Does almond milk go bad? Here is how to keep it fresh

Almond milk has rapidly grown in popularity in recent years which is now more than just a plant-based milk alternative.

It is a fantastic ingredient for many recipes such as smoothies, ice creams and overnight oats.

Not to mention, it is more long-lasting and very budget-friendly.

You might have bought almond milk for a particular recipe and have plenty of leftovers sitting in the refrigerator.

This is a common problem and you will be thinking, does almond milk go bad? It is a yes and no answer, because it all depends on how you store it in the first place. The good news is that almond milk can last for a long time, but it can go bad if it is not stored correctly. 

This guide will cover it all.

How Long Does Almond Milk Last?

Once you open a shelf-stable almond milk, you must store it in the refrigerator and it can stay fresh up to 7-10 days.

In regards to refrigerated almond milk, it is best advised to read the label and follow the instructions provided because there is no definitive answer.

Different brands use different preservatives for their ingredients which means results may vary.

In general, and in most cases, refrigerated almond milk can stay fresh for 4-7 days once opened.

If you have made almond milk at home, and from stract without any preservatives, then you should use it within 3-4 days.

In general, whether it is shelf-stable or homemade almond milk, always keep an eye on the use by and best before dates, and follow the instructions.

What is the difference between refrigerated vs shelf Stable almond milk

You might have already noticed that in your local supermarket that there are two types of almond milk, and generally other plant-based milks, which you can buy that are either in the refrigerated section or on the shelf.

In other words, shelf-stable almond milk sits at room temperature, while refrigerated almond milk is always stored in a cooled temperature.

Why Is Some Almond Milk Not Refrigerated?

The main difference is that shelf-stable almond milk has an extended shelf life, which you can store at room temperature, and allows you to stock up in bulk.

This can be a great money saving tactic because if there is a special offer in the supermarket, you can store them in your cupboard for a long time.

It is also good for meal prep or batch cooking, especially if you are always making recipes like overnight oats.

Depending on the brand or product, the almond milk which you have purchased might come in aseptic packaging which contains aluminum inside the container to protect the almond milk against light and oxygen.

This is how shelf-stable almond milk is preserved without the need for refrigeration, all until the seal is broken and opened.

Does Almond Milk Go Bad If Unopened?

If unopened, shelf-stable almond milk lasts an incredible long time and you could even get away with exceeding the best before date.

This is mainly due to the aseptic packaging which is why these are better to buy from the supermarket.

Refrigerated almond milk will go bad over time if unopened but you should definitely read the label and follow the instructions.

How To Tell If Almond Milk Is Bad

If you have stored almond milk in the fridge for over a week, you might be wondering how to tell if the almond milk is bad.

As there are different brands, with different ingredients, on some occasions you can can get away with keeping opened almond milk in the fridge for a while without it going bad but it is also good to look at the warning signs. 

These warning signs are:

  • Has your container expanded? If so, it means the milk has started to ferment. 
  • Does it look lumpy? This is not a good sign but thankfully, you can rectify this by giving your container a solid shake. It will be fine to consume.
  • Does it smell differently? Smell the almond milk and it is always nutty and sweet. If the smell sour it could mean that the milk has started to ferment.

Does Almond Milk Go Bad If Left Out?

If the almond milk has been opened and left out for a long time at room temperature, it will go bad because it speeds up the process of bacteria growing in the danger zone.

By following the two-hour rule, it is best best advised to dispose of it because it will be unsafe to use.

Does Almond Milk Curdle in coffee?

Yes, almond milk will most certainly curdle in coffee if you are planning to swap it with dairy milk and use it the same way.

Instead, you can heat and froth the almond milk, all before you add coffee. This is to avoid mixing cold almond milk with hot coffee, which can prevent it from curdling.


In general, almond milk will stay fresh providing it has been stored properly. If you use almond milk regularly, your best bet is to use a shelf-stable version.