Does sea salt expire?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “Does sea salt expire?” and discuss how to properly store salt. We will also tell you how to tell if salt has gone bad.

Does sea salt expire?

No, sea salt does not expire. Salt is a natural preservative. Pure salt  (NaCl) does not go bad. Salt generally lacks moisture which makes it very hard for bacteria to survive on it.

Although sea salt is not pure, it contains impurities such as minerals. While salt itself does not go bad, the impurities may go bad or may lose their health benefits and effectiveness over time. It still does not mean that the salt will be harmful if used. Instead the impurities may just not provide the benefits that they were meant to provide.

How to properly store sea salt?

Sea salt should be kept in a cool, dry place away from heat and light. You should keep it away from the stovetop and appliances that produce heat such as the fridge. Since salt is used in almost every recipe for seasoning, you can keep it on a rack on your countertop or in the pantry. 

As for salt, it is very important to keep salt away from moisture as it is hygroscopic in nature and tends to absorb moisture. If it does, the salt will clump up. 

How to tell if salt has gone bad?

As explained above, salt does not really go bad but salt can absorb odors from the surroundings so you might not want to use this kind of salt. Also, look for any bugs and infestations in the salt.

Does salt have a smell?

No, pure salt does not have a smell. The chemicals added to table salt may have a smell like iodine but it is not very noticeable. 

Salt can absorb smells from the surrounding though. The smell that is referred to as ‘ocean smell’ is not the seawater, instead it is bacteria consuming the decay matter which releases dimethyl sulfide.

Is taking too much salt bad for you?

Yes, taking too much salt in your diet is bad for you. An average human only needs about 1500 milligrams of sodium per day and if you consume more than this on a regular basis, you may face some immediate and long term side effects of it.

Although sodium and chloride both are essential for the body to maintain the electrolyte balance and proper nerve function, you should take it in moderation.

Some short term effects of taking too much salt are as follows.

  • Taking too much salt can lead to water retention in your body. You may feel like your stomach is bloated and your hands, feet or face is puffy. You may even weigh more than before due to all the water weight.
  • It can also cause a rise in your blood pressure.
  • It can make you feel so thirsty because a lot of sodium can leave you dehydrated so you end up drinking a lot of water.
  • Your urine frequency may also increase because since the sodium will leave you dehydrated, you will be drinking a lot more water.

Find out more about the harmful effects of taking too much salt here.

How to cut out salt from your diet?

  • Cut down on processed foods like chips, ready made meals, pastas, and sugary drinks.
  • Make your meals at home from scratch and add less salt.
  • Use spices other than salt to make your dish flavorful.
  • Make it a habit of eating less salty foods.

Does salt make you fat?

Salt does not have any effect directly on fat and weight gain but it can make you gain weight indirectly through water retention. What it does is, when you take a lot of salt, your body makes you feel thirsty so that you drink water and everything stays balanced. 

When you do drink water, your body holds onto that water. So this water retention is what can make you gain weight. 

Does salt have calories?

No, salt does not have any calories at all. If you add it to your food, the total calorie count of your food would not increase because of salt. 


In this brief guide, we answered the question “Does sea salt expire?” and discussed how to properly store salt. We also told you how to tell if salt has gone bad.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.