Does soy milk spoil?

In this article, we will answer the question “Does soy milk spoil?”, does soy milk need to be refrigerated, how long can soy milk sit out, how to store soy milk, how long does soy milk last, does soy milk expire, how to tell if the soy milk has gone bad.

Does soy milk spoil?

Yes, soy milk spoils like any other type of milk. The shelf-stable soy milk has a longer shelf-life than its refrigerated counterpart. Do not keep either type of soy milk more than 5-10 days after opening or else you risk spoilage. There are various recipes you can try where you can use your soy milk if it is nearing its expiry.

Does soy milk need to be refrigerated? 

Soy milk is sold either refrigerated or unrefrigerated. The refrigerated variety needs to be kept in the fridge at all times. The shelf-stable soy sauce can be stored at room temperature as long as it is unopened. Once opened, move it to the fridge.

Refrigerated vs Shelf-stable soy milk 

The processing and packaging are what differentiates the refrigerated soy milk from the shelf-stable soy milk. Shelf-stable soy sauce is packaged in air-tight and sterile packaging that allows it to be kept at room temperature.

Most brands sell their refrigerated varieties of milk in bottles and the shelf-stable varieties in cartons, thus making the differentiating easier. Smaller brands only sell the shelf-stable varieties of milk because it is more profitable. 

How long can soy milk sit out? 

According to the USDA, you should discard soy milk if it has been sitting out for more than 2 hours. If the temperature outside is cooler, chances are your half-opened soy milk will be fine after 2 hours. If the opened soy milk is sitting on the whole day or overnight, throw it away without any second thoughts.

How to store soy milk? 

The original container of soy milk does the best job of protecting it. If the package is not resealable, consider transferring its contents to an air-tight container. A sound and tight seal is very important in maintaining the quality and safety of soy milk.

Make sure the container is tightly sealed in between uses. Refrain from mouthing the bottle or container of soy milk. This contaminates the milk and results in quick spoilage. Always pop your soy milk and never drink straight from its container.

How long does soy milk last? 

You can expect the shelf-stable soy milk to last a couple of weeks past the printed date while the refrigerated soy milk won’t last more than a week past its date. 

Irrespective of the type of soy milk, it is best consumed within 5-10 days of opening it. Depending on the type of brand, soy milk may not be salvageable on the 10th day after its opening. 

In other words, the longer you wait, the more you risk the spoilage of milk. So, finish the milk as soon as possible after opening its container.

Pantry Fridge 
Shelf-stable (Unopened)“Best by” + 3 – 6 months
Shelf-stable (opened)5-10 days 
Refrigerated (Unopened)“Use by” + up to 7 days
Refrigerated (opened)5-10 days 

Does soy milk expire? 

Look for a best-by date on the package of the shelf-stable soy milk. This date informs you of how long the milk will retain its peak quality. If stored correctly, the shelf-stable soy milk will last months past the printed date. 

This is credited to the aseptic packaging of the shelf-stable variety. If your soy milk is past this date, inspect the milk before using it. 

On the other hand, refrigerated soy milk comes with a use-by date. It is recommended to discard the refrigerated soy milk once it is 1 week past the printed date, even if the milk looks visually okay.

How to tell if the soy milk has gone bad? 

Keep track of the printed dates: Pay attention to the recommended storage period on the package of the soy milk. If the soy milk is way past the printed date, it is safe to throw it away.

Off-odor: If the soy milk gives off a sour or moldy smell upon sniffing, it is done for.

Moldy: Shake the soy milk and pour it into a glass. Closely inspect the color and consistency of the soy milk. If the milk is heavily separated, slimy, or you notice discoloration, discard the milk right away.

Off-taste: The consistency of soy milk can differ depending on the brand. So, you should notice the deviations in the consistency of the product compared to the fresh soy milk. 

When all else seems okay, go ahead and take a sip of the soy milk. A small sip won’t hurt you. If the taste is unpleasant, get yourself a new bottle of soy milk.

Other FAQs about Soy Milk that you may be interested in.

What is soy milk good for?

Why does soy milk get separated in coffee?    

Does soy milk have lactose?

Does soy milk contain lactose?


In this article, we answered the question “Does soy milk spoil?”, does soy milk need to be refrigerated, how long can soy milk sit out, how to store soy milk, how long does soy milk last, does soy milk expire, how to tell if the soy milk has gone bad.

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