How long is evaporated milk good after opening? 

In this brief article, we will answer the question “How long is evaporated milk good after opening?” methods to store evaporated milk and detect spoilt evaporated milk.

How long is evaporated milk good after opening?

Evaporated milk would last for 2-5 days after opening. Evaporated milk should be promptly refrigerated after opening it. Avoid canning the milk. Instead, store it in a sealed package and place it in the refrigerator.

If the milk is skimmed but evaporated, it can last for 8-9 months in the pantry in a cool and dry place. An opened can would not last for more than 4-5 days even if it is kept in the fridge.

Unopened evaporated milk can last for 1 ½ to 2 years if it is stored properly. If it is stored at room temperature unopened, it can last for a year.

Evaporated milk typeApproximate shelf-life at room temperatureApproximate shelf-life at refrigeratorApproximate shelf-life in pantry
Unopened evaporated milk6-12 months1-2 years__
Opened evaporated milk__4-5 days3 months
Unopened evaporated milk (skimmed)__8-9 months__

Can evaporated milk spoil?

Evaporated milk is dehydrated to remove the moisture content and then sterilized at a higher temperature. This provides a caramelized flavor to the milk.

The shelf-life of the evaporated milk lies on the best-by-date label mentioned on its packaging. If the product is left unopened for a long period of time or if the product is not stored properly, it is likely to get spoilt.

How to detect spoilt evaporated milk?

If evaporated milk is kept open for more than 5 days, it is likely to get spoilt. In few cases, spoilage might not be detected though in most cases spoilage is easy to detect.

Milk skin could be detected floating on the surface of the evaporated milk at times. Milk skin is formed when the milk is exposed to air for a long period of time. This is not a sign of spoilage and you can remove it by heating the evaporated milk.

  • Spoilt evaporated milk does not give off a foul odor. It will though smell differently than a fresh one. Nevertheless, if the milk emits a foul odor it is better to throw it away.
  • Discoloration on the milk is a sign of spoilage. If the milk turns black, green, or brown throw it away immediately.
  • Evaporated milk has a smooth consistency. If you observe lumps on the milk similar to curd, it is an indication of the deteriorating quality of milk.
  • Sourness in the milk is another indication of spoilage.
  • Mold formation in the milk could also point towards spoilage in the milk.

How to store evaporated milk?

Avoid leaving unopened milk outside the refrigerator for more than 1-2 hours. Bacteria is susceptible to grow at room temperature which can hasten the spoilage process.

  • If you have bought evaporated milk in a can and notice dents or bruises in the can, it is better to discard it.
  • Unopened evaporated milk can be kept in the kitchen cabinet for 6-12 months. Opening the milk can shorten its shelf-life considerably.
  • If you are planning to store the unopened evaporated milk can in your pantry, store it in a cool and dry place. 
  • If the evaporated milk can is opened, place it immediately in the fridge after using it. Avoid storing the milk in an opened can. Instead, transfer it into an airtight container. This will help in preventing the milk from picking up strong odors. 
  • Freezing evaporated milk is not recommended as freezing can alter the texture of the milk. The flavor and texture of the milk can also reduce. You can still store the milk in the freezer to increase the shelf-life of the product.

Other FAQs about evaporated milk that you may be interested in.

Is it possible to freeze evaporated milk?

Yes, it is possible to free evaporated milk though it is not a recommended method. Evaporated milk when frozen results in a change in the texture of the milk. The water would separate from the milk and this can spoil the texture and flavor of the milk.

If you want to use evaporated milk for baking, you can use frozen evaporated milk. Stir the milk after it is removed from the freezer.

You can pour the evaporated milk into ice trays and then freeze them. These cubes can be used in soups and do not require defrosting.


In this brief article, we have answered the question “How long is evaporated milk good after opening?” methods to store evaporated milk and detect spoilt evaporated milk.