Does Soy Milk Go Bad? (How To Tell For Sure)

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Soy milk is a lactose intolerant’s lifesaver. Who needs dairy when you can have soy, right? This plant-based drink is popular among vegetarians and lactose intolerants, whether alone or in your favorite dishes and drinks. (*)

Since soy and dairy milk are different, with the latter known for being perishable, it may leave you wondering: does soy milk go bad like other dairy products?

Short Answer:

Many people assume that since soy milk doesn’t contain dairy, you can leave it unrefrigerated, and it’ll be fine. However, soy milk can go bad, and drinking expired soy milk will give you symptoms like drinking dairy milk.

We’ll answer all your questions regarding soy milk shelf life, expiration and storage tips, so read on!


So, How Long Does Soy Milk Last?

How long your soy milk can last, it depends on how you store it and the types you have.

There are two varieties: Refrigerated and non-refrigerated.

Here is a quick comparison table:

Soy Milk Type / Shelf Life Unopened Opened and RefrigeratedHomemadeLeft Out in the OpenFactors Affecting
Refrigerated2-3 months, maybe a few months longer7-10 daysN/AExpires within hours (opened); may survive a night out (unopened)Soy milk brand and variety; storage conditions; consumption habits
Non-refrigerated8-12 months; 3-4 weeks past printed date7-10 daysN/AExpires within hours (opened); may survive a night out (unopened)Soy milk brand and variety; storage conditions; consumption habits
HomemadeN/AN/A3-5 daysExpires within hoursStorage conditions; consumption habits
  • Regardless of the type you get, you need to place soy milk in the fridge after opening it. Usually, it will last for 7-10 days when leaving in the refrigerator.
  • As for an unopened carton, you can refer to the expiry date on the packaging. This is an excellent indicator of its shelf life. While products still stay fresh past ten days, this isn’t guaranteed, and you’ll need to check if it’s gone bad before consuming it.
  • Unrefrigerated milk can last for 8-12 months after its manufacturing date, and even then, it can last for 3-4 weeks past the printed date.
  • With proper storage conditions, refrigerated milk will have a shorter shelf life of about 2-3 months, maybe a few months longer.
  • Homemade soy milk lasts for only 3-5 days because you can’t guarantee the aseptic packaging.

If you accidentally leave out in the open after opening it, then expect to expire within hours. Check if your soil milk has spoiled before drinking it if you leave it out in the open.

Unopened refrigerated may survive a night out in the open, but it’s still important to check if it has spoiled.

Some factors affect the overall shelf life, though, such as:

  • The brand and a variety
  • Storage conditions
  • How you consume

We’ll get on with this in the following sections, so keep on reading!

How to Tell if Soy Milk is Bad

What happens if your soy milk is still in the fridge, way past its expiration date? You can examine the milk and watch out for any of these signs:

1. Smell

Before pouring opened soy milk into your coffee or cereal, take a whiff of it from the container. You’ll be able to smell if your soy milk has expired right away!

If it has an off-putting smell, then throw it away immediately. If not, then you can pour it in a glass for further inspection.

2. Texture

Pour a bit of opened soy milk into a clear glass to inspect its appearance and texture. Spoiled soy milk will turn into a rotten color, even yielding curdled textures.

If soy milk appears different from the typical off-white color and runny texture, then it’s most likely spoiled. It might also appear chunky or lumpy, which is what all types of soiled milk appear.

3. Issues with Container

Is the carton bloated, leaking, or punctured? Then discard the carton.

While that doesn’t mean that the milk expired, it’s still best to take caution.

4. Taste

If you still can’t tell your milk is bad, it’s best to taste a bit of it rather than pour it into your glass. If it tastes sour or rancid, then throw the entire carton away.

Learn more: What Does Soy Milk Taste Like?

How to Store Soy Milk?

Now that you know more about soy milk and its expiration date, how can you store it properly to prevent it from spoiling quickly? Follow some of these helpful food storage tips:

Storing Unrefrigerated

When you purchase the shelf-stable variety, then you can keep it in a cool and dry place. We suggest storing it in your kitchen cabinet or pantry, away from any heat or light sources like appliances or the sun.

Storing Opened and Refrigerated

You must place refrigerated milk, open or unopened, in the fridge. The same goes for opened shelf-stable soy milk.

Keep the carton or bottle sealed, or transfer the milk to an airtight container if you can’t reseal the original packaging. Place the packaging in the fridge where it won’t stay near any foul-smelling food, like onions.


Can you freeze soy milk? Yes, It’s possible to freeze milk, but unnecessary and not recommended.

We suggest placing it in the fridge, enough to maintain the milk’s quality and safety.

But if you must freeze it to consume after a few months, then go for it. Note that the milk will change in texture and flavor after it thaws, so it’s best to use it for your recipes instead of drinking.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now you learned more about bad soy milk, its expiration date, and food storage, here are frequently asked questions:

Wrapping It Up

We hope you learned all about how long soy milk lasts and how to keep it stored properly!

You can also learn more about perishable products like oat milk and almond milk in our other blog posts.

Good luck and happy cooking!

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