Can Vanilla Extract go bad? How to know if they are gone bad? Can we recycle them?

Vanilla extracts have an incredible shelf life if stored properly and it usually varies between 3-4 years. But still, there are chances that the vanilla extract can go bad, and you definitely don’t want to take that chance in food. So read on to know if your vanilla extract is gone bad.


Change in odour: Vanilla extracts have alcohol which gives away the smell. If you doubt the purity of your vanilla extract, just give it a quick whiff, if you think the smell has faded from the first purchase it's better to discard it.


Formation of moulds: It is not natural for Moulds to form in Vanilla, but they may appear if you store them in refrigerator or in places with high moisture content, as our body will not welcome mould formed vanilla it's better to throw away the extract. You might also want to check the inside of cap for a cottony substance as they can eventually form toxic compounds that pose many health hazards.


Change in texture: Vanilla extracts has a vicious consistent texture throughout, but in case they have a cloudy or muddy appearance or if any impurities float inside the best thing to do is not to use the extract.


Change in flavour: Vanilla will be best within the time it should be used that is, within 3-4 years. If you notice a change in flavor, you better want to buy a new on for obvious reasons of course!
Still worried about your vanilla extract gone bad? Read on because we have a sweet surprise for you.


Where else can I use Vanilla apart from cooking? Recycle old vanilla extract.
Human nature is basically to recycle everything and yeah literally everything! So, if you are worried about throwing that expensive bottle of vanilla that you bought with very high expectations, you can relax now because we have a number of alternate places where you can use your old vanilla extract, well except cooking.
Clean & Clean: Most of the vanilla extract have alcohol content in them which makes them excellent cleaners. So, use them to clean those kitchen counters, by using a few drops and wiping them using a clean cloth, you can also add water to lower the concentration.
Bug Safe: Bugs don’t really love the cherished smell of vanilla, so when you are out for that family outing or picnic you may also grab a spray bottle of diluted vanilla extract to keep away those bugs.
Clean Fridge & Microwave: Soak some extract and wipe clean the fridge or put the vanilla extract in a bowl and microwave in full power for a minute it will clear the unwanted smell off the fridge and microwave.
Sweet Smelling Homes: Put a few drops of vanilla extract to the light bulb the heat will cause the drop to evaporate and spread fresh aroma.
Paint Fresh: Put a few drops of vanilla extract to paint before painting, now your home smells fresh and sweet like ever.

All the above hacks are useful depending on the expiry date on the vanilla extract, however if you see cloudy formations or loss of flavor and smell our best advice will be to throw it away, as said above they pose serious health hazards and as they say, prevention is always better than cure.