How to Tell If Your Coffee Creamer Has Gone Bad 

You never drink a cup of coffee without creamer, but you’ve had yours for a while and you can’t help but wonder how fresh it is. How do you know if your coffee creamer has expired?

How to tell if your coffee creamer has gone bad:

  • It’s way past its expiration date
  • The color isn’t the same
  • It tastes off
  • It smells bad
  • It’s separated or lumpy

In today’s article, we’ll elaborate on the above signs that indicate your coffee creamer is way past the point of freshness. We’ll also tell you how long coffee creamer lasts on average and how to store yours so it may stay fresher longer. 

Time to Throw Out Your Coffee Creamer? 5 Ways to Be Sure

Is your coffee creamer past due, or is it okay to keep using it? You don’t want to be wasteful, and we don’t want that for you either.

You want to look for signs of spoilage. The following five methods will confirm whether it’s time to bid adieu to your coffee creamer. 

Graphic for how to tell if your coffee Creamer is expired.

Check the Expiration Date

Somewhere on that bottle of coffee creamer will be an expiration date. It might be underneath the bottle, but it will be printed on there.

It’s not like you have to throw out your coffee creamer on that exact date, especially if it passes the sniff and taste tests (more on those a little later).

However, you do want to be conscious of how many more days you use that coffee creamer. 

It might be good for several days or even a week or two longer. If you keep pushing it too far beyond the expiration date, your coffee creamer could go rancid.

Our recommendation is this. Rather than see how far you can stretch the coffee creamer’s expiration date, try to finish the creamer within a few days of the expiration date, maybe a week tops.

Look at the Color

You know what the color of your coffee creamer should be, right? You probably buy the same brand and flavor all the time, after all.

Well, the next time you go to pour some potentially suspect coffee creamer into your coffee cup, keep an eye out for the color.

Is it a darker hue than usual? If so, that’s a clear sign that your coffee creamer has expired and should be thrown away.

That’s also the case if you notice that the hue of the coffee creamer is blue-ish. Yes, we said blue-ish.

As we’re sure we don’t have to tell you, no matter the flavor of coffee creamer, from vanilla to hazelnut or cinnamon, it should never be blue.

The blue could be a sign of fungal development, as mold can indeed grow in heavily expired coffee creamer. You might never want to use creamer again after witnessing such a horrid sight! 

Give It a Small Taste

If your coffee creamer just smells a little off but isn’t discolored, you can always sample a small amount. Once you swallow the creamer, if it’s bad, you’ll be able to tell immediately.

The sour flavor will be overwhelming. 

Don’t pour out the full quantity of creamer that you regularly use. Instead, grab a teaspoon and fill up maybe a quarter of the spoon with the creamer. You don’t want to swallow a lot of it in case the creamer is rancid. 

If the creamer tastes off, please don’t try to use it in your coffee. Then you’ll just waste a cup!

Smell It

Before you necessarily rely on your sense of taste, you might want to smell your creamer and make a judgment from there. 

After all, it’s a lot easier to recover from a whiff of a bad smell than it is to ingest it. 

Since the aroma of your coffee creamer is one of the first scents you start your day with, you should know if the creamer smells off.

The odor might be reminiscent of mold, which is a clear sign that your creamer is past saving. You might also smell a sour scent, which indicates rancidity.

Look for a Texture Change

Have you noticed anything kind of funky about your coffee creamer’s texture? For example, is it full of chunks? Or have the ingredients separated?

Neither is a sign of expiry on its own, but your coffee creamer will never be smooth and flavorful again, so you might as well junk it. 

How Long Does Coffee Creamer Last?

Not all coffee creamer is created equal. Depending on which kind you stock in your kitchen, the creamer’s longevity may be shorter or longer.

Let’s go over the different types of coffee creamers and their various lifespans now.

Powder Creamer

Although it requires more stirring to get the consistency just right, for that extra effort, you’re rewarded with a creamer that lasts for quite a long time when you choose powdered creamer.

You don’t have to refrigerate powdered coffee creamer; just keep it in a room-temperature environment. There, it will last for two years!

Plant-Based Creamer

Those who are vegetarian or vegan will use plant-based coffee creamer, as will anyone with lactose intolerance. 

You might like the flavor variety of plant-based coffee creamers, as you can select from almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, or oat milk creamers.

How long do various plant-based coffee creamers last? If you don’t open them, then they’re good at room temperature for between three and six months.

Upon opening the creamer, you need to use it within 10 days. Please refrigerate after the initial use as well. 

Non-Dairy Creamer

Non-dairy coffee creamer is another great alternative for lactose intolerants or those who want to reduce their dairy intake. 

Since these creamers don’t have real dairy in them, they have a good lifespan. You can keep them in your kitchen pantry or on the counter at room temperature for 30 days unopened.

Once you open the creamer, use it within 10 days.

Dairy Creamer

It’s the dairy in coffee creamer that supercharges its expiry. The average coffee creamer with dairy lasts about two weeks. 

Liquid Coffee Creamer

Any creamer, whether it is dairy or non-dairy, that is liquid isn’t going to last as long as powdered. Always check the “best used by” date on the package; if unopened, I suggest only using it one to two weeks after the date.

Once you open the liquid creamer, use it within one week, two at max.

What Happens If You Ingest Expired Coffee Creamer?

You feel like you just bought your coffee creamer, and so you’re none too thrilled at the prospect of throwing it away. It tastes not so good, honestly, but you figure you can just grin and bear it this once.

You shouldn’t! Drinking expired coffee creamer carries with it the following health risks including food poisoning.

Acid Reflux and/or Heartburn

Since expired creamer is a lot more acidic than the stuff is when it isn’t expired, all that acid can manifest in a painful bout of acid reflux or heartburn. 

You could be in for quite the uncomfortable day after swallowing down that abysmal cup of coffee.


Drinking coffee usually sends you to the bathroom, but not like this. The expired ingredients in the coffee creamer can leave you with a nasty case of diarrhea.

Stomach Pain

Digesting expired foods is not going to be easy on your body, which is why your stomach will begin hurting. You could experience intense nausea and even vomiting. Again, it simply isn’t worth it!  

Coffee Creamer Storage Tips for Freshness

You had no choice but to throw away your expired coffee creamer, but you sure weren’t happy about it. In the future, these storage tips might allow you to enjoy fresh-tasting coffee longer.

Put the Creamer in an Airtight Container

The bottle that your coffee creamer comes packaged in looks attractive, but if it’s not airtight, then you should pour the creamer into a container that is. Do this as soon as you open it and begin using the creamer to preserve as much of it as you can.

Keep Out of Direct Sunlight or Sources of Heat

If the creamer is out of the refrigerator to allow multiple people to use, avoid placing in an area with direct sunlight. In addition, don’t place next to a hot stove or other sources of heat.

Switch to Powdered Creamer

Although it can take some getting used to, powdered coffee creamer has the longest shelf life of any type of creamer. If you feel like you toss out your creamer too often, it might be worth trying the powdered stuff. It will certainly last you longer!

Always Put the Creamer in the Refrigerator After Opening

Maybe you don’t have to refrigerate every last type of coffee creamer but it’s always better to do it than not do it. If anything, the creamer will keep longer.

Final Thoughts 

You have lots of options for confirming whether your coffee creamer has gone bad. Drinking expired creamer can lead to nausea, diarrhea, stomach discomfort, acid reflux, and vomiting, so it’s just not worth doing. Err of the side of caution when it comes to what you are putting in your body.

We hope this article helps you avoid expired creamer! 

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