How long can you drink juice in the fridge?

Juice is a popular beverage that many people enjoy keeping on hand in the refrigerator. However, with an open container of juice sitting in the fridge, it’s normal to wonder just how long that juice will stay safe and tasty to drink.

Factors that Determine Juice Shelf Life

There are several key factors that determine how long juice will last refrigerated:

  • Type of juice – Juices with higher acidity, like orange juice, tend to last longer than lower acid juices like apple juice.
  • Packaging – Juice stored in a tightly sealed container will last longer than juice in an open container.
  • Storage conditions – Juice lasts longer when stored at colder fridge temperatures (34-35°F).
  • Preservatives – Juices with preservatives like vitamin C tend to have a longer shelf life.
  • Expiration date – This gives an indication of the manufacturer’s expected shelf life for unopened juice.

With these factors in mind, here are some general guidelines for how long different common juices last refrigerated after opening:

Type of Juice Refrigerator Life After Opening
Orange Juice 3-5 days
Apple Juice 5-7 days
Grapefruit Juice 3-5 days
Cranberry Juice 7-10 days
Pineapple Juice 3-5 days
Grape Juice 5-7 days
Tomato Juice 5-7 days
Vegetable Juice Blends 3-5 days
Lemon/Lime Juice 3-5 days

How to Tell if Juice Has Gone Bad

The most reliable way to know if the juice in your refrigerator has spoiled is to check its smell and taste. Here’s what to look out for:

  • Appearance: Separated layers, unusual texture, cloudiness, or particles can indicate spoiled juice.
  • Smell: Rancid, sour, or unpleasant odors are a sign juice has turned.
  • Taste: Sour, bitter, or unpleasant flavors mean juice has fermented and should not be consumed.
  • Mold: Any fuzzy mold spots, even if isolated, is a reason to toss the juice.

If your refrigerated juice displays any of these signs, it’s best to err on the side of caution and dispose of it. Consuming spoiled juice can potentially cause unpleasant stomach upset or food poisoning.

Tips to Help Juice Last Longer

To maximize the shelf life of juice in the fridge, be sure to:

  • Store juice in a tightly sealed container, such as the original bottle.
  • Keep the fridge temperature as close to 34°F-35°F as possible.
  • Avoid opening the juice container frequently.
  • Check expiration or “best by” dates and follow them.
  • Keep juice away from the door where temperature fluctuations happen.
  • Store juice bottles upright to minimize air contact.
  • Don’t mix old and new juice containers together.

If you won’t finish the juice within 5-7 days, consider freezing single-serve portions for longer storage. Most juices can be frozen for up to 3 months before quality starts to degrade.

Extending Juice Life Through Preservation Methods

If you want your juice to keep even longer in the refrigerator, some preservation methods can help extend the shelf life.


Heating juice to around 160°F and maintaining the temperature for 15-30 seconds will pasteurize the juice and destroy bacteria, mold, and enzymes that cause spoilage. This can extend fridge life to up to 2-3 weeks.


Freezing juice inhibits microbial growth and slows enzymatic reactions. Thaw frozen juice overnight in the fridge before using. Frozen juice can last 6-12 months in airtight packaging at 0°F.


Proper water bath canning of juice in sterilized glass jars can allow it to last 12+ months. Follow tested canning directions carefully to ensure safety.

Cold Storage

Storing juice at optimal fridge temps of 34°-35°F can double or triple its shelf life compared to a standard 40°F fridge.


Adding lemon juice, vitamin C or potassium sorbate as a preservative can extend the shelf life of homemade juices by inhibiting microbial growth.


Acidifying juice by adding citric acid or lemon juice brings the pH down, making it harder for microbes to thrive and prolonging fridge life.

Is Expired Juice Safe to Drink?

With juice that has been continuously refrigerated, it may be fine to consume a few days past the “best by” or expiration date on the package. However, juice that is several weeks old or has been left unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours should be thrown out.

As juice ages, the risk increases for mold growth and bacterial spoilage that can cause foodborne illness. Some signs juice has become unsafe are:

  • Foul, rotten, or strange odors
  • Fizzing or bubbling when you open the bottle
  • Visible mold anywhere in the bottle
  • Severely separated liquid and foam layers

When in doubt, remember it’s better to be safe than sorry. Don’t take risks with old juice, especially for children, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems who are more susceptible to food poisoning.

Does Refrigerating Juice Affect Nutrients?

One downside of storing juice in the fridge long-term is that some nutrients can degrade over time. Here’s how juice nutrients are impacted:

  • Vitamin C: Degrades rapidly during storage. Can lose 15-25% in a week.
  • Folate: Also quickly depleted in juice by 20-30% within a couple weeks.
  • Antioxidants: Levels of beneficial plant compounds like carotenoids and polyphenols decline with time.
  • Color: Pigments that give juice its bright hue fade during extended refrigeration.
  • Flavor: Fresh, robust flavors diminish as juices oxidize.

To maximize nutrition, try to drink juices within a few days. If you do store juice longer, fill only what you’ll consume soon and minimize openings.


When properly stored and handled, the juice in your refrigerator can retain optimum freshness and flavor for up to 7-10 days after opening. Follow expiration dates closely, keep your fridge cold, minimize openings, and be alert for any signs of spoilage. While juice can be frozen or preserved to extend its shelf life even longer, remember that its vitamin and antioxidant content will diminish over time. For the healthiest, tastiest juice with the most nutrients, aim to drink it within a week of opening.

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