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I am puzzled about this. Depending on what article I read I get different results. There are no experts per say. It's just a bunch of people voicing their opinion concerning distilled water expiration date.

The water is sealed in plastic containers from the factory processed it. The container is HDPE #2. Some bottles say "bestby" but others say "expiration". They have a seal around the cap but I can't say if it was intended to be airtight.

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    1) Where are you located? Some jurisdictions place legal requirements for consumable items to have a expiration date on the package 2) Is this general use distilled water or pharmaceutical grade? – Juliana Karasawa Souza Jun 21 at 11:42
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    The container plastic can degrade with time, and spontaneously start to leak. This has actually happened to me. Wotta mess. – kreemoweet Jun 21 at 12:32
  • Thank you for kind comments. It is general use distilled water. Thank you for the warning. kreemoweet. I think it best to stick to fresh unless it is glass in airtight bottles with no air exposure. I acutally have a distiller but I have some emergency water in plastic in case I get sick and can't distill my own for the time I am sick. It sounds like water in plastic bottle from the store is not such a great option for any long term storage. – Sedumjoy Jun 21 at 16:01
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    "Expired" does not mean "no good to drink"… except I've never ever seen distilled water intended for drinking. I've only ever seen it for car radiators & electric irons. Knowing where you live & whether your regular water supply is potable would perhaps help. – Tetsujin Jun 21 at 16:27
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    This is what comes in my mind: these chemicals found in plastic aren’t just bad for the environment, they’re bad for you too! Especially when the bottle isn’t BPA free waterdepot.com/the-truth-about-plastic-water-bottles --- no idea if true. – Bernhard Döbler Jun 21 at 22:28
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There is no reliable expiration date for commercially bottled water, apparently because relevant authorities (such as the US FDA) have declined to scientifically test for it. Per bottledwater.org:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates bottled water as a packaged food product [in the US], has determined that there is no limit to the shelf life of bottled water ... Because it is packaged under sanitary, good manufacturing practices; is in a sanitary sealed container; and does not contain substances (such as sugars and proteins) typically associated with food spoilage, bottled water can be stored for extended periods of time without concerns.

As such, any expiration dates you see on bottled water are the result of either the manufacturer's idea of when you should change bottles (which might be wanting to encourage stock rotation) or because you live in one of the places where your local authorities set an expiration date on a political, commercial, or consistency basis.

Theoretically, since consumer plastic packaging is not 100% impervious, any bottled water will get contaminated by outside organisms eventually. But no study I've been able to find has good data on what "eventually" looks like, and even baseless estimates range from 2 to 10 years.

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    @FuzzyChef...Thank you I did not realize the FDA bailed out of this one. It's a real sticky topic. What plastic does to food and water is really an unknown. It can be found in trace amounts all over the planet surface but as far as the topic of drinking water stored in plastic it is pretty much a mystery. – Sedumjoy Jun 21 at 19:24
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    Well, that's kind of a different question, and ultimately one for scientific research, and not really for SA. The official guidance is "PET and HDPE are completely safe and don't leach any chemicals into water", so anything that proved they did leach would be from new studies. – FuzzyChef Jun 21 at 21:43
  • Thank you. I have some that are HDPE so I will keep those based on your advice. And in the future keep my questions to cooking...which I have plenty of room for improvement for sure. – Sedumjoy Jun 22 at 1:32
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    This question was useful to me, since now I know I can keep my emergency earthquake water supply around for 5+ years before buying new bottles. – FuzzyChef Jun 22 at 23:21

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