Does Soy Sauce Expire? (Types Of Soy Sauce, Storage + More)

Soy sauce is a fantastic condiment that people use every day in their kitchens. We use it as sauces, marinades, and much more, but have you ever wondered how long your bottle of soy sauce actually lasts?

Thankfully, you do not have to worry about spoiled soy sauce ever again. I’ve looked up all the facts that you need to know about soy sauce and its shelf life, and here is what I found out!

Does Soy Sauce Expire?

Unopened soy sauce can last for 1-3 years whereas opened soy sauce can last for 1-3 months, depending on how you store it. However, soy sauce can last for a longer time if kept in an airtight container and you store it in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight.

Do you want to learn more about how to extend soy sauce’s shelf life, how to store it, and much more? Keep on reading to find out!

Why Does Soy Sauce Last For A Long Time?

Soy sauce goes through a fermentation process that helps it last longer, similar to kimchi, kefir, and more.

Additionally, soy sauce has a high sodium content. Salt works as a preservative slowing microbial growth and allowing soy sauce to last longer.

How Long Does Opened Soy Sauce Last?

Opened bottles of soy sauce can last for 3 months after you open them if left out at room temperature. However, opened soy sauce can last 6 – 12 months if kept in the fridge.

Soy sauce will slowly lose its freshness after you open it since the best taste comes from within a month of opening.

So if you want to ensure you are getting the best flavor from your soy sauce, it is best to get fresh bottles to maximize taste.

How Long Does Unopened Soy Sauce Last?

Soy sauce can last for up to 3 years if it is unopened, but that will depend on the brand, temperature, and where you keep it.

You can still use soy sauce a few years after you buy it if it is not opened and does not taste or look unusual.

However, most soy sauce brands will recommend that you use soy sauce within 3 years of purchasing it.

How Long Does Dark Soy Sauce Last?

Unopened dark soy sauce can last for 1-3 years in a dark and cool place. On the other hand, opened dark soy sauce can last for 3 months unrefrigerated and up to 2 years refrigerated.

How Long Does Light Soy Sauce Last?

Similar to dark soy sauce, unopened light soy sauce is good for 1-3 years if unopened and stored properly.

An open bottle of light soy sauce can last for 3 months on the counter and for 2 years in the fridge.

How Long Does Kikkoman Last?

Unopened Kikkoman can last for 2 years in a dark, cool place. It is ideal to consume an opened bottle of Kikkoman within one month to get the best flavor.

However, you may keep your opened bottle of Kikkoman in the fridge to preserve its freshness, and it will be good for up to 6 months.

How Long Can Soy Sauce Last When It Is Prepared in a Dish?

How long soy sauce lasts in a dish will depend on the other ingredients in the dish. Soy sauce tends to last a long time even when it is cooked.

For instance, let’s say that you used soy sauce to cook fish. Soy sauce can last in the dish for however long the fish lasts, which would likely be about 2-3 days if the dish is refrigerated.

Why Is There White Stuff Floating In My Soy Sauce?

If there is white stuff floating in your soy sauce, it’s film yeast. It is not mold and cannot cause food poisoning.

Film yeast can affect the smell and taste of your soy sauce if it is there for a long time. However, its presence does not mean that your soy sauce has gone bad.

You can simply use coffee filters or a spoon to remove film yeast. If your soy sauce smells and tastes fine afterward, then you can keep using it.

How Can I Tell If My Soy Sauce Has Gone Bad?

Does Soy Sauce Expire?

You can tell if your soy sauce has gone bad by smelling it.

Soy sauce has a naturally strong smell, but an overpowering and almost unbearable smell means that your soy sauce has spoiled.

Additionally, you can see and taste signs of spoilage in soy sauce. If it looks different than when you bought it, it is probably bad. If it tastes very different, then you should no longer use it.

Can I Store Soy Sauce In The Fridge?

You can store soy sauce in the fridge if you want it to last longer.

Refrigerated and opened soy sauce can last in the fridge for 1-2 years, especially if you keep it in an airtight bottle.

You do not have to keep soy sauce in the fridge, but it will only last for 1-3 months unrefrigerated after you open it. A cold and dark fridge can preserve it and keep it fresh for longer.

Can I Store Soy Sauce In A Cupboard?

Soy sauce can be kept in a cupboard because it is a cool and dry place. Unopened bottles of soy sauce can last up to 2-3 years in a cupboard, but opened bottles will only last for 1-3 months.

Can I Leave My Soy Sauce On The Counter?

You can leave your soy sauce on the counter, but it may only last for one month after you open it. Unopened bottles of soy sauce can last for 1-2 years on the counter.

Moreover, you should always keep your soy sauce away from direct sunlight and hot areas of your counter. The heat can affect your soy sauce and make it spoil quickly.

What Container Can I Keep My Soy Sauce In?

It is important to store your soy sauce in an airtight container if you want it to last. You could also keep it in the same bottle you bought it in as long as you tightly close the cap before you store it.

Whether you keep your bottle in the fridge or a cupboard, your soy sauce can go bad if you do not keep it in an airtight container. Dirt, bacteria, and such can enter your soy sauce, causing it to spoil quickly.

Can I Store Soy Sauce At Room Temperature?

Soy sauce can be kept at room temperature given that it is stored properly. Room temperature will not make your soy sauce last longer, but it will not make it spoil faster either.

Can I Store Soy Sauce In Cold Temperatures?

You can store your soy sauce in cold temperatures because it will last longer, especially if the bottle has already been opened. Ideally, the cold temperatures should come from a refrigerator.

Can I Store Soy Sauce In Hot Temperatures?

You should not keep your soy sauce in hot temperatures because it can spoil faster.

Microorganisms grow faster in warmer temperatures, so bacteria can multiply quickly in your soy sauce.

High temperatures can also make your soy sauce crystallize because of its high salt content. The water in the soy sauce will evaporate, leaving behind salt that will crystallize and harden.

If there are crystals in your soy sauce, that does not always mean it is spoiled. However, it may be very difficult to use or taste odd because it will mostly be salt after the water evaporates.

If you want to learn more about soy sauce, you can see our related posts on whether soy sauce packets go bad, if soy sauce needs to be refrigerated, and if soy sauce has alcohol.


Soy sauce can last for a long time if it is unopened or if you keep an opened bottle in the fridge. Opened soy sauce can last for 1-3 months in a cupboard and 6-12 months when refrigerated.

Ideally, you should keep your soy sauce in an airtight container in a cool and dark place, like a cupboard or fridge.

While soy sauce does not have a definite expiry date, proper storage can make it last longer.

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