How To Tell If Coffee Creamer has Gone Bad?

Coffee creamer is an excellent addition that can liven up an otherwise dull cup of Joe at home.

In fact, coffee creamers ensure that you get that delicious restaurant-quality coffee at home without overspending.

Moreover, coffee creamers can be kept for later use, especially when stored properly. But how long do coffee creamers last, and how can you know if they have gone stale or bad?

Well, there are a few ways to determine whether it is still safe to use. This applies to both unopened and opened coffee creamers.

Perform a Visual Inspection

Visually inspecting your coffee creamer is the easiest way to check if it has gone bad. To do this, pour the coffee creamer into a transparent glass or cup.

For liquid creamers, the consistency should be silky, like smooth milk.

Check whether you can see any spots, thickness, or clumps for powdered creamers. When the creamer is inside its bottle, it can be difficult to perform an accurate visual inspection.

Furthermore, it would be best also to inspect it for fungus formation. Old or stale creamer collects fungus on its surface.

It typically happens when the creamer isn’t stored properly, and moisture makes its way inside the container.

Lastly, look at the color of your coffee creamer. If you can spot a bluish hue, the creamer has gone bad.

So, instead of pouring it directly into your cup of Joe and dreading your decision, check it beforehand in a plastic cup or glass. 

Smell It

The next step is to smell the creamer to see whether it has even the tiniest whiff of a musky or sour aroma.

But, ensure that you smell the coffee creamer several times and splash it around the container because spoiled creamer will smell bad and irritate the nose.

In fact, you will notice it immediately if it has been open for some time. However, if you’re still unsure, keep going through the steps to decide whether it’s good or has gone stale.

Check the Expiration Date

If you have an unopened bottle of coffee creamer in your pantry, chances are it hasn’t been exposed to moisture or air. So, the above steps might not help you identify its freshness.

The best thing to do here is to check your coffee creamer’s “Best Before” or “Expiration” date. If the creamer has passed these, we suggest tossing it in the trash can.

On the other hand, if you’re inspecting an opened bottle of coffee creamer, try to recall when you opened it. That said, most creamers are okay to use seven to fourteen days after being opened.

So, if your opened coffee creamer has passed fourteen days, it’s probably wise to dispose of it.

Taste It

The last thing you can try to check if your creamer has gone bad is to take a small amount and taste it. So, if the previous tips don’t work, tasting them is the next best solution.

Of course, we don’t advise doing so. But this will undoubtedly tell you whether your creamer has gone bad. Take less than a teaspoon and taste it.

If it tastes slightly odd, don’t risk getting sick, and toss the creamer. Instead, purchase new creamer and finish it before it reaches its “Expiration” or “Best Before” date.

How Long Does a Coffee Creamer Last

A creamer’s shelf-life typically depends on several things. So, here’s a detailed guide on how long every type of coffee creamer lasts.

Powdered Coffee Creamers

This type of coffee creamer has a shelf-life of two years when stored at room temperature.

Non-Dairy Coffee Creamers

This type of coffee creamer has a shelf-life of one month and up to ten days after being opened.

Dairy-Based Coffee Creamers

Dairy-based coffee creamers go bad faster than others as they’re made using milk. And we all know that bad milk can ruin your morning coffee drinking experience.

After being opened, dairy-based coffee creamers have a shelf-life of around seven to fourteen days. But this can vary from brand to brand.

Are Plant-Based Coffee Creamers Worth the Hype?

Plant-based, dairy-free coffee creamers are used more frequently these days. These plant-based milk substitutes are much sought after by a lot of people.

In fact, they are perfect for those who wish to cut out dairy products from their diets while still enhancing the flavor of their coffee. A few plant-based coffee creamers include:

Almond Milk Creamer

For some people, almond milk may be a trend from the distant past, but don’t completely discount it. Try almond milk creamers if you’re looking for options with lots of taste and few calories.

Soy Milk Creamer

Do you remember when the only dairy-free milk option was soy milk? Although it’s hard to imagine, millions of individuals still favor this choice.

Its consistency is similar to regular milk. Plus, it is available in various flavors, from chocolate to vanilla to caramel. But, avoid these flavored soy milk creamers as they are high in sugar.

Coconut Milk Creamer

Coconut milk-based creamers might be for you if you like using a milk frother. Natural healthy fats in coconut cream have the same luscious frothy texture as those in ordinary milk or cream.

Oat Milk Creamer

Over the past two years, this alternative has become incredibly popular, and it’s obvious why. Any coffee will benefit from the gentle sweetness of oat milk creamer. Plus, it’s gluten-free too!

All of these plant-based creamers should be stored according to similar storage guidelines.

In fact, when it comes down to it, these plant-based creamers can remain unopened on the shelf for three to six months.

They must be refrigerated after being opened, though, and can be kept inside your fridge for up to ten days.

How to Properly Store Coffee Creamers

The storage technique for your coffee creamer typically varies from creamer type to type—however, liquid-based creamers, whether dairy or non-dairy, can be frozen for maximum freshness.

To save time, you can try freezing the liquid coffee creamer in ice cube trays. So, when you want to use the creamer, just add one or two cubes to your coffee.

But are you concerned that this will cool down your hot cup of Joe? Don’t worry; you can quickly heat your coffee in the microwave.

Moreover, it’s also advisable to use liquid-based coffee creamer immediately after opening it. Furthermore, avoid buying bulk amounts of creamer. This will ensure you don’t end up with more than you need.

After all, getting rid of a ton of creamer will be more difficult than throwing out a small amount.

Similarly, you can store powdered coffee creamer inside your kitchen cabinet. But you must ensure it remains away from water, moisture, and direct sunlight. So, reseal the container or keep it in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.

People can also store powdered creamer in a freezer. Doing so will keep it fresh a few months beyond its “Best Before’ or “Expiration” date.

Lastly, how can you store single-use coffee creamer cups? Although those tiny individual coffee creamers have a fairly long shelf life, they do include actual milk or cream.

They’ll last for roughly six months if you keep them at room temperature. Moreover, they can be frozen and taken out when required.

What Will Happen If You Consume Creamer That Has Gone Bad

It’s crucial to store coffee creamers properly to increase their shelf lives because they can have several negative health effects when they’re past their prime.

So, toss the expired coffee creamer if you want to avoid the following health issues:

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is typically caused by eating highly-acidic food items. While creamer doesn’t cause acid reflux, it can contribute to it, especially if you already suffer from acidity.


Diarrhea is a typical health issue caused by consuming expired items. So, if you accidentally consume expired coffee creamer, you might suffer from diarrhea.

However, this depends on how stale the coffee creamer is. For example, if you consume moldy coffee creamer, the chances of suffering diarrhea will be very high.

Digestive Problems

Consuming expired or bad coffee creamer can lead to digestive problems, including bloating, gas, and nausea. These issues are typically minor and will go away with time.

However, seek medical assistance if any of your symptoms make you nervous or if they don’t go away on their own in twenty-four hours.

Wrapping Up

Coffee cream will give your cup of Joe an extra kick of creaminess and flavor. It is something you must have in your pantry if you’re a coffee lover.

But, storing it properly is of the utmost importance to get the best results. It is also important to use it before its “Best Before” or “Expiration” date.

Lastly, you can check if your creamer has gone bad by smelling, tasting, or visually inspecting it. You can easily do that by following the tips mentioned in this article.

If your creamer tastes bad or you can see minor amounts of mold, it’s time to chuck it in the trash!