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You’ve got a bottle of lemonade in the fridge that’s been in storage for a while. You wonder, “Does lemon juice go bad?” or “How long does lemon juice last?

Most people won’t think of the above questions as rarely do people not use up all the lemonade at once and have to store the leftovers for another day.

So, without wasting more time, let’s read on to find out in detail right now!

Does Lemon Juice Go Bad?

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Lemon juice will go bad one day

Like any juice, lemon juice will spoil one day. Its shelf life depends on the type of lemon juice: squeezed or sold at the store.

Generally, freshly squeezed lemon juice will go bad faster than its bottled counterpart. The method you use to store your lemon juice should also significantly impact how long your juice maintains its freshness.

The fact is that refrigerating is typically the best method to prolong the life of food and drink, including lemon juice. Yet, freezing is the way to go if you have an extensive juice batch.

How Long Is Lemon Juice Good For?

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The lifespan of lemon juice may vary

The lifespan of lemon juice should depend on the type you are using.

Fresh Juice

How long does fresh squeezed lemon juice last? You can expect your freshly squeezed juice to last around three to four days in your refrigerator.

If you want to keep it longer, freezing your excess juice is the way to go.

Since your fresh squeezed lemon juice does not go with any preservatives, it has a shorter shelf life than the rest. As a result, it is best to consume all of your lemon juice immediately, although that may not be possible in some cases.

With a shorter lifespan, there is no denying that fresh juice is a good candidate for freezing.

Bottled Juice

Bottled juice products that are unrefrigerated may stay for at least a few months past their printed date. However, once you have opened their bottles, you can expect them to maintain their quality until their printed date, or about six to twelve months of opening.

Store-bought juice products unrefrigerated are typically created by concentrate diluted with water to have the taste of authentic lemon juice. Many famous brands are using this method, such as ReaLemon and Jif.

In addition to the concentrate and water, bottled juice products typically go with some preservatives (sulfites are common), killing bacteria and prolonging the life of these products. Hence these products do not require refrigeration while they are unopened.

In most cases, lemon juice bottles feature a best-before or best-by date. It does not say that your lemonade will spoil after that date. Instead, it will tell you how long your juice will be of the best quality.

Once you have opened your lemon bottle, your juice will keep its quality for a while. Therefore, we recommend the following date printed on its label. 

If your juice is not closer to this date, it would still be okay to use for around six months to a year.

You can expect your unopened bottled juice to maintain its quality several months past its printed date, which you can know by checking its label.

Once you’ve opened the bottle and don’t know how to use the leftovers for the next few months, freezing the juice is your best bet. 

Thanks to that, you will lock its quality, and it is unnecessary to worry about the quality of your lemon juice next time.

Some Signs That Your Juice Has Gone Bad

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Signs that your juice has gone bad

The good news is that there are various signs that your lemon juice is spoiled or safe to use. Remember that preservative-free, homemade lemon juice should spoil significantly faster than its store-bought counterpart.

If you’ve been leaving your lemon juice for a while and you doubt its safety, use the following signs to decide if you should use it.

Check Color

Once your lemon juice has gone bad, it will come with a darker color than the beginning in most cases. 

Hence, if you see this happen with your lemon juice, immediately discarding your liquid is your best bet.


If you don’t notice a darker color in your lemon juice, it’s time to check its smell.

Spoiled juice should not feature the fresh scent that you are used to. Worse case, it may smell sour and funky if there’s any bacterial or mold growth. In this case, you will need to remove it immediately.

Flavor And Taste

Another telltale sign of bad lemon juice is its flavor. It may feature a more sour taste, strange taste, or may become tasteless if it has spoiled. This criterion will depend on the reason why the juice went bad.

Taking a few sips is okay if you’re unsure about its taste and scent. If you notice an abnormality in taste, just remove your lemon juice immediately.

How To Store Your Lemon Juice?

Discarding your lemon juice if you don’t use it up is unnecessary. Here are a few ways that will allow you to keep it longer for future use.

Refrigerate For Short Term Store

It is best to refrigerate your freshly squeezed juice immediately to prevent spoilage. Also, you must do the same thing with your opened lemon juice bottle to raise its shelf life.

Turn Your Juice Into Ice Cubes

There is no denying that freezing your lemon juice is one of the best ways to preserve it, especially for freshly squeezed fresh juice.

You will need to prepare ice cube trays. Then, pour your juice into these trays before popping them in your freezer.

Using a glass or bottle jar to preserve the lemon juice in your freezer for up to three months is okay. Thanks to that, you can prevent quick degradation and protect your juice nutrients.

We recommend pouring your lemon juice into airtight containers. Ensure that these containers come with lids and covers to prevent moisture and air from entering. Thanks to that, you can prevent the growth of contaminants such as mold, yeast, and bacteria.

You can keep your fresh juice in your refrigerator for up to three days, while lemon concentrate can stay up to one year.

Can Consuming Bad Lemon Juice Make You Sick?

does lemon juice go bad

Consuming bad lemon juice is unwise.

Drinking expired juice, whether mixed in your food or directly, may cause severe food poisoning.

If you don’t store your lemonade correctly or let it sit for too long, mold, yeast, and bacteria will contaminate it and expose you to a risk of poisoning.

Symptoms of food poisoning will likely appear within one to two days of drinking your sour lemon juice. In addition to diarrhea, you may face other symptoms, including chills, weakness, fever, nausea, abdominal pain, and headache.

It is essential to contact your doctor or medical experts if you notice the above symptoms persist for more than a day. In addition, you will need to seek emergency medical help if there are signs of dehydration.

Fresh juices are very susceptible to contamination. So, if you want to minimize your risk of food poisoning, it’s wise to throw out any juices that have been sitting in your fridge for a long time.


Is It Safe to Use Lemon Juice Expiration?

Generally, your lemon juice is safe to use a few days after the “best-before date.” 

Can My Fresh Lemon Juice Go Bad In A Fridge?

The short answer is yes. Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, lemons, etc.) can stay in your fridge for about two to three weeks. 

It will begin to dry out and get wrinkled after a while. Generally, the shelf life of your fresh lemon juice that has been opened and refracted is about one week.

The average shelf-life of opened store-bought juice is about half a year.

The Bottom Line

Hopefully, through this article, you have got the correct answer to “Can lemon juice go bad?” or “How long does freshly squeezed lemon juice last?”

The essential thing to remember is that your lemon juice can go bad if you don’t store it properly. 

If you want to store your lemon juice in a refrigerator, ensure you tightly seal or cover it with plastic wrap. Thanks to that, you can prevent any bacteria from other foods from contaminating your juice.

You should only store enough fresh-squeezed lemon juice for about four days. 

Thank you for reading!

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