Does Lime Juice Go Bad?

In this article you will learn how to store lime juice, how long it lasts, and when it goes bad.
Zeynep Ozdemir, RDN

Written by Zeynep Ozdemir, RDN. Updated on December 23, 2022.

Lime can be used in many ways, from cooking to medicine. It is a sought-after ingredient in kitchens because it can add flavor to your favorite dish, give drinks a fresh taste, or make desserts sour.

Even though lime juice is a great way to add flavor to your favorite dishes, you may be too busy to squeeze limes for each recipe over and over again.

So that half-opened bottle of lime juice has been in the fridge for a few months, and you don’t know if it’s safe to drink.

If you’re in the same situation, it’s time to learn more about how to store lime juice, how long it lasts, and when it goes bad. In this article, we will discuss the expiration date of it, and if it really has one.

How to Store Lime Juice Correctly

Storage is one of the most important parts of the process. Incorrect storage can lead to the loss of various vitamins, the growth of harmful bacteria, and shorten the life of the product.


Store lime juice in a cool place. The enzymatic processes that destroy vitamins will be slowed by keeping lime juice near freezing temperatures.

Freezing lime juice is an excellent way to store homemade lime juice. It retains nutrients better than other methods of preservation.

While store-bought lime juice might last for months, freshly squeezed lime juice only lasts a few days. This is when freezing comes in handy.


Keep lime juice out of strong light. Vitamin A which is high in Lime juice can be destroyed by direct light.

How Long Does Lime Juice Last?

How long freshly squeezed lemon juice lasts depends on many factors, including the above conditions.

Many of the answers you’ll find on the internet may differ, and it can be confusing to know which one is correct.

Limes are strong in vitamin C, supplying more than 20% of your daily need. They also have trace levels of iron, calcium, vitamin B6, thiamine, potassium, and other nutrients.

Lime juice tastes best in the first 6 hours of its making. This may be a good time to use it for things like mixed citrus drinks and lemon juice recipes for your taste.

However, Vitamins such as vitamin C are very sensitive and affected by environmental conditions. That’s why it is useful to know that vitamin losses will occur in this process.

If you store your freshly squeezed lime juice at room temperature, it will spoil within a few hours.

If you are going to keep it in the refrigerator, considering the health benefits, it is possible to say that lemon juice will lose most of its nutritional value after 18 hours. If it’s been 24 hours, you can juice a new lime for the next round.

If you are looking for the latest possible date, not the optimal one, it is recommended not to wait more than 3-4 days.

A product you buy from the market can be stored for months. It is recommended not to be consumed after the expiration date. Although most people continue to consume it after the expiration date without a problem, you may not always be so lucky.

Lime juice that has been frozen should be used within 4-6 months for its taste and properties.

After being thawed, the lime juice in your freezer will still be usable for another 24–36 hours. That only works for lime juices that thaw out on their own in the fridge.

But if you heat it, like in a microwave, to get it out of the freezer, you should use it right away.

How to Tell If Lime Juice Is Bad?

Like all juices, lime juice is perishable. But unlike apple juice or orange juice, store-bought lime juice lasts a long time. And it does not break easily.

The shelf life of lime juice varies depending on whether the juice is freshly prepared at home or purchased. Preservatives in prepackaged lime juices extend the shelf life of the lime juice.

As for how to tell if your lime juice has gone bad, it’s a bit tricky. Because the acid in lime juice makes it very difficult for bacteria to multiply, and in this case, it takes a long time for visible deterioration to occur.

To find out if your lime juice is getting worse, you can follow a few steps.

Smell Test

The smell is often the best indicator of lime deterioration. Therefore, you can start the examination by smelling the lime juice that you think is spoiled.

If the smell is odd, strange, or does not mirror the typical citrus fresh scent, you should discard the juice.

Outlook Test

We talked about how the conditions of storage affect deterioration. If you’ve been storing lime juice for a while, give it a quick over-look before using it in a recipe.

If you see mold or other growth near the seal, you should throw away the juice.

Tasting Test

If the liquid looks and smells fine, take a teaspoon for a drink to see how it tastes. If the juice no longer tastes like citrus, you should get rid of it.

It doesn’t always mean that the juice has gone bad, but if it doesn’t taste right, there’s no reason to use it in a recipe or to flavor water.

What About Browning?

If your lime juice has turned brown, this is normal and does not mean the product is spoiled or anything. It is a natural process and doesn’t affect the quality of the liquid. You can still use it.

What Happens If You Consume Spoiled Lime Juice?

Lime has already high ascorbic acid rates to control enzymes that cause deterioration of vitamins as well as colors. Therefore, it may take longer to degrade than other fruit juices.

Although it is later to spoil and is relatively safer than other fruit juices, of course, there are health risks to consuming spoiled lime juice.

The biggest reason why spoiled lime juice is harmful is bacterial growth. Since bacterial growth is the cause of all food poisoning in general, it is possible to see general symptoms of food poisoning.

Symptoms you may see when you consume spoiled lime juice:

  • Stomach ache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever

Diarrhea and stomach cramps usually begin 6 to 24 hours after drinking spoiled lime juice. It usually starts suddenly and lasts less than 24 hours. Vomiting and fever are not very common symptoms.

The degree of deterioration of spoiled food and the amount consumed is also important. Because lime is difficult to consume in high proportions, your body is more likely to tolerate it. So you may not show any symptoms.

As we mentioned above, lime juice is difficult to spoil. If you accidentally drink spoiled lime juice, it is useful to monitor yourself and see a doctor in the presence of a symptom.

How Can We Evaluate Spoiled Lime Juice?

Lime may be used in a variety of ways both in and out of the kitchen.

Lime is utilized outside the kitchen as a natural cleaning agent to remove smells. According to certain research, they have antibacterial characteristics.

Lime juice may be combined with vinegar and water to create a harmless surface spray.

As we mentioned at the beginning, the usage area of lime is not just for flavor. You can use your spoiled lime juice as a cleaning agent instead of chemicals.

Lime is not only cheap and fragrant but also quite reliable for human health. If you want to refresh your white shirt, you can use lime juice instead of strong bleach.

Thanks to the acetic acid in it, lime juice can be used easily instead of dishwashing liquid.


Lime is used in many ways, from cooking to medicine. Storage of lime juice is very important. Improper storage can lead to the loss of various vitamins, the growth of harmful bacteria, and shorten the life of the product.

Keeping it at a low temperature and keeping it away from light are important points in preserving Lime juice.

How long freshly squeezed lime juice will last depends on many factors. In general, for both freshness and safety, it is best to aim to use lemon juice within 24 hours after squeezing it.

Of course, the faster it is consumed, the more beneficial it is.

The smell is often the best indicator of lime juice spoilage. Then, with the visual and taste examination, it can be understood whether the lime juice is spoiled or not.

Contrary to what is thought, color does not give us good information about deterioration. This is a natural process and does not affect the quality of the liquid.

Lime juice can be used in various fields apart from cooking. Its antibacterial property is the most well-known reason for its use. You can use your spoiled lime juice as a cleaning agent instead of chemicals.

Lime juice is difficult to spoil but you may see symptoms when you consume spoiled lime juice such as stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and high fever. If you experience these symptoms, it is a good idea to see a doctor.

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