Does Lime Juice Go Bad? How Long Does Lime Juice Last?

Lime juice can be used in all kinds of sweet and savory recipes, but it’s easy to have leftovers so you’re probably wondering if lime juice goes bad.  Let’s find out.

Quick Answer

Freshly squeezed juice should be used within two to three days but can be frozen for up to four months.  Bottled lime juice should have a use-by date stamped on the bottle and is good at least until that date.  If unopened and stored in the pantry, bottled lime juice could last an additional three to six months past the best-by date.  If unopened and refrigerated, it could last an additional six to twelve months past the best-by date.  Here’s a chart for your ease:

FreshRefrigerate2-3 daysUp to 4 months
Bottled3-6 months past the use-by date stamped on the bottle6-12 months after the use-by date stamped on the bottleUp to 4 months

Lime juice can be added to so many things from sweet to savory, but you’re adding it for the distinctive lime flavor so freshness matters.

Does Lime Juice Go Bad? How Long Does Lime Juice Last?

Lime juice, either fresh or bottled, does have a shelf life and how you chose to store your lime juice ultimately determines how long it will be fresh.

How Long Does Lime Juice Last Outside

Fresh lime juice should either be used immediately or it should be stored in the refrigerator.  Lime juice left on the counter will start to turn brown rather quickly, which can be off-putting but is generally fine to consume.

Bottled lime juice should be kept in a cool, dry, dark place such as your pantry.  If you leave it outside or in the heat too long, it too will turn brown.

In general, light and heat will work against lime juice so you will want to avoid leaving it out.  If in doubt, refrigerate it or mix it into whatever you’re making.

How Long Does Lime Juice Last in the Fridge

Fresh lime juice should be refrigerated and will be good for up to two to three days.  Storing it in the refrigerator will help to keep it as fresh as possible.

Bottled lime juice can be stored in the refrigerator as soon as you bring it home.  If unopened, it will be good for six to twelve months past the use-by date stamped on the bottle.

You will want to keep your lime juice in an opaque container as light will cause your juice to spoil faster.  If it was purchased in a clear glass bottle you should transfer it for longer freshness.

How Long Does Lime Juice Last in the Freezer

Lime juice, either fresh or bottled, can be frozen, but you should think about how you want to use the juice and consider storing it in smaller quantities.  The easiest solution is to use an ice cube tray.

Lime juice frozen using an ice cube tray should be good for up to three to four months.  You will want to transfer your ice cubes to a food storage bag once they freeze.

Freezing lime juice may compromise the quality of the juice a bit so you’ll want to plan to cook with it or use it as an ice cube in your drink.

Lime juice, either bottled or fresh, is very susceptible to heat and light so you will want to store your juice carefully or it will spoil more quickly.

How To Tell If Lime Juice Has Gone Bad / How To Know Lime Juice is Fresh

Lime juice is highly acidic so it may be harder to tell just by looking at it when it has gone bad.  Acidic foods usually ward off the tell-tale bacteria of spoiled foods.  Bad lime juice can make you sick so you’ll want to be sure yours is fresh before using it.

Smell it:  If in doubt, take a good whiff of your lime juice.  If it has a true lime or citrusy smell to it, it’s fine.  If it doesn’t, then you should probably throw it away.

Taste it:  You can always taste your lime juice.  It will likely be bitter and strong, but it should have a strong lime or citrus taste to it.  If it doesn’t, then it has spoiled and should be thrown away.  You’re using the lime juice for the flavor so the taste of your juice and its ultimate freshness is important.

Look it over:  If the appearance seems off then you should also consider throwing it out.  With the high acidity of lime juice, it may not develop obvious mold as some foods do, but a clear change or distinct difference from what you are expecting is a sure sign that it has spoiled and should be thrown out.

How to Store Lime Juice?

Lime juice should be stored carefully to be sure it stays fresh.

If fresh, refrigerate:  You will want to refrigerate your freshly squeezed lime juice as soon as you can.  This will keep your juice fresh and keep it from turning brown.

If bottled, refrigerate:  To keep your bottled lime juice fresh for as long as possible you will want to refrigerate the bottle as soon as you bring it home.  It can stay unopened in your refrigerator for months and be just fine.

Keep in an opaque container:  Light will cause your lime juice to spoil sooner so you will want to store it in an opaque container.

Can You Freeze Lime Juice? How?

Freezing lime juice can be a great way to extend its shelf life. It’s good to keep a few things in mind before just putting a container of lime juice directly in the freezer.

Use an ice cube tray:  Pour your lime juice into your ice cube tray and then transfer the frozen cubes to a food storage bag for best results.  This not only keeps the quantities small for easier use it also gives you the greatest flexibility when using the juice.

Leave room to expand:  Lime juice has a lot of water in it so the cubes will expand once frozen.  You’ll want to fill the ice cube tray about three-quarter full to have plenty of room for the cubes to expand.

Constant temperature:  Lime juice does best at a constant temperature so store your lime juice cubes in the coldest part of your freezer and away from the freezer door.

How to Thaw Lime Juice?

Due to the high water content of limes, the quality of your lime juice will not be as good once it’s frozen and defrosted.

For best results, either transfer the cubes to a container in the refrigerator, where they will be good for two or three days or thaw them using the microwave or cold water and use them immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions About Lime Juice’s Shelf Life

Lime juice, stored properly, can last for quite a while, but it’s important to know what to look for if you have any doubts.  Here are a few questions and answers to help you determine the freshness of your lime juice:

If my lime juice has turned brown is it still safe to use?  Your lime juice has turned brown because it was not refrigerated soon enough either after opening or after squeezing.  It’s still safe to use, but you may not want to especially if the color will matter to whatever you’re adding the juice.

If lime juice is so acidic can it still spoil?  Yes.  Even though lime juice is incredibly acidic and will likely not develop bacteria like other foods do when they spoil, it can still go bad.  Look for the obvious signs of bad food like a different smell, taste, or appearance, and then decide whether your lime juice is still fresh.  The juice should smell and taste like limes.

Wrap Up

Fresh lime juice should be kept refrigerated or frozen.  Bottled lime juice should be kept in the pantry until opened and then in the refrigerator or frozen.  Tell us in the comments below whether you keep your lime juice in the refrigerator or the freezer.


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