freshest when chilled at all times. Keep both opened and unopened juice away from heat and sunlight. Follow the best by date for maximum shelf life.

Can You Freeze Apple Juice?

Freezing is a great way to preserve apple juice and extend the shelf life. Frozen properly, apple juice can last 6-12 months in the freezer before quality starts to decline.

To freeze apple juice:

  • Pour juice into freezer-safe plastic containers or bags.
  • Leave 1/2 inch headspace to allow for expansion.
  • Seal containers tightly.
  • Freeze immediately.
  • Store frozen juice at 0°F or below.

Thaw frozen apple juice overnight in the fridge when ready to use. Shake container once thawed and pour into a glass. Frozen apple juice may take on a slightly altered consistency but retains original flavor.

Can Apple Juice Be Refrigerated Again After Thawing?

Previously frozen apple juice can be safely refrigerated again after thawing, but it may have a shorter shelf life. Here are some tips for handling thawed apple juice:

  • Thaw juice completely in fridge before re-refrigerating.
  • Use thawed juice within 3-5 days for best quality.
  • Do not refreeze thawed apple juice.
  • Pour into airtight container or resealable bottle to store.
  • Discard if juice smells, tastes or looks abnormal.

The freezing and thawing process tends to degrade apple juice faster than just refrigerated storage. But thawed juice can be returned to the fridge for short term keeping. Just be diligent about watching for any signs of spoilage.

Does Apple Juice Need to Be Refrigerated?

Refrigeration is important for both unopened and opened apple juice. The cold temperature helps slow the growth of bacteria and extend shelf life. Here’s a summary of apple juice refrigeration guidelines:

  • Unopened – Refrigerate for longest shelf life, but not required until opened.
  • Opened – Must be refrigerated and used within 5-7 days.
  • After freezing – Refrigerate thawed juice and use within 3-5 days.
  • Room temperature – Any juice left out for over 2 hours should be discarded.

While refrigeration is recommended even before opening, it becomes critical for apple juice safety after exposure to air. Keep both opened and thawed juice chilled at 40°F or below.

How Long Does Apple Juice Last in the Fridge?

Here is a summary of how long apple juice lasts in refrigerator storage:

  • Unopened – lasts 2-3 weeks past printed best by date.
  • Opened – lasts 5-7 days after opening.
  • Thawed – lasts 3-5 days after thawing.

The fridge temperature of 40°F or below helps extend apple juice shelf life significantly. But juice should still be discarded once it exceeds the recommended time frames, even when refrigerated.

Signs Apple Juice Has Gone Bad

Watch for these signs that indicate your apple juice is spoiled and should be thrown out:

  • Cloudy appearance or floating particles
  • Changes from golden to brown or gray color
  • Strong medicinal or fermented smell
  • Unpleasant sour, bitter, or odd taste
  • Grainy or slimey texture
  • Mold spots or fuzz

Apple juice that displays any of these changes should not be consumed. Toss juice that looks, smells or tastes abnormal. When in doubt, it’s better to be safe and discard older juice.

How Long Does Apple Juice Last In Other Storage Scenarios?

Storage Scenario Unopened Opened
Pantry, after best by date 1-2 weeks N/A
Counter, room temperature 1-2 days 2-4 hours
Cooler with ice 3-5 days 2-3 days
Freezer 6-12 months 6-12 months

The refrigerator is optimal, but apple juice can be briefly kept at other temperatures. Just use juice quickly if not stored in a fridge. The freezer offers the longest shelf life.


Knowing how long apple juice lasts after opening helps prevent wasting juice or consuming spoiled juice. Follow these guidelines:

  • Unopened juice lasts about 2-3 weeks past the printed date.
  • Opened juice stays good for 5-7 more days in the fridge.
  • Seal opened bottles tightly and refrigerate immediately.
  • Check juice for changes in sight, smell and taste after opening.
  • Discard juice that looks or smells off instead of tasting first.
  • Freezing extends shelf life to 6-12 months.

With proper refrigerated storage and careful monitoring for spoilage, apple juice can maintain good drinking quality for up to a week after opening. But juice left out or kept past recommended time frames can quickly deteriorate in safety and taste.

Leave a Comment